Song With the Herd I Share This Lonely View
posted by July 10 at 13:13 PMon
Not that public opinion should ever sway your opinion. Or taste, or liking of a song. But –
I heard a Red Hot Chili Peppers song yesterday that I used to like. But now, the song doesn’t sound so good.
Listening through the filter of Lineout’s (and Megan’s) pointed and colossal dislike of the Peppers, I found faults with the song I had not noticed before. I found myself thinking:
“Dang, Anthony Kiedis really is off here. Is this song cheesy? Are RHCP as bad as everyone says they are? Are those really the words? Kiedis couldn’t have come up with any other way of saying, ‘With the birds I’ll share this lonely view?’”
Upon further and up close review, sure enough, the song sucks.
I offer a simple and scientific reasoning for my transformation -
The Asch Conformity Test.
In 1951 there were a series of studies that plainly demonstrated the power of conformity in groups.
Researcher, Solomon Asch, asked students to participate in a “vision test.” The students were brought into a room and asked to look at a series of lines. They didn’t know the other people taking the test were planted by Asch to purposefully give the wrong answer.
They were seated in a classroom and told to announce out loud their judgment on the length of several lines drawn on a series of displays. They were asked which line was longer than the other and which were the same length. The planted students had been prearranged to all give an incorrect answer to the tests.
So nine people would look at a two lines where one was clearly shorter than the other, but they would say the shorter line was longer. Then, it would get to the person who wasn’t in on the joke, and many times, they would conform. They would say the shorter line was longer:
While most subjects answered correctly, many showed extreme discomfort, and a high proportion (32%) conformed to the erroneous majority view of the others in the room, even when the majority said that two lines different in length by several inches were the same length.
Control subjects with no exposure to a majority view had no trouble giving the correct answer.
Here are new words for the Chili Peppers song:
"Test results that I wish you saw
Sarcastic mister know it all
Everyone on Lineout says you suck and I'll kiss you 'cause
With the majority I'll share
With the herd I'll share
This lonely view
With the herd I'll share
This lonely view"