Discussion Questions 7

Episode 5

  1. At the beginning of this episode, Krukowski asserts, “the marginal-the rejected-the repressed-is whatever the powerful have decided is of no use at the moment.” What does he mean by this statement? He goes on to ask, “But might it [the marginal-the rejected-the repressed] not be a key to alternate approaches to art, to society-to power itself?” (“Marginalized” is an adjective that describes a person, group, or concept that is treated as insignificant or peripheral.)


What is he trying to get at with this question? How does music indicate the differences between the powerful and the marginalized?


Music creates power on the Internet. The strong in music usually go to the top, and they can express themselves through sound. Marginalized people are often ignored, and they are not needed in the current mainstream culture.


2.  How are the music listening experiences enabled by Forced Exposure different from those that Paul Lamere is working on with platforms like Spotify?


The experience of forced exposure is one you can’t choose. You have to listen to all the music before you know what’s worth watching, and you build up an insatiable appetite for answers. Paul Lamere’s experience on platforms like Spotify is this magical music player whose system automatically recommends songs to help you find the right ones.


3.  What distinctions does Krukowski draw between being “surprised” by music and “discovering” music? What are the differences between these experiences and according to Krukowski, why are they important?


When Krukowski used Spotify, he was surprised to find that the system’s predictions of Krukowski’s taste in music were so accurate and disconcerting. According to Krukowski, we need to click away from any AD tracker before it has a chance to catch our attention because the control and predictability of advertising in the program replace the freedom and chaos of the entire Internet so keep our attention.


Episode 6

  1. According to Krukowski, what is noise? What is the signal? Why are these distinctions important?

The signal is whatever sound you pay attention to and focus on. Noise is the sound that you do not pay attention to. But all sounds can be noise until we decide what a signal is.


2.  What central idea about noise does this episode convey? Why is it significant?


The central idea about noise in this episode is that noise around us can be a meaningful signal, and it is depending on whether you’re interested in the noise. Noise is also an important aspect of the development of our digital communications.


3.  How does this episode relate to other episodes? 


In this episode, Krukowski emphasized the difference between signal and noise. but throughout the series, we discuss sound and music. The author wants to express that this is the most essential change experienced in the transition from analog communication to digital communication.

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