Jul 26, 2021
Is louder, better? This is Celtfather Music & Travel show #282.
I booked a farmer's market gig. The booker told me I would need to play completely unplugged. Past musicians played too loudly. They disrupted the sales of the vendors. Those musicians won't be coming back. And now I might not get to play amplified.
Some people think that louder is better. Louder does stand out more. The more noise you make, the more people take notice. But it does not necessarily mean it's better.
For many years, the Elven Hill stage at Sherwood Forest Faire had a band that blasted their music. The sound traveled all the way down the hill. It disrupted the atmosphere of the Renaissance festival. But the musicians got noticed. They were a favorite for their Led Zeppelin and Last of the Mohican cover songs. It was a great for them. They grew their fan base.
Down the hill, the folk musicians suffered. They were drowned out by the music. We're talking 20 year veterans with amazing vocals and song arrangements. Their shows were interrupted. They grew slower. They had to adjust. Now most of the musicians at the faire amplify their music to get noticed.
Eventually, the over amplification was replaced with sound reinforcement at most stages. The loud band no longer exists. All of those acoustic musicians are still performing.
Seth Godin released a podcast back in June 2021 called "How Many Edges?" or "Fueling the Engines of pision". The podcast talks about social media companies and how they are pushing people to the edges. He suggests that maybe it is time for them to change their algorithms to stop pushing the extremes.
Social media companies used their algorithm to turn us into raving fans. They took us deeper and deeper into our fandoms and things we that evoked an emotional response. If it was just the things we loved, that'd be great. But many of the things we that moved us also infuriated us. That's why social media now makes us sad and angry. It brings very little joy.
But just imagine if those companies changed their algorithms. What if they stopped pushing us to the extremes. What if they stopped feeding the spread of disinformation or negative information. They have the power to make our feeds something we love again.
Yes. People would stay on social media less. But would that really matter? They already have monopolies. They make billions of dollars a year. They don't NEED more people on their platform all the time. And they would still make billions. That's how big they are.
The extremes are loud. For a short time, people will take notice. But it's the small folk musicians at the faire who are still making a living with their music. They aren't loud and obnoxious. They aren't drowning out other musicians. They are just as good or better than the bands blowing out their ears. But they are getting rehired for gigs because they aren't disrupting the culture.
That's what life is all about. It's about our culture. It's about things we love. Not things we loathe. We all want to be happy. The best way to do that is to be a bit more respectful of those around us, to not push people to extremes, even if those extremes might be good for us as individuals. Is it good for those around us?
We are all in this together. We can be happy without making others miserable. We can be respectful and get noticed. We can lift our neighbors up, even if it doesn't serve our own self interests. Because it's good for the community. It's good for the culture. And ultimately, it will be good for us too.
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