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Netflix And Virtue Signalling

For discussion and debate about anything. (Not a roleplay related forum; out-of-character commentary only.)

Some statements...

Virtue signalling is a big problem
37
15%
Virtue signalling is a problem
31
13%
Virtue signalling is a small problem
25
10%
Virtue signalling is not a problem
41
17%
Save the whales
83
34%
Surveys are trustworthy
29
12%
 
Total votes : 246

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Xerographica
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Netflix And Virtue Signalling

Postby Xerographica » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:14 am

For the one or two of you that don't have Netflix, it recently replaced its 5 star rating system with a thumbs up/down rating system. Part of the reason is because there was some disparity between what people regularly watched and what they highly rated. In other words... virtue signalling.

We made ratings less important because the implicit signal of your behavior is more important - Todd Yellin, Netflix VP of Product

This laser-focused personalisation should help to dispel some of the knottier aspects of Netflix’s current rating system, like the annoying virtue-signalling quirk where users give higher ratings to important eat-your-vegetables documentaries than the dumb Adam Sandler movies they watch over and over again. - Stuart Heritage, Does Netflix changing its rating system matter? No, because people are still awful

However, over time, Netflix realized that explicit star ratings were less relevant than other signals. Users would rate documentaries with 5 stars, and silly movies with just 3 stars, but still watch silly movies more often than those high-rated documentaries. - Janko Roettgers, Netflix Replacing Star Ratings With Thumbs Ups and Thumbs Downs

Basically Netflix had the incredible epiphany that actions (what people watch) speak louder than words (what people highly rate). Netflix finally got the memo that talk is cheap.

Virtue signalling really isn't a new thing...

The people feeling, during the continuance of the war, the complete burden of it, would soon grow weary of it, and government, in order to humour them, would not be under the necessity of carrying it on longer than it was necessary to do so. The foresight of the heavy and unavoidable burdens of war would hinder the people from wantonly calling for it when there was no real or solid interest to fight for. - Adam Smith, Wealth of Nations

They will not indeed submit to more labours and privations than other people, for the relief of distressed fellow creatures: but they make amends by whining over them more. It is not difficult to trace this sort of affectation to its cause. It originates in the common practice of bestowing upon feelings that praise which actions alone can deserve. By properly regulating his actions, a man becomes a blessing to his species. His mere feelings are a matter of consummate indifference to them. And who will say that praise is well bestowed on that which by no possibility can be of any use whatever? Not to mention that nothing is so easily counterfeited as feeling, and that the most intense demonstrations of it are not inconsistent with the total absence of the reality; what can be more absurd than to praise a man because he has a feeling; to praise him because he has something which he can no more help having, than he can help having ten fingers, or two feet, and which, for any good which it does, he might as well not have at all. The effect is, to create fictitious virtues, and thus to hold out the means of atonement for the absence of real ones; to render it possible, nay easy, to obtain a reputation for virtue, without the trouble of deserving it. Whether this is likely to give any great encouragement to real virtue, is a question which we may fairly leave it to the reader to determine. - J.S. Mill, Periodical Literature: Edinburgh Review

As was noted in Chapter 3, expressions of malice and/or envy no less than expressions of altruism are cheaper in the voting booth than in the market. A German voter who in 1933 cast a ballot for Hitler was able to indulge his antisemitic sentiments at much less cost than she would have borne by organizing a pogrom. - Loren Lomasky, Geoffrey Brennan, Democracy and Decision

In technical terms... star ratings and thumbs up/down ratings are known as contingent valuation (CV) techniques...

