I know, I know beyond a doubt, that there’s no occult power synchronising the iTunes shuffle playlists at my home and office computers, but it still startles me when I hear the same cut randomly from both devices in a short interval. Latest examples are the live version of “I WIll Follow” from the b-side of the Irish release of U2’s “Gloria” single (don’t know how I ended up with that, and I intended to pass along to Josiah the box with 45s in it, so he may have it now) and “Jackie Wilson Said (I’m In Heaven When You Smile)” by Van Morrison.
Paradoxically, I also have to resist the intuitive sense that one playlist digs up tracks that the other one “doesn’t play.” Now there’s some rationale to that — the two playlists have slightly different weighting schemes — but mostly it’s just my inner pattern-maker ascribing intentional agency to the para-random outworking of a machine’s computations.

One thought on “iPareidolia

  1. Gah! Now also Conor Oberst & Gillian Welch’s “Lua” from the “Dark Was The Night” compilation. (In the “synchronised playlists” category.)

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