General Question

shilolo's avatar

Why do people care more about the Academy Awards than the Nobel Prizes?

Asked by shilolo (18038points) April 25th, 2008

Every year we have to hear about who’s wearing what dress, who is dating who, what the competition for each award is, and yet, the Nobel Laureates get little to no attention (except when its Al Gore).

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22 Answers

wildflower's avatar

(or Bono)
Because its more glamorous with more entertainment value. Not a good reason, but I believe it to be true.

gailcalled's avatar

@shilolo; If you had asked: Why do “some people” ..., I would take a stab at an answer. Your questions is far to general for me. But you raise a very valid point, and I get what you imply…the hoopla and buzz in the media that panders to the Entertainment Crowd is what it is, I guess, because there is so much popular demand.

But some folks are very interested in the Nobel Laureates, Pulizer, Mann Booker, Fullbright, Westinghouse and Intel winners.

nikipedia's avatar

Because everyone wears clothes and dates people, but not many people use transgenic mice or low-energy electron diffraction from day to day.

Bri_L's avatar

@ gailcalled – I think all your doing is affording yourself the chance to condecend as an intellectual. Unfortunately it just makes it look like your unable to understand statistical significance and language. By claiming you can’t “take a stab” at answering the question (which you did anyway, so your just being snide) you either really didn’t understand and are not as smart as you wish to come off in your reply, or you are trying to be rude for reasons unknown. Oh, let me know the next time 1.2 million people worldwide watch the Nobel prizes presentations.

Shilolo, good question. It shouldn’t be that way. If we took more of an interest in what helped society than in what distracted it we might be better off.

nikipedia's avatar

@Bri_L: Being an intellectual is hard work. The payoff is the ability to condescend to people. Also the ability to know the difference between “your” and “you’re”.

shilolo's avatar

@gail. You are right, I should have said “some people”. But the numbers speak for themselves. Hundreds of millions of people watch the Oscars, Super Bowl, World Cup final etc, but the Nobel awards are hardly even mentioned in the newspapers, let alone on TV.

gailcalled's avatar

Bri_L; Note that I did say“Your questions is far to(o) general for me. But you raise a very valid point, and I get what you imply.”

I also understand what you are implying altho I have trouble understanding exactly what you are attacking me for. But I do hear the rage in your message. Should I apologize for my age, professional experiences, education and POV?

“it look(s) like your (sic) unable to understand statistical significance and language”

If Shilol had mentioned the 1.2 million people who watched the Oscars, I would have answered in more depth. And I may have missed something, but I read nothing about stats. in his question. His answer above really is more detailed than his (or is he a she?) question. Check guidelines about being clear and specific in questions, Bri.

Feel free to vent at me anytime, if it makes you feel better.

Bri_L's avatar

@ gailcalled – I did read your answer. What you hear is not so much rage as frustration. Frustration with people who should obviously have the intelligence to understand and answer the question or not answer it, but only take to time to put it down. I would think your credentials, and they are impressive, would enable you to understand the difference between generalities and specifics as they apply in different situations. You chose to denounce his phrasing.

And while we are on the topic of detecting emotions, do I detect a feeling of intelectual superiority? While I appreciate your redirecting me to the guidelines about being clear and specific in questions, they are guidelines, not stead fast rules. So I would suggest that if you take time to answer a question just to say you can’t answer it, wont answer it and/or disagree with it, we are back to you taking time to comment so as to denounce the question. You can site your statement “Your questions is far to(o) general for me. But you raise a very valid point, and I get what you imply.” but you ended with “But some folks are very interested in the Nobel Laureates, Pulizer, Mann Booker, Fullbright, Westinghouse and Intel winners.” which, by your own reference to the “guidelines” was not very specific.

As far as your invitation to vent, I am afraid I would find you a bit to removed for my taste.

Bri_L's avatar

@ nikipedia – thanks I appreciate that. I get them mixed up. short and sweet. I can admit when I am wrong.
I have nothing against intellectuals I just don’t like bullies. and if your goal is to condescend, you have issues.

Bri_L's avatar

I want to apologize for my tude. Without reserve.

Gailcalled- I am sorry. I am having a very bad day and took it out on you. I am very very sorry.

gailcalled's avatar

Bri – no problem. You got some points for baring your fangs at me. So some people have your POV. See private comments now. G

Bri_L's avatar

Thanks G – I appreciate it. Fangs schmangs, I was an ass. I am working on that. Sorry again.

