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What does my taste in music say about me?

What does my taste in music say about me?

And conversely, what does your taste in music say about you?

According to this article at Barking Up The Wrong Tree it says quite a bit.  Practically the first sentence of the article asserts that you can predict whether someone is politically conservative or liberal by noting “markers of openess” in a person’s music collection.  For me, this is where the article goes…well…barking up the wrong tree.  Because the “markers of openess” allegedly denoting a politically liberal person exist in my library/music collection.  I am not liberal, politically anyway.  And it just goes further off the rails from there.  My advice?  Just listen to what you like and don’t worry so much about what it says about you.  Because whatever it “says about you” is likely to be a (probably wrong) conclusion jumped to by someone who doesn’t know you.

But there are still some questions related to what we listen to and why we listen to it.  For example: At what age do you form your taste in music?  Many an article has been written on this subject and they all say something different.  Some say at a certain age your brain “bonds” to the music you listen to.  Some say that you settle on music that coincides with a certain emotional climate occurring in your life at a certain time.  And so on and so on.  I understand that we want to know why.  We’re always asking WHY?  But does it matter?  I don’t think so.

And finally questions inspired by this post at Althouse: what is your “peak year” for favorite music and how old were you at that time?  Well, the answers to these questions may go some way to answering the previous questions because if you can determine your “peak year” you may have some empirical data to fill in the blanks to the previous questions and perhaps a pattern will emerge.  I did say perhaps.  I also said “if you can answer”.  I add the disclaimer because determining your “peak year” isn’t as easy as it sounds.  That may be a project for the coming week with the results posted next Music Friday.  We’ll see.

grandpa music

My guess is that my “peak year” falls into the mid 1960s somewhere, at least based on my recent Music Friday posts.  But I could do music posts all day everyday and still get stuck in any given genre for a good long while.  So what does my taste in music say about me?  I don’t really know.  And I don’t really care.

This is what started me thinking…

This is what started me thinking…

…about Empiricism.

francis bacon tragedy series

Francis Bacon (1561 – 1626), sometimes referred to as the Father of Empiricism.

Hat Tip: Tragedy Series

Are You Willing To Believe?

Are You Willing To Believe?

If someone told you that simply wearing a certain…umm…undergarment for 8 hours a day, 7 days a week for 28 days would shrink your hips and thighs reduce cellulite, would you believe it?  Some people would or those undergarments would not be for sale.  And they are for sale.

The Revolutionary I-Pants, enfused with micro-encapsulated “active ingredients”:  caffeine, retinol, ceramides. vitamin E, fatty acids and Aloe Vera are available at various outlets.  However, Norm Thompson Outfitters and Wacoal America have been enjoined from making weight loss claims by the FTC.  I haven’t read through the FTC complaint, but I’m sure their reasoning was something along the lines of the weight loss claims being “utter nonsense”.  Or perhaps they used another more colorful euphemism for male bovine digestive excretion.

The purpose of this post isn’t to bash stupid products sold with ridiculous and obviously false marketing claims.  It’s more about wondering why those ridiculous and obviously false marketing claims work.  I’m pretty sure everyone knows that wearing caffeinated underpants will not shrink your butt.  But some people are willing to believe it.  Why is that?  Is it simply a case of “desperate times call for desperate measures”?  I would wager that there are some I-Pant owners whose posterior girth would not warrant that degree of desperation.

What started my mind wandering down this road (besides coming across the article about I-Pants) were some thoughts I was having about Empiricism, which is a theory that knowledge can only come from sensory experience or evidence.  Something else altogether got me thinking about Empiricism.  But I digress.  Certain companies may (and do) use ridiculous and false marketing claims to sell bad products because they know it works.  They have evidence of it.  They have reason to believe it.  Consumers, on the other hand, have no reason to believe the marketing claims.  They’ve seen no evidence.  They have only a desire to believe the claims.  They have reason to suspend their disbelief – no – they have desire to suspend their disbelief.  Had they reason, their disbelief woud remain intact.

We’re willing to believe.  We want to believe.  So there it is (again) – desire.  Getting us into trouble.  Making us think that purchasing the Revolutionary I-Pant is a good idea.  Or taking us down some similar crooked path.  While cold reason quietly takes a back seat awaiting the empirical data and the opportunity to say (again) Told You So!

If we want something bad enough, we’re willing to believe almost anything.  Does believing it make it true?  I dunno.  I’m still waitin’ on the data…

School’s decision turns playground fun on it’s head

School’s decision turns playground fun on it’s head

I swiped the headline from within the story.  Couldn’t resist.  The story via Yahoo News is from Australia: School Bans Cartwheels.  Seems that the school principal initiated the rule because, you know, “someone could get hurt”.  Huh.  I  had such high hope for the Aussies.  In their defense, everyone except the principal at fault seems to think this is a bad idea, including her superiors at the Education Ministry or whatever they call it.

A few months ago I wrote about a study done in New Zealand where the elimination of such playground “rules” did not result in more injuries.  Not only that, but there was a decrease in bullying and the overall discipline at the school improved.   After that, I was hopeful that we might reverse the trend to childproof childhood.  Guess I was wrong.

my playground



Cross posted at Men Out of Work Blog

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