Economists have attempted to assign economic values (based on the principle of substitutability at the margin) to noncommodity items by methods such as shadow pricing and contingent valuation surveys. These methods are plagued with problems of accuracy and legitimacy. - Paul M. Wood, Biodiversity and Democracy

In addition to CV surveys eliciting apparently inconsistent responses, some researchers question whether survey subjects are attempting to state their true demand for public goods. The worry is not that survey takers will strategically disguise their preferences (since little can be gained by giving false answers to questions about non-binding projects), but rather that they may be doing something else all together. For example, Diamond and Hausman (1994) suggest that respondents may be expressing an attitude that gives them a warm glow, even if they wouldn't be willing to support their response to a hypothetical question with actual money; or they may be describing what they think good citizens are supposed to say, rather than calculating how much benefit they would derive, all things considered, from allocating a specific amount to a particular good. - Jonny Anomaly, Public Goods and Government Action

If people's Netflix ratings are untrustworthy, then what does that say about democracy? How confident should we be that Trump accurately reflects the true will of the people?

Personally, I don't spend very much time on Netflix watching shows about economics. Instead, I spend far more time watching anime. Anybody else love One Punch Man? So according to my actions I love anime a lot more than I love economics. Actually no. The fact of the matter is that Netflix has a severe scarcity of shows about economics. It's not like I can spend a lot of time watching shows that don't exist! If only there was a system that would allow me to easily, quickly, effectively and accurately communicate my perception of some content's relative scarcity...
Last edited by Xerographica on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Gages Icelandic Army
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Postby Gages Icelandic Army » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:19 am

First of all, watch Boom Bust Boom. I'm a capitalist, but this documentary is very eye opening and HILARIOUS.

Second, Donald Trump obviously doesn't represent the views of the american people considering he represents the minority (if we exclude 3rd parties).

EDIT They should add a section where you can vote for what kind of show or documentary type you'd like to see more of. If they don't want someone to be able to list off a specific show, then they should at least let people vote for documentaries as something they need more of, and then specify what kind of documentary.
Last edited by Gages Icelandic Army on Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Xerographica
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Postby Xerographica » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:23 am

Gages Icelandic Army wrote:First of all, watch Boom Bust Boom. I'm a capitalist, but this documentary is very eye opening.

Second, Donald Trump obviously doesn't represent the views of the american people considering he represents the minority (if we exclude 3rd parties).

Boom Bust Boom was horrible terrible. The creators are entirely clueless about the point and purpose of markets.

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Xerographica
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Postby Xerographica » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:25 am

Gages Icelandic Army wrote:EDIT They should add a section where you can vote for what kind of show or documentary type you'd like to see more of. If they don't want someone to be able to list off a specific show, then they should at least let people vote for documentaries as something they need more of, and then specify what kind of documentary.

Or, Netflix subscribers could be given the option to spend their fees on their favorite content. In other words, Netflix could become a market.

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Galloism
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Postby Galloism » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:27 am

So would you say that it's a step forward to see what people DO rather than what they SAY as far as valuing? IE, if a person watches a movie 3 times, is it a better source of what they want than how they allocate stars to it?

Yes or no.
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Edding
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Postby Edding » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:28 am

If you're watching netflix for anything but Star Trek and Transformers Prime, you're doing it wrong.
:p

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Xerographica
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Postby Xerographica » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:29 am

Galloism wrote:So would you say that it's a step forward to see what people DO rather than what they SAY as far as valuing? IE, if a person watches a movie 3 times, is it a better source of what they want than how they allocate stars to it?

Yes or no.

Yes

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Gages Icelandic Army
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Postby Gages Icelandic Army » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:29 am

I won't derail this forum, but I love Boom Bust Boom! Especially they're insight into banks.
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Postby Petrolheadia » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:30 am

Edding wrote:If you're watching netflix for anything but Star Trek and Transformers Prime, you're doing it wrong.
:p

Don't get me wrong, but explosions are not the main feature of a show.
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Galloism
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Postby Galloism » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:31 am

Xerographica wrote:
Galloism wrote:So would you say that it's a step forward to see what people DO rather than what they SAY as far as valuing? IE, if a person watches a movie 3 times, is it a better source of what they want than how they allocate stars to it?

Yes or no.

Yes

So would it, or would it not, be a good way to determine how much people value roads by how much they drive on them, using say one of these:

Image

Instead of how much people say they value them with "dollar votes"?
Venicilian: wow. Jesus hung around with everyone. boys, girls, rich, poor(mostly), sick, healthy, etc. in fact, i bet he even went up to gay people and tried to heal them so they would be straight.
The Parkus Empire: Being serious on NSG is like wearing a suit to a nude beach.
New Kereptica: Since power is changed energy over time, an increase in power would mean, in this case, an increase in energy. As energy is equivalent to mass and the density of the government is static, the volume of the government must increase.