Bri_L's avatar

I cant find the private comment

gailcalled's avatar

I wrote it and then deleted for some reason. (Or maybe this idiot cat, who is sitting on my lap, and sharpening his claws on various parts of moi, did). I’ll try again.

Bri_L's avatar

I had a cat who did the same thing. it was not comfortable

muddyh2o's avatar

they’re completely dissimilar.

“why do people care more about eating at restaurants then reading a good book”?

one is an entertainment event / credential for artistic work. the other is an academic achievement and a credential for scientific work.

they can’t be compared other than to say that they are two completely different things.

shilolo's avatar

Muddyh20, I don’t think they are two different things. The Oscars are supposedly held up as a major achievement in acting, and the coverage is about that, in addition to everything else. If you were Tom Hanks, I don’t think you would say winning an Oscar is for purely entertainment value.
My own personal view is that, to paraphrase Robert Fulghum, “All I really need to know I learned in high school.” In high school, the jocks and beautiful people seem to be at the pinnacle of social status while the proverbial nerds are not. In adulthood, the beautiful people (read actors) and jocks (read professional athletes) continue to be viewed as “stars”, and thus the Awards shows and sporting events are popular, while the nerds (read Nobel Laureates) are just that, nerds.

AlexLavidge's avatar

Depending on your data and how you look at the meaningfulness of the concept “average American,” the majority of the US population watches anywhere from 3–5 hours of television a day. A lot of that media consumption is entertainment focused.

Compare this the amount of time those same people spend watching or consuming information about global affairs and scientific developments, what do you know, the pie chart looks like Pac Man about to finish a meal.

So asking your question is like asking why people who never who receive any advertising for “Product X” don’t buy “Product X.” Mainstream culture has to be exposed to stuff repeatedly before they learn to like anything or accept it as conventional.

shilolo's avatar

Alex, your answer is circular. People only consume things they are fed, but one could argue that producers of “food” only make things that people like. Before the hit series CSI, I would venture to guess that a majority of Americans didn’t (don’t) understand what DNA is. Even now, I would bet my life that the average American understands the scoring system of American Idol better than the purpose of DNA. More people could also name last year’s winner of American Idol than could name the winner of the Nobel Prize in Medicine (for example). Which is more important?

AlexLavidge's avatar

Well, to me, personally, I’m more excited by who wins Nobel prizes than American Idol. But that’s just me. Whether it’s more important is entirely relative. I don’t know how to answer that one. If everyone was the same and thought the same things were important, that’d be kind of scary. Not to mention boring. Absurdity can be fun. There are times I enjoy amusement and not taking life too seriously.

My point is that in Social Psychology there’s something called the proximity effect (at least I think this is the name of it) which states that the majority of people end up liking what they have prolonged exposure to. Advertisers definitely understand this otherwise they wouldn’t still be spending the billions of dollars that they do on their ads.

Usually people who escape and transcend the mindlessness of pop culture and mainstream media either have parents, families, or teachers who at an early age expose them to the possibilities for their potential growth and expose them to other media sources and outlets. Their exposure time to science, technology, and so forth outweighs their time spent on conventional television consumption, etc., so their interests are different.

If you’re really interested in this, you can dig deeper if you like and I’d be interested in hearing what you think. One of my favorite authors is John Taylor Gatto who wrote a book called The Underground History of American Education. Or if you want to get a quick, simplified overview of social stratification, check out this.

In a nutshell, if everyone was smart, being smart would be less valuable on the open market (which I think is crazy but given our antiquated models of supply and demand, many thought circles still believe this) so there’s definitely a viewpoint widespread among elitist communities that suggests those in power should do what they can to limit mental development. The less scientists we have in the world, the more scientists are in demand and they get paid more, etc.

I bring this up because I think media exposure is only a part of the issue here. If we ever wanted to see widespread changes, another part would need to look at developing new economic frameworks so that there doesn’t have to be a correlation between intentionally dumbing down the masses and material wealth creation. I’d like to think there’s also a spiritual component to all this too. Too many people base their very sense of self-worth and self-identity off of their intelligence, their net-worth, or whatever—if we could all just get over that, it’d be a lot easier to create a world that celebrate and encourage human potential and excellence. And even that doesn’t do it justice—it’s so inter-connected with everything else and I fear that already I’ve gone all over the place so I’ll end there. I hope you find this helpful! :)

anonyjelly16's avatar

short answer: because we’re human.

Supacase's avatar

Shallow but true: pretty dresses.

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