In the early 2020s, the appeal of short (< 1 minute) videos became widespread, with TikTok, YouTube Shorts, Instagram Reels, and other services vying for market share. (Surprisingly, the earliest major entrant into this genre, Vine (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vine_(service)), completely failed and was shut down in 2017).
Unfortunately, the popularity of “bite-sized” videos has caused people [who?] to become concerned  that the attention spans of the nation’s citizens are getting shorter and shorter.
At the current rate, a person who was once able to easily listen attentively to an entire Feynman physics lecture will now barely be able to sit through half of a 30-second video montage of obese dogs rolling down stairs.
We do not propose to deny users the pleasure of watching dogs roll down stairs: instead, we will simply lock this “dessert” behind the “eat your vegetables” of a longer (and more plausibly educational) video.
The process is simple: after the user has watched enough “dumb” videos, their account is forbidden from watching any more videos until they have watched something long from the “educational” list (Figure 1).
The use of sophisticated and intrusive 1984-esque tracking software (or maybe a quiz?) will ensure that the user actually watches the video.
This is a great idea, or at least isn’t any worse than Quibi (which cost 2 billion dollars), Vine (which somehow failed despite being TikTok before TikTok was invented), or PlayStation Vue. The existence of these (and other) well-funded failures thus proves that this idea is, in fact, actually good.
PROS: Might increase the attention span of the citizenry, thus leading to important civic achievements.
CONS: It could be hard to convince people to use a video hosting service with this degree of behavioral micromanagement.
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