Choice Fatigue, Randomness And The iPod

Brian Eno has some interesting comments in August’s issue of Word Magazine:

‘The interesting thing about [the iPod Shuffle] is you can’t control the order. Suddenly some of the surprise of music reappears. It’s the first commercial product which uses randomness and this is a very interesting response to the oversupply of choice. We’ve had a whole generation of people saying, ‘You have more and more choice, anything you want.’ But there’s really been no attention to what happens when you have all that choice. How do you organise it? And what this little iPod says is, actually you don’t. You just let it surprise you.’

Psychologists talk about ‘choice fatigue’, something we Westerners hit at the supermarket. But we couldn’t shop via the shuffle method. Or could we?

About Dave Faulkner

I'm a British Methodist minister, married with two children. I blog from a moderate evangelical-missional-charismatic perspective, with an interest in the 'missional' approach. My interests include Web 2.0, digital photography, contemporary music and watching football (Tottenham Hotspur) and cricket.

Posted on July 18, 2005, in Culture and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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