Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The axis of cool 2.0.

After much thought, I have decided that it was wrong of me to skew the center of the axis of cool based on my own personal bias. For one thing, it makes the graph too subjective to really be useful. For another, I am not an arbiter of coolness, merely an astute observer. Just because I have certain preferences should not automatically discredit individuals or groups with different coolness standards. Also, by shifting the center of the axis of cool into quadrant I, I inadvertently created a fundamental flaw in the axis of cool. Most people would like to consider themselves more chill/subdued and unique/interesting than they really are. And when considering other people, places, or things for which we feel affection, we are likely to be overly generous in estimating just how chill/subdued and unique/interesting they are.

I think that this new, centered axis of coolness is more objective, more inclusive, and just generally more useful.

I have also added two new features to the axis of cool.

The pink square in the lower right corner of the green coolness region indicates innovation in coolness. This corner is not cooler than the darkest green area in the center of the graph, but it is the place in which the vast majority of trends are born.

The diagonal purple line is the maturity line. It reflects the tendency of people, places, things, or anything with a measurable level of coolness, to gradually move from the lower left corner to the upper right corner of the graph as they mature. This diagonal drift up and to the right can also explain shifts in one's own perspective on coolness. It is not uncommon to recognize that someone or something that seemed cool when you were young was, in hindsight, far more trendy/conformist or intense/obnoxious than you realized at the time.


Jessica said...

Hahah I really like these updates. I think the arrow is really astute and i love this idea of innovation being on the fringe of freakishness.

And it is interesting that certain places on the graph are more inappropriate at different ages. Like being chill/subdued and unique at 14 would make you isolated and being really intense/obnoxious and trendy at 65 is just crazy.

Jonny said...

Caitlin Podiak > Solomon Asch

Andy Hodge said...

Your axis seems to be lacking in a few areas. You really can't talk about cool without mentioning Tom Waits, David Lynch or Henry "The Fonz" Winkler.