To follow up from the streaming music post: something I have been thinking about is the consequences of a machine learning algorithm on musical taste.
There are these ideas out there that you go through musical stages in life. I am not really convinced by the methods used in that study. And I don’t think it asks the right question. What causes musical preference?
I am out of my depth on this one, so I have more questions than answers.
Here is a theory that I couldn’t find in searching, but I know I heard from somewhere (a podcast, a ted talk…not sure). The theory is: Music tastes are path dependent. Meaning that they do not converge the way that the “stages” model describes…or at least, I think their approach imposed too many preconceptions about what music is–their definitions are something along the lines of: “Intense” (punk/metal) for teenagers.
OK…if they say so.
I would go more micro than that. When do (if) you accept synthesized music over instrumental? I think that dimension was excluded entirely. What types of accents do you like in singers?
There is also a finding out there that music becomes likeable simply via repetition. So songs that you hear over and over eventually become good.
So we now have a thing that analyses some dimensions of .mp3 meta-data. It looks at the data of what we have listened to, and it suggests similar songs–similar is defined in the black box. The algos essentially try to establish links in your preferences (as if listening to a song is a signal of preference at all) to other music. You can train this algo with ‘likes’, etc…
BUT! What if you get caught in some sort of infinite loop? Like the algo defines your sweet spot so well that you have no need to browse elsewhere, to expose yourself to other types of music.
AND! What about when you are in the mood for a different type of music…the algo has almost no data on mood (YET!(1984 man! NSA! Snowden! Like…this aggression will not stand man.))
I have heard other theories about the way music evolved to ‘fit’ the environment it is played in. So chamber music had pianos and Cellos and shit, stadium rock was all about being louder, so big amps and electric guitars, and now most music is mastered for iTunes, and Kanye somehow is the best.
So what if there is value in being a traveller across music genres (btw wtf is a genre?), across mediums, and across soundscapes (different instruments producing different frequencies, at different intervals).
If your music tastes are evolutionary, what does this tool–that evolves to collect and suggest music that mimics your past tastes–do to you?
I mean, you will be listening to ‘new’ music. But it’s the same old shit, right?
Where is that WTF!? factor that makes art good? And good here is the idea that there is value in being exposed to shit you have not been exposed to, because it makes you think more broadly, and your broader tastes will help you solve riddles or some shit.
Also neuroplasticity fights alzheimers…Like…so Algos cause Alzheimers. Bro Science, bro.
Also. I don’t. know. where… to begin. But. Cheap shot!!! Protect your balls! Metal is a bunch of loud sounds, and some people think its real manly, but like what makes loud and angry manly? Nothing. Grow up.
How do magnets work?
Happy listening bro-dude-girl-baby-lady-boy 😉