How the Digital Effect means goodbye shock of the new

Harpsichordist Scott Ross (1959-81) - seen above - was fascinated by the teachings of the 18th century French philosopher and art critic Denis Diderot. What is known as the Diderot Effect was derived by Canadian anthropologist Grant McCraken (b. 1951) from Denis Diderot's teachings. It describes how consumers purchase goods compatible with their self-identity, and how new possessions confirming that self-identity trigger spiralling consumption of similar goods. 

Although usually applied to consumer goods, the Diderot Effect also applies to digital content; with algorithmically-profiled content triggering spiralling consumption of similar content. Which means the Digital Effect compresses culture and the arts into a narrow experience defined by our self-professed comfort zones, and it is goodbye the shock of the new

As Denis Diderot told us, "What a fine comedy this world would be if one did not have to play a part in it".  But the good news is that algorithmically-derived experiences can be transcended by becoming acquainted with Scott Ross' Bach, and, above all, by his daring survey of the complete Scarlatti harpsichord sonatas


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