I wasn't planning to post this one here, but the reception today at flickr was so positive, I changed my mind. I do like the reflection, which is why I took the shot, but I like humans more than cars. For example, I much prefer this one posted earlier today. It has a shiny train, a human reflection and a human.
So far, flickr prefers the Bug by 10,000 views and 80 more favorites. Those numbers lie, however, because the Beetle was featured in flickr Explore, so it automatically got much more exposure. I hope they level the playing field on Saturday and feature the human.
The passenger waiting at the Fullerton station was featured in Explore yesterday and ended up roaming the top 3 positions on flickr throughout most of the day. Position is determined by algorithmic secret sauce with a dash of human moderation. It isn't in any sense an assessment of photo quality. It's a crude popularity measure that detects and eliminates those who make obvious efforts to game the system.
I've noticed that the crowd is biased toward shiny and colorful photos, which isn't so good because there's a lot of exquisitely understated work out there from people who really know what they're doing. Democracy is a great leveler but not a great friend of art or thought.
Some people sing the praises of American meritocracy, but we're as much if not more a poputocracy. Most people want to be seen, admired and loved, though some people crave popularity with the desperation of a starving person, while others need and seek it far less. In that regard, I think Maslow was far too simplistic in defining a universal hierarchy of needs. The hierarchy doesn't take into account, developmental differences, conflictedness and wide individual variation in enduring personality organization.
In that vein, popularity is seductive but conflictual for me, which is why I'm indulging it with qualifiers, sharing and enjoying while undermining it. I also like to talk about what's underneath the surface of a presentation. My thoughts are never far from that level of inquiry. It's a blessing and a curse.
Okay, so with all that in mind, here are the numbers for bug versus person. The person won in a landslide.