Saturday, June 21, 2008

Pavement ist Rad!

I often have my iPod in shuffle mode on my trainride to and from work, this is a part of what came up tonight:
Wicky Wacky-the Fatback Band-Sampled 2 (Disc 2)-20-6-2008 18:43
I Love Perth-Pavement-Wowee Zowee - Sordid Sentinels Edition (Disc 1)-20-6-2008 18:39
Heaven Is A Truck-Pavement\-Wowee Zowee - Sordid Sentinals Edition (Disc 2)-20-6-2008 18:38
Dark Ages-Pavement-Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins [Disc 2]-20-6-2008 18:34
Perfume-V-Pavement-Slanted & Enchanted: Luxe & Reduxe (Disc 1)-20-6-2008 18:31
Sitting Still-R.E.M.-And I Feel Fine: The Best Of The I.R.S. Years 1982-1987 [Disc 1]-20-6-2008 18:29
Uptight-The Darling Buds-Rough Trade Shops - Indiepop 1-20-6-2008 18:26
Splashing Along-Jesse Garon And The Desperadoes-Rough Trade Shops - Indiepop 1-20-6-2008 18:23
So There (As Read By Robert Creeley)-Mercury Rev-The Essential Mercury Rev: Stillness Breathes 1991-2006 (Disc 2)-20-6-2008 18:19

4 Pavement tracks in a row!

My iPod contains 6611 songs, 164 of them are by Pavement, there must be a statistician out there who can calculate the chance of this happening.....

Anyway. like I said: "Pavement ist Rad!", like these brilliant videos show:


Blimpy said...

pavement are lovely brilliant. see you down the front for their 2010 reunion gigs!!! love 'em to bits.

Abahachi said...

Warning: sad person posting... 2.5% of the songs on your iPod are by Pavement, which is actually pretty high, so the chances of, at some point, four Pavement songs coming up in a row aren't too bad, especially if (as you suggest) you play a lot of songs every day. The chances that on a particular day you'll get four Pavement songs in a row are much lower; even lower that they will be these four particular songs, even lower these four songs in that order, very low indeed that the next four songs to play will be these four.

The really interesting thing in this for me is the psychological aspect of how we humans estimate probability - answer, very badly. An event like this looks really improbable, until you look at it in the context of the number of songs you listen to over a year. It also tends to be interpreted as a sign that the shuffle facility is non random, whereas of course the whole point of a random distribution is that any song can come up at any time - indeed, if it were truly random (my guess is that it isn't precisely because of this next point) there's a perfectly reasonable chance of a song getting played twice in succession.

Compare the fact that, while the chances of someone else in a group of, say, 30 people having the same birthday as me is about 8% (if you assume that birthdays are randomly distributed across the whole year, which of course they aren't), the chances that, within a group of 30, two people will share the same birthday are actually pretty good.

Okay, I'll go away now...

Blimpy said...

I don't know anyone with the same birthday as me, but then again, i don't have hardly any friends.

ejaydee said...

I remember reading something about how from randomness, you can get the original order. For example, if you shuffle a deck of cards that is already shuffled, there is a chance that you could shuffle it back to how it came out of the pack.
I once knew somebody with the same birthday as me.

Shoegazer said...

Don't want to (crooked) rain on the parade but i-Tunes has 3 different settings for shuffle mode. If set to "more likely" you are more likely to get more songs in a row from the same artist.

If your i-pod is set to "random" it probably has psychic powers or is a huge Pavement fan.

Abahachi said...

Just to prove that I am sadder than sad, I'm still thinking about this. How many songs would you listen to in a typical week? I should then be able to calculate the probability...

TonNL said...

@shoegazer: didn't know about those shuffle settings, so that slider is right in the middle

@abahachi: thanks for the quite illuminating thooughts on statistics, some of it rings bells, as I did lot of maths a long tine ago at school & university....

And to complicate matters statistically: I press the shuffle button nearly each morning before the start of my trainride (unless I want to hear a complete [mostly new] album)