Behold The Office Music Democratizer
Maria Popova is a reader and a writer, and writes about what she reads on Brain Pickings (brainpickings.org), which is included in the Library of Congress archive of culturally valuable materials. She has also written for The New York Times, Wired UK, and The Atlantic, among others, and is an MIT Fellow. She is on Twitter @brainpicker.
Democracy is a great concept, but its micro-implementations in matters as petty and mundane as agreeing with coworkers on what music to stream at the office can be a messy matter that would leave any political theorist flummoxed. To address that particular problem, innovation think-tank Breakfast New York engineered a brilliantly simple solution: The Office Music Democratizer – essentially, an oversized, real-life version of the feedback button on Last.fm and Pandora, allowing listeners to indicate whether they like a song or would rather skip it.
Normally, feedback helps these platforms' smart algorithms "learn" a user's music taste and make better recommendations over time. This device raises the interesting question of whether a group of people can have a collective taste that can be identified and honed over time. Or, would the process eventually suffer from the "Diggification of democracy," where a few power users end up dominating the feedback in a way not representative of the larger group's cohesive opinion?
via Swiss Miss
Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine, Design Observer and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.
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