Friday, March 03, 2006

MP3 players, and Possession

A question I have asked myself today is whether or not an MP3 player can become possessed; or at least, express some kind of will? The reason I ask is that today, mine has exhibited some strange behaviours...or has it?

Now, I realise that when you ask a computer to do anything in a random manner, such as to play songs in a random order, it is not really random, but just jumbled up sufficiently to confuse the likes of me and you, but today I have been subject to a remarkably high density of Bad Brains songs, which, with the hangover from yestereven, has not been quite as welcome as it might have been. Indeed, it began to wear a bit thin, to be honest. Along with this is a tendency to ignore the other ZZ Top songs available to it and only concentrate on 'Eliminator' as a source. So, in my relatively paranoid, washed-out state of mind, I get to thinking that the player is expressing its preference for specific records.

Alternatively, if you want to be totally rational about it, I could just note that in the short run it is perfectly probable that there will be such series of outcomes from a random generator, and that just because they don't appear random doesn't mean that they are not random. But that would be boring, and the idea of a possessed or expressive machine is vaguely amusing, at least while it expresses a preference for Bad Brains. If it started playing Phil Collins tracks I'd be shitting myself - not least because I don't own any Phil Collins records, and have no desire to.

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