Two Years Ago: Taste is a Cloud

Another post from two years ago:

Even though we humans are 99.5% identical, that 0.5% makes all the difference in the world and no two people are alike, even if they are siblings. I wrote that none of the software predicting what I might like works for me… This morning I built a bridge between those two statements. The predicting software is assuming that taste is linear, but it is not. Taste is a cloud, just like the genetic mix that makes each person so different. It is personal and cultural and rooted in time… What I mean is that my reason for liking a particular sound or melody is predicated by a very complex and completely different set of parameters than exists for the next person.

Therefore I might love A but not at all like B, while the next person loves both or neither… In fact the painters or authors I like, which poems by Naruda I love, whether I prefer coffee or tea (actually I love both) might be more of a key to which music I like than asking me about musical genres!

Taste is a cloud, not a list. Taste is incredibly complex. It’s like that interview question, the one a journalist might ask when they haven’t listened to your music and don’t have a clue what you are about: what influences you? Hm, how about everything, every ray of light, every particle refracting and reflecting those rays of light, every sound and every surface reflecting that sound, every person I have touched and who have touched me, every story I read, every word I heard, every scent… all that has created my taste, my inspiration, my particular take on things, which is as complex as my personal DNA and which is fluidly changing constantly!

Is The Web Really Helping Us Find New Music?

Digital Web Magazine – Is The Web Really Helping Us Find New Music?
So what did we do before the Internet transformed how we find and buy music? What can these services add to offer us an even better experience?

The human factor—that’s what. Remember the guy who ran the local independent record store? The album he nagged you to listen to that you knew you’d hate, only for it to eventually blow your socks off? What about the music journalists whose opinions we value, even if we don’t always agree. We should always want an expert view to point us in a direction we never thought of going, to broaden our horizons in ways we never considered. What happened to oddball choices, eclectic taste, and taking a chance? Since when did we only want to listen to derivative playlists of the same old music, recommended and validated by people like us with the same old set of CDs?