Curbing cultural output

Curbing cultural output is an idea put forth by gwern in “Culture is not about Esthetics”. Essentially, there may be too many movies, music, fiction books, and so on that people cannot possibly consume all of these. Since people prefer the best of cultural output, and since it’s much easier to locate these within older works, newer cultural output may be “unnecessary”. In terms of a cause, this may be in line with Misallocation of talent, since it may be preferable if people spent less time producing more cultural output.

But can we really curb cultural output? It’s possible that as automation increases and people work far less in the future, they will instead focus on creating cultural output. It could become a very common thing in the future, people painting pictures or making their apps or whatever, just as a form of cultural output. We already see a lot of this “grassroots” cultural output, e.g. YouTubers, but it could really increase in the future. I don’t think curbing it is realistic.

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