Radio speaks to how we see ourselves. Fresh music after a long drought often provokes me. (Please see (2) below for suggestions of how.)
Culturally, I like to wonder what this menu (arranged by bestsellers) says about how the world's broadband addicts see ourselves. It's fun to check different times of day -- at least to see the Asian streams spike at night.
Musical taste has always been the clearest candidate for collaborative filtering -- software making personal recommendations based on what 'similar' choosy users rate highly. Many online services (cl)aim to do popular music collaborative filtering, and it explains my short love affair long ago with Launchcast.
A few years ago, I registered heightenedsenses.com with the intention of collaboratively filtering inner lives (!). I imagined us recording the inner richness of great experiences for each other to emulate. For instance: You're in a new city & you go to a big shopping center. You catalogue all the strange things you see from your perspective, and you remember all the sharp questions you asked yourself about its new culture/economy, you notice what you like best, and then you share it all with your online community. When one of your readers likes you a lot, you get recommended more often to readers with similarly freaky taste.
Was heightenedsenses.com a crazy idea? Basically. ;) Though something very much like it -- minus my philosophical slant toward enriching our ordinary perceptions -- called ThemeStream -- successfully hemorrhaged $$ for much of 2000-1. They promised to pay the world's writers several pennies per page view, and thus inspired a ton of content. Most of it is still cached out there, nicely.
I think we each alternate through periods of busy inner dialogue & wordless silence. I'm often so hyperverbal that it's hard for some to imagine otherwise: "It must take a lot of energy being Andrew..." Lately, I've been uncharacteristically quietminded. In fact, I'm writing & posting this right now as part of an effort to engage some of my rusty verbal machinery...
Tonight, then, is maybe just me clearing my virtual throat. *laugh* As a free bonus for any faithfully hardcore readers, though, I offer my unrefined notes on two new conceptual topics:
1) What has been the actual cultural *purpose* of Objectivism in the last 50 years? Purpose as measured by the important things it's truly accomplished/enabled. Mostly: telling people that it's okay -- muchmoreso, virtuous -- to be certain ways. the self-justification of the privately passionate INTJ...the silently architecting selfish science-fiction-hero-in-his-own-mind...
2) Main continuum of kinds of sharing between persons, arranged by typical degree of evoked spiritual relevance:
literary & film tastes (& plays & more, naturally) -- usually stories weaving large-as-life themes
wit & humor -- scenes weaving important perspectives
musical tastes -- music is usually open to more interpretation (less certain) than the above, but is otherwise similar
'identities' (self-perceived roles: personal mission statements, work, personality types...) -- closer to now&actual and farther from always&ideal than the above
'cultures' (perceptions of social-world-as-it-matters) -- more contingent & less wide-sweeping still
today's events, immediate environ -- the most concrete, practical, transitory subjects of communication (& therefore the least personal; communication about the immediate is so often important that we habitually use it with almost anyone!)