At the beginning of this episode, when Krukowski asserts that “the marginal-the rejected-the repressed-is whatever the powerful have decided is of no use at the moment.”, he meant that when people lost their attention on something or when they found it unfamiliar, it will be considered as the marginal. But if we always listen to the familiar one and never be open to the new experiments, we won’t be able to go forward from here. That’s why the marginal-the rejected-the repressed] might be a key to alternate approaches to art, to society, to power itself.
The music listening experiences enabled by Forced Exposure is closer to what we are looking for and what we would like. Because, before they present those experiences to us, they are listening to that music in person and evaluate it the way one of us would do. But in platforms like Spotify, algorithms are the ones that chose and recommend the music to us. So, those recommendations may not be as successful as the ones Forced Exposure’s, since the music is for souls not for machines.
The distinction Krukowski draws between being “surprised” by music and “discovering” is how much you feel familiar with what you listen to. Even though it’s the first time you listen to a song, it may feel like you listened to it before. But this is not the case when it comes to being surprised. Being surprised is listening to something that is not likely to anything you listened to before. Many people don’t like being surprised. So, when making recommendations, algorithms chose songs that familiar with what we listen to.
Noises are sounds that we are not there to hear, like the surface noise in a record. And, to Dr. Quinnell, signal is whatever sound we are trying to pay attention to.
The central idea of the episode’s message about the distinctions between signal and noise. Anything you pay attention to is a signal, and anything you don’t want to hear is a noise. The distinction between them is up to the person who hears them. For example, in the subway, the sound of a baby who is crying is a noise to the other passengers, whereas it is a signal to the baby’s parents.
In this episode, we saw a new thing that the digital world brought to us. From the beginning to the end, every episode we talked about this. Sometimes we miss the analog world but we can’t unsee the improvements that came with the digital.