A History Of Plaudits

Megan Garber looks back at “how we liked things before we Liked things”:

Before telephones allowed for Gallop-style surveys, before SMS allowed for real-time voting, before the Web allowed for “buy” buttons and cookies, Roman leaders were gathering data about people by listening to their applause. And they were, being humans and politicians at the same time, comparing their results to other people’s polls — to the applause inspired by their fellow performers. After an actor received more favorable plaudits than he did, the emperor Caligula (while clutching, it’s nice to imagine, his sword) remarked, “I wish that the Roman people had one neck.”

(Image by Tom B from the blog Thumbs and Ammo, which replaces guns with some positive reinforcement)