from Lady Gaga to eternity: how to navigate an expanding cultural universeBy
We have a crisis on our hands. There is so much culture, and so much new culture, that navigating culture is extremely difficult.
Some months ago, Entertainment Weekly came up with a great idea. They created a kind of equivalency table that says, if you like X, you may well like Y.
Here's an example.
We could go further. How about maps of culture that lead us from the center we like to the many peripheries we might like?
Here's a visual generated by a Mac app called Daisy Disk designed to read your hard drive. I use it here to map not a drive but a culture.
Imagine this as a map of cultural possibilities. The center that nows reads 220.3 GB would be Lady Gaga. And the extenuating circles and colors could take us away from Lady Gaga to music that has LGish properties. Each color would take you in a different musical direction. Here periphery would take you further from the Lady Gaga original. And each discrete space would represent a distinct act, band, album, artist by relative popularity.
Culture becomes navigable! Now we can use what we know to know more.