Taste Tribes: Smartmobbing your aesthetics

Mindjack's running a great article by Joshua Ellis about the way that technology is giving us the capacity to connect with like-minded people around the world.

There's a great line in the film High Fidelity where the main character, Rob (played by John Cusack) makes the observation that he doesn't like people because of who they are – he likes them because of what they like.

At first glance, this position sounds incredibly superficial. But on closer examination, it becomes more reasonable. After all, why do you talk to the stranger in the coffeehouse or in the bar? Unless you're a creepy freak who just bothers random strangers, it's probably because they're wearing a t-shirt sporting the logo of a band you like or reading a book by your favorite author. This spurious connection gives you a reason to talk to them.

And why not? Taste is based upon a certain set of assumptions about what is good or bad in the world. It's an arena of moral choices, to paraphrase rock critic Greil Marcus. Chances are that the guy down the bar in the Kraftwerk t-shirt and I will have more commonalities than we do differences – and not just in regards to music. We may not become best friends, but at least we'll probably have an interesting conversation.



(Thanks, Joshua!)