Saturday, April 23

I am not Jack's f*cking playlist

Whereas the old proverb states "you are what you eat," experts are now claiming that
what's on your playlist (or the contents of your digital library reflects listener's personality.

But as more parts of our lives are seized by technology, Ate Vi's (or was it Melanie Marquez's) pronouncement--"show me who your friends are, and I'll show you who my friends are" has to be reworked for the digital age. You are now defined by what's on your playlist. For those non-digitally inclined, "Playlists are groups of songs a person can tailor to his or her own tastes or moods for playback on an MP3 player or computer. Those tunes are picked from the larger library of music that a person can store on a portable player or computer." Psychology consultant Jason Rentfrow, who co-authored a 2003 University of Texas study of more than 3,500 people that showed musical taste can provide a road map to a person's personality, even claims that playlists and digital music libraries can be a way of evaluating potential mates or political candidates. "We do find that people are able to make fairly accurate assessments solely on the basis of a person's top 10 songs."

While I still don't own an iPod or an mp3 player, my computer's hard disk is now largely occupied by music files. If playlists now function as a pseudo-personality decoder, what does it mean then, if my library contains a Viva Lola Madonna playlist, some Simpsons (via Lisa, not Jessica) music and two versions of "Oops, I Did it Again"--one by Britney Spears and the faux 1932 Louis Armstrong original? Feh. You've got to listen to it to understand.

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