This speaks to the whole issue of instrinsic v. subjective value. It speaks to context, and expectation. Just because this particular musician didn`t get much money, that doesn`t actually relate in any way as to if he`s got any talent. Talent and money don`t associate.
Really interesting article, though, and one that demonstrates the necessity of a perception of value. Long ago, as a pro entertainer, I was fascinated with comedians. Are they particularly funny, or does the audience "expect" to laugh when they`re introduced to a professional comedian?
So too, when someone walks into an office as a professional copywriter, there`s a preliminary expectation that the words they use, phrased in some way, will in some way be "better" than what would happen from an amateur or non-professional writer. That expectation produces a simple bias, changing the perception of the reader.
On another thread, we had a discussion as to whether one might make qualitative assessments of copywriting. Could we quantify the results applied to a Web site. I think we can, but not by directly assigning a value to each sentence. Instead, it`s an empiric test. One site has the original content, the other site has the professionally written content. Which site has (and holds) the most visitors.
I remember a great moment in a phone conversation with my father. At the time (1993), the Shoo family left their two young girls home alone while the parents went to Mexico. It was a subject of major outrage in the papers, and people got into a debate about child care and possible harm to the girls. They were just at the age where the logic was that the eldest was competent to care for her sister.
My father, without a moment`s hesitation, when I asked how anyone could determine the situation, had this to say. "Well, first you send the parents to Mexico for a week and see what happens. Then to keep them home for another week and see if the girls do any better. If they were worse off while the parents were in Mexico, then penalize the parents."
I laughed and have always remembered it. The humor was in the insanity so many people have these days of believing that no situation is ever irrevocable.
First put up a Web site that drives customers away. Then put up a Web site that`s attractive. Whichever one works the best, pay the money for that site. Fine. But if you drive away all your customers, you`ll go out of business. So how do you "un-go out of business" in order to empirically test some theory? :-)