The first thing I did after getting my computer back from the Apple Store (which gets my two emphatic thumbs up for EXCELLENT customer service, by the way) was download all of the songs that I’d been aching to download in the past week. Buying random songs on iTunes is my crack, except it’s cheaper and less destructive. Here’s what I typically download: random songs that I hear on TV shows and in commercials that I love; songs that my friends recommend to me; songs that iTunes recommends to me; and any of the top ten songs on iTunes that I think I might like. If it wasn’t for Top Songs on my iTunes Store homepage, I wouldn’t have even known that Beyonce had a new song.
Taylor Swift is always in the Top Songs list. Now, I like country music (I know, calm down), so I’ve known about this fetus for a while, but bitch is getting FAMOUS. I mean she has had like 300 hit singles and she’s only 11:
Now even though I faithfully download most of her songs, I’m starting to get a little irked by the oh-so-subtle monotony of the themes. Let’s take a look at the titles to some of her hit songs. There are the I’ve-had-my-heart-broken-more-times-than-Dawson-Leery songs: “Teardrops On My Guitar,” “Should’ve Said No,” and “You’re Not Sorry.” Then there’s the I’m-capable-of-intense-loving-relationships-even-though-I’m-a-preteen section with songs like “Fearless,” “Love Story,” “Tim McGraw,” “Our Song,” and “I’m Only Me When I’m With You.” And I’m probably forgetting some from each category.
That’s an old-souled 11-year-old. (Okay she’s actually 18). The girl is talented, and ignoring the fact that she has had more meaningful relationships in two years than I will probably ever have, I think she needs to branch out with her themes a little bit. Maybe write about calculus. Or the prom. Or the agony of having braces in your senior picture. Maybe — just maybe — I’ll refuse to by her next love/heartbreak song out of protest. Until then, I will be rocking out to her latest single, “You’re Not Sorry,” and weeping silently because I’m a TAYLOR SWIFT FAN.
In my slight defense, I totally bought a lot of old Paul Simon songs tonight. That’s slightly less embarrassing, no?
My psychology professor just sent my class an interesting article about perception from good ol’ David Brooks over at the NY Times. We’ve talked a lot in my class about the way you essentially see what you want to see. You pay more attention to facts that fit with what you already know; you attribute your own successes to hard work and others’ successes to dumb luck; etc.
In this article, “The Behavioral Revolution,” Brooks links this idea to The Second Great Depression. It’s a thought-provoking article, and worth reading at least these excerpts:
[Nassim Nicholas Taleb] believes that our brains evolved to suit a world much simpler than the one we now face. His writing is idiosyncratic, but he does touch on many of the perceptual biases that distort our thinking: our tendency to see data that confirm our prejudices more vividly than data that contradict them; our tendency to overvalue recent events when anticipating future possibilities; our tendency to spin concurring facts into a single causal narrative; our tendency to applaud our own supposed skill in circumstances when we’ve actually benefited from dumb luck.
He goes on:
If you start thinking about our faulty perceptions, the first thing you realize is that markets are not perfectly efficient, people are not always good guardians of their own self-interest and there might be limited circumstances when government could usefully slant the decision-making architecture (see “Nudge” by Thaler and Cass Sunstein for proposals). But the second thing you realize is that government officials are probably going to be even worse perceivers of reality than private business types. Their information feedback mechanism is more limited, and, being deeply politicized, they’re even more likely to filter inconvenient facts.
This meltdown is not just a financial event, but also a cultural one. It’s a big, whopping reminder that the human mind is continually trying to perceive things that aren’t true, and not perceiving them takes enormous effort.
I have a confession to make: I sort of love Blair and Chuck together. I often hate them on their own, but when they get together and tell each other to just “say those three little words,” those two evil Upper East Siders sort of melt my heart. I know. I’m embarrassed too.
Also, what the hell are you doing Little J? Whoring around with that model and the sketchball photographer? How do you go from innocent 15-year-old to black-eyeliner-wearing whore sexpot with bangs in ONE WEEK? Oh, that’s right. This is Gossip Girl. Plotlines can be inconsistent and absurd, and I’ll still watch. At least Nate’s still beautiful:
And now, because they’ve added a little poll feature to my blogging toolbox, let’s try a poll: