In today's interconnected society, it doesn't take long for an entertaining or thought-provoking video, an unbelievable news story or a noteworthy image to go viral. In some cases, within hours of publication hundreds of thousands of people across the globe have already viewed one of these elements.
Take, for instance, a new "Gangnam Style"-themed spoof video put out by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Korean Students Association. In it, there is at least one shocking appearance by a well-known and divisive sociopolitical figure. Boston.com explains the video, in detail:
The MIT Korean Students Association decided to film their own take on Psy's "Gangnam Style" video with a Cambridge spin. The video's page features the lengthy list of appearances made by MIT faculty and staff including Dean of Admissions Stu Schmill, school mascot Tim the Beaver, Phi Beta Epsilon, and professors Noam Chomsky and Donald Sadoway.
Yes, you read that correctly -- famed progressive Noam Chomsky, one of the left's most prominent “philosophers” and “cognitive scientists” (a man who has, in the past, defended a convicted terrorist), appears in the clip. And in just four, short days, the video has attracted more than 1.5 million views.
Chomsky has taught at the university since 1955.
Watch his appearance in the video, below (you'll see him around 3:18):
On a lighter note, viral videos comprise a social phenomenon that only seems to be growing. Now, a new show on Syfy called "Viral Video Showdown" will pit video makers against one another in a competition to see who can create the most viral clip.
Winners will, quite obviously, have the joy of being stellar viral video-makers. Additionally, they will take home a $5,000 prize for their creations (pending they win, of course). Syfy's official description of the show, which is being produced by the team that brought America "Jersey Shore," reads:
Each week two new teams get four days and a shoe-string budget to create a video that best captures that week's theme. These talented guys and gals will have to dig deep into their bag of viral tricks and put their editing, writing and acting skills to the ultimate test. The pressure is on as they work hard to impress an expert panel of viral video judges that include Adam Sessler, Editor-In-Chief of Games Content for the G4 Network, Brittani Taylor who has recieved over 160 million video views for her creations and Sandeep Parikh, creator and director of Comedy Central's online smash hit The Legend of Neil.
Considering the elements at play, the process through which viral videos are selected is an intriguing one. Sessler told Wired that the judges get into some "feisty discussions," as they all have deep experience in video production and "very distinct viewpoints." He also explained that the reality show offers something more profound to viewers.
At the end of each episode, those watching get to see completed viral clips that will entertain them. Sessler maintains that, many times, viewers don't get to enjoy the final product of whatever is being created in a show. Take, for instance, a cooking program. While it's fun to see the final meal or dessert, there isn't really an emotional connection -- an element that will be experienced in this new program.
You can find out more about the show here.