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Xerographica
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Postby Xerographica » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:36 am

Galloism wrote:
Xerographica wrote:Yes

So would it, or would it not, be a good way to determine how much people value roads by how much they drive on them, using say one of these:

Instead of how much people say they value them with "dollar votes"?

I think it's the difference between an "all you can eat" buffet and a la carte.

The answer to the whole highway problem lies in “pricing” the highway correctly. The existence of congestion on our streets and highways is solely due to the fact that we do not charge high enough “prices” for their use. This is one of the main functions of price in our free enterprise economy… [p]rice relieves potential congestion around our meat counters, our motels, and our models. Why do we shun its usage in the case of highway services? — James Buchanan, Painless Pavements: Highways by High Finance

If there is an increased demand for a privately-owned good, consumers pay more for the product, and investors invest more in its supply, thus “clearing the market” to everyone’s satisfaction. If there is an increased demand for a publicly-owned good (water, streets, subway, and so on), all we hear is annoyance at the consumer for wasting precious resources, coupled with annoyance at the taxpayer for balking at a higher tax load. Private enterprise makes it its business to court the consumer and to satisfy his most urgent demands; government agencies denounce the consumer as a troublesome user of their resources. Only a government, for example, would look fondly upon the prohibition of private cars as a “solution” for the problem of congested streets. Government’s numerous “free” services, moreover, create permanent excess demand over supply and therefore permanent “shortages” of the product. — Murray Rothbard, The Fallacy of the ‘Public Sector’

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Galloism
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Postby Galloism » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:37 am

Xerographica wrote:
Galloism wrote:So would it, or would it not, be a good way to determine how much people value roads by how much they drive on them, using say one of these:

Instead of how much people say they value them with "dollar votes"?

I think it's the difference between an "all you can eat" buffet and a la carte.

The answer to the whole highway problem lies in “pricing” the highway correctly. The existence of congestion on our streets and highways is solely due to the fact that we do not charge high enough “prices” for their use. This is one of the main functions of price in our free enterprise economy… [p]rice relieves potential congestion around our meat counters, our motels, and our models. Why do we shun its usage in the case of highway services? — James Buchanan, Painless Pavements: Highways by High Finance

If there is an increased demand for a privately-owned good, consumers pay more for the product, and investors invest more in its supply, thus “clearing the market” to everyone’s satisfaction. If there is an increased demand for a publicly-owned good (water, streets, subway, and so on), all we hear is annoyance at the consumer for wasting precious resources, coupled with annoyance at the taxpayer for balking at a higher tax load. Private enterprise makes it its business to court the consumer and to satisfy his most urgent demands; government agencies denounce the consumer as a troublesome user of their resources. Only a government, for example, would look fondly upon the prohibition of private cars as a “solution” for the problem of congested streets. Government’s numerous “free” services, moreover, create permanent excess demand over supply and therefore permanent “shortages” of the product. — Murray Rothbard, The Fallacy of the ‘Public Sector’

Netflix is an all you can eat buffet, yet you just praised them for using the model of using "what you do" as a prime motivating factor.

Try again. You just praised this model in the "all you can eat buffet".
Venicilian: wow. Jesus hung around with everyone. boys, girls, rich, poor(mostly), sick, healthy, etc. in fact, i bet he even went up to gay people and tried to heal them so they would be straight.
The Parkus Empire: Being serious on NSG is like wearing a suit to a nude beach.
New Kereptica: Since power is changed energy over time, an increase in power would mean, in this case, an increase in energy. As energy is equivalent to mass and the density of the government is static, the volume of the government must increase.


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Xerographica
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Postby Xerographica » Thu Apr 06, 2017 11:42 am

Galloism wrote:
Xerographica wrote:I think it's the difference between an "all you can eat" buffet and a la carte.


