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November 23, 2011

Comments

Tom Addison

"All of which makes me fear that the X Factor might be contributing to what might be a serious problem, insofar as some young people do neglect their school work in favour of chasing dreams."

I'll have to check with my 13 and 14 year old sisters, but from what I can gather that does seem to be the case (not with them, but with some of their school chums).

Shows like Glee only exacerbate the effects of X-Factor as well, makes people think that the most important thing in life is being able to sing and dance.

Nick Rowe

Chris: "In simple expected utility terms, a 1% chance of getting £2m a year is equal to a 50% chance of getting £40,000."

You didn't mean to say that. You meant: "In simple expected *income* terms,...".

chris

@ Nick - yes, I did. Thanks. In expected utility terms, my point is stronger, as the utility of being a footballer is greater than that of most £40k jobs.

Earnest

@chris - Possibly I'm misunderstanding you, but I don't see how it strengthens your point. Say that a footballer has salary 50 while the other job has salary 1, and that being a footballer (ignoring the money) has utility 10 while the other job has utility 1. These combine to give scores of 60 and 2, making being a footballer only 30 times better.

Pinkie

My experience of having three sons playing football at a high standard at a local level is that they had no overestimation of their likelihood of making millions. Similarly my daughter in dance and drama. They all had regular feedback about the extent of their talents, eg through using them competitively.

Perhaps some of their team-mates etc were deluded about their chances, but I never saw it. What I have seen is, however, kids who do not take part in any structured use or development of their skills who believe that somehow they will 'make it'.

It is all rather sad.

Left Outside

"All of which makes me fear that the X Factor might be contributing to what might be a serious problem, insofar as some young people do neglect their school work in favour of chasing dreams."

Exactly how do you square this with your "small truths, big errors" fallacy?

There will be small effects with regard to the availability heuristic and role models but does the X-Factor-factor differ significantly from the long-long-long lived tendency of people to want to become rock stars?

Didn't (and don't!) you want to become a rock star? So do I, so do many people. I don't think X Factor is significantly increasing that already large pool.

chris

@ LO - this might be a generational thing, but neither I nor my friends wanted to be rock stars, but then the best band of my youth was Kraftwerk. I do now tho - if Seasick Steve can make it in his 60s, there's hope for me.

Tom Addison

Ah yes, but a lot of Seastick Steve's success is down to his unqiue, loveable image. Have you got something similar in the pipeline?

alastair harris

hmmm, have you ever watched the auditions? The idea that x-factor contestants have devoted any time to learning how to sing is not demonstrated by the evidence.

Thenewcomer

What is worse is that practically all these superstars and pop stars peddle some version of "if you believe in it, you can do it"- "follow your dreams" and so on. They all make it sounds as if you want anything hard enough and work for it hard enough you can do it. I think there must be hundreds of pop songs on this idea (right now i can only think of the one by Eminem- but I know there must be more)

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