Netflix is an all you can eat buffet, yet you just praised them for using the model of using "what you do" as a prime motivating factor.

Try again. You just praised this model in the "all you can eat buffet".

I said that what people watch is more trustworthy than their ratings. But if subscribers were given the option to spend their fees on their favorite content, then how they spent their money would be far more trustworthy than what they watched. If people are bored enough, they'll sure watch some stupid shit. But generally people try to avoid spending their own money on shit that they think is stupid.

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Galloism
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Postby Galloism » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:06 pm

Xerographica wrote:
Galloism wrote:Netflix is an all you can eat buffet, yet you just praised them for using the model of using "what you do" as a prime motivating factor.

Try again. You just praised this model in the "all you can eat buffet".

I said that what people watch is more trustworthy than their ratings. But if subscribers were given the option to spend their fees on their favorite content, then how they spent their money would be far more trustworthy than what they watched. If people are bored enough, they'll sure watch some stupid shit. But generally people try to avoid spending their own money on shit that they think is stupid.

Based on your ideal system, money is just a rating anyway. They are functionally identical.

Try again. Are people using "dollar votes" more accurate or what people actually do?
Venicilian: wow. Jesus hung around with everyone. boys, girls, rich, poor(mostly), sick, healthy, etc. in fact, i bet he even went up to gay people and tried to heal them so they would be straight.
The Parkus Empire: Being serious on NSG is like wearing a suit to a nude beach.
New Kereptica: Since power is changed energy over time, an increase in power would mean, in this case, an increase in energy. As energy is equivalent to mass and the density of the government is static, the volume of the government must increase.


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Xerographica
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Postby Xerographica » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:21 pm

Galloism wrote:
Xerographica wrote:I said that what people watch is more trustworthy than their ratings. But if subscribers were given the option to spend their fees on their favorite content, then how they spent their money would be far more trustworthy than what they watched. If people are bored enough, they'll sure watch some stupid shit. But generally people try to avoid spending their own money on shit that they think is stupid.

Based on your ideal system, money is just a rating anyway. They are functionally identical.

Try again. Are people using "dollar votes" more accurate or what people actually do?

If I'm starving then, as far as food is concerned, beggars can't be choosers. I'll eat some grubs to stay alive. But if I'm going to spend my money on food, then obviously I'm going to want to spend my money on some food that closely matches my preferences (ie fish tacos).

grubs < fish tacos

Everybody wants to be as happy as a kid in a candy store. This is true whether we're talking about NationStates or Netflix. But in order for there to be a wide variety of things that closely match our preferences, we gotta use our money to communicate what our specific preferences are.

If I was starving then maybe I might be willing to eat candy corn. But even if I wasn't starving I'd be happy to spend my money on sesame seed candy. My willingness to pay for sesame seed candy informs producers that it closely matches my preferences.

If we think something is good, and we want more of it, then we gotta spend our money on it. This is just as true for forum threads and Netflix shows as it is for food. Because producers really aren't mind-readers. They can't "divine" how much we love something. They can only know what's in our hearts when we inform them by our willingness to pay.

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Galloism
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Postby Galloism » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:25 pm

Xerographica wrote:
Galloism wrote:Based on your ideal system, money is just a rating anyway. They are functionally identical.

Try again. Are people using "dollar votes" more accurate or what people actually do?

If I'm starving then, as far as food is concerned, beggars can't be choosers. I'll eat some grubs to stay alive. But if I'm going to spend my money on food, then obviously I'm going to want to spend my money on some food that closely matches my preferences (ie fish tacos).

grubs < fish tacos

Everybody wants to be as happy as a kid in a candy store. This is true whether we're talking about NationStates or Netflix. But in order for there to be a wide variety of things that closely match our preferences, we gotta use our money to communicate what our specific preferences are.

If I was starving then maybe I might be willing to eat candy corn. But even if I wasn't starving I'd be happy to spend my money on sesame seed candy. My willingness to pay for sesame seed candy informs producers that it closely matches my preferences.

If we think something is good, and we want more of it, then we gotta spend our money on it. This is just as true for forum threads and Netflix shows as it is for food. Because producers really aren't mind-readers. They can't "divine" how much we love something. They can only know what's in our hearts when we inform them by our willingness to pay.

You're not answering the question Xero. You're just pontificating the same stupid bullshit over and over again.

If you USE the roads repeatedly, frequently, for 14 hours a day, but refuse to allocate dollars to the roads, should we trust your "dollar votes", which are no better than words given you can't spend them on anything for yourself, or your ACTIONS?
Last edited by Galloism on Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Venicilian: wow. Jesus hung around with everyone. boys, girls, rich, poor(mostly), sick, healthy, etc. in fact, i bet he even went up to gay people and tried to heal them so they would be straight.
The Parkus Empire: Being serious on NSG is like wearing a suit to a nude beach.
New Kereptica: Since power is changed energy over time, an increase in power would mean, in this case, an increase in energy. As energy is equivalent to mass and the density of the government is static, the volume of the government must increase.


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Postby New haven america » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:30 pm

Petrolheadia wrote:
Edding wrote:If you're watching netflix for anything but Star Trek and Transformers Prime, you're doing it wrong.
:p

Don't get me wrong, but explosions are not the main feature of a show.

ST isn't about explosions though...
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Postby Nanatsu no Tsuki » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:33 pm

Is this subterfuge to tell us that we should pay to read his posts again?
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Postby Lorkhan » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:26 pm

Edding wrote:If you're watching netflix for anything but Star Trek and Transformers Prime, you're doing it wrong.
:p


This quote is partly false. Transformers Prime is a parody of what was once holy and true in this world.
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Postby Arkinesia » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:37 pm

Virtue signalling is not a problem, mainly because it's nothing more than a faux-intellectual buzzword devised by ignoramuses.

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Postby Liriena » Thu Apr 06, 2017 2:49 pm

Virtue signaling is not a problem, and in this context it is little more than a far right thought-terminating cliché that's entirely irrelevant to the changes applied by Netflix.

Netflix in my country already used the thumbs system over a year ago. The OP is peddling conspiracy theories.
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Postby Vassenor » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:03 pm

I do not understand the premise of this thread.
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The East Marches II
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Postby The East Marches II » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:16 pm

Liriena wrote:Virtue signaling is not a problem, and in this context it is little more than a far right thought-terminating cliché that's entirely irrelevant to the changes applied by Netflix.

Netflix in my country already used the thumbs system over a year ago. The OP is peddling conspiracy theories.


The way I read it, the virtue signalling is us giving a false positive to "acclaimed" documentaries while giving only 3 stars to stuff we'll watch over and over. He wasn't going on about an alt-right meaning of it. You should it in-depth. This is good stuff by Netflix and interesting OP.
Last edited by The East Marches II on Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Ethel mermania » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:23 pm

Galloism wrote:So would you say that it's a step forward to see what people DO rather than what they SAY as far as valuing? IE, if a person watches a movie 3 times, is it a better source of what they want than how they allocate stars to it?

Yes or no.


netflix does have that information, would it be a privacy violation to share it?
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Galloism
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Postby Galloism » Thu Apr 06, 2017 3:30 pm

Ethel mermania wrote:
Galloism wrote:So would you say that it's a step forward to see what people DO rather than what they SAY as far as valuing? IE, if a person watches a movie 3 times, is it a better source of what they want than how they allocate stars to it?

Yes or no.


netflix does have that information, would it be a privacy violation to share it?

Probably should be, yeah, other than in aggregate across all users.

That's a bit beyond the scope of this thread, though.
Venicilian: wow. Jesus hung around with everyone. boys, girls, rich, poor(mostly), sick, healthy, etc. in fact, i bet he even went up to gay people and tried to heal them so they would be straight.
The Parkus Empire: Being serious on NSG is like wearing a suit to a nude beach.
New Kereptica: Since power is changed energy over time, an increase in power would mean, in this case, an increase in energy. As energy is equivalent to mass and the density of the government is static, the volume of the government must increase.


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