Modern Music

Modern Music Be Making Us Dumb-Dumb

Forgive this preamble, but I believe it’s important to know.

In all forms of entertainment, there are tricks we can use to persuade an audience into thinking they are enjoying it. It’s more of a commentary on the limits of our species than anything conspiratorial. In literature, many popular titles follow the exact same format, known as the Hero’s Journey. Movies like Indiana Jones or Star Wars famously used this formula in their construction. Another formulaic approach to writing, particularly screenplays, would be the 1-3-5 story structure. This even goes so far as to tell you which part of the tale you should be on, based on the percentage of progress through the story-line.

When done poorly, the film is still somewhat entertaining, but when done properly, anyone oblivious to these structures won’t realize they’re seeing the same story told over and over. One article written here discusses a basic formula for constructing jokes. Personally, I believe horror works in a very similar way to humor, but that’s a subject for another time. Like humor, horror is also predictably formulaic: see The Uncanny Valley for one such example. If we write in a certain structure, like common meter, the writing becomes more palatable. Essays, be they persuasive or informative, also have a particular structure. This goes for food, style of clothing, or even speech; our preferences fall into patterns. If something is unfamiliar, we are predisposed not to like it, which likely had an evolutionary advantage. So stick with what’s predictable.

Today’s subject goes beyond these heuristics.

Almost all popular songs you hear in clubs and on the radio are made by the same four people, written at a 3rd grade reading level, typically using the same four chords, using the same rhyming pattern, computer algorithms and how well songs compress determine what will be a hit and what won’t. This is what you listen to and what you get excited for. It’s all the same damn song! Tell me this isn’t one of the craziest things you’ve ever seen.

Pop songs are at a grade 3 reading level, and this has dropped from grade 5 since the 00s

Dazed Digital, BBC

A ten-year analysis on the degradation of popular music:


Popular music all sounds the same:


Computers determine what will be a hit. It can be as simple as file compression. If it compresses too much, the song is too simple; if it doesn’t compress well, the song is too complex. If it compresses within a certain range, the song will be a hit:


Computer algorithms determine if a song will be a hit:

Independent, LA Times

Most popular music is made by the same FOUR people.

The Atlantic

Axis of Awesome’s “Four Chord Song” Will show you how most modern music uses the exact same four chords.

Axis of Awesome: Four Chord Song

Modern music also tends to use the same rhyming scheme and use iambic pentameter, so you can sing the lyrics of one song to the tune of another. The following link will demonstrate this:

Stairway to Gilligan’s Island

That’s about all for today.


Feminists assure us that we live in a rape culture. Do we?

Feminists tell us to teach men not to rape, but what is a major predictor of a boy developing into a rapist?
Being sexually abused by women.
So, I guess the feminists’ campaign “don’t teach women not to get raped, teach men not to rape” should be replaced by “don’t teach boys not to rape women, teach women not to rape boys.”
Rape 1
85% of male rapists, motivated by displaced anger, grew up in fatherless homes
How’s that “Toxic Masculinity” theory working out?
Rape 2
>70% of false allegations (in general, not just rape) are made by women, ~90% of false accusers are white. Whether male or female – false accusations are overwhelmingly motivated by attention/sympathy (~50%), not profit (~10%).
2-10% of rape accusations are false. We hear all the time how rare it is for a false rape accusation – that women should simply be believed – yet the rate is greater than crimes falsely alleged in general – so unless we want to do away with due process entirely, we cannot simply “believe the victim”. Our entire judiciary is constructed on the assumption of innocence, that is, believing the accused/doubting the victim. This is not how most of history operated. These people argue to turn back to the Dark Ages, and even earlier. The real issue is non-reporting and not investigating.
The FBI puts the number of false rape allegations at 8%. These are allegations that were reported and investigated, only to be discovered they are false accusations.
According to RAINN (Rape Abuse Incest National Network), only 6% of those accused are convicted. If both stats are to be believed, this means that men are more likely to be falsely accused of rape than convicted.
A disparate number of falsely accused are black – to some, other races really do look similar, within their group (black people look alike to non-blacks, as is for whites, asians, etc – some refer to this as implicit bias, though I contend it is the novelty effect).

“Judging from exonerations, a black prisoner serving time for sexual assault is three-and-a-half times more likely to be innocent than a white sexual assault convict. The major cause for this huge racial disparity appears to be the high danger of mistaken eyewitness identification by white victims in violent crimes with black assailants.”

This means ~72% of those falsely accused are black.
Women are raped by men at nearly the same rate that men are raped by women.

If the CDC figures are to be taken at face value, then we must also conclude that, far from being a product of patriarchal violence against women, ” rape culture ” is a two-way street, with plenty of female perpetrators and male victims.

How could that be? After all, very few men in the CDC study were classified as victims of rape: 1.7% in their lifetime, and too few for a reliable estimate in the past year. But these numbers refer only to men who have been forced into anal sex or made to perform oral sex on another male. Nearly 7% of men, however, reported that at some point in their lives, they were “made to penetrate” another person — usually in reference to vaginal intercourse, receiving oral sex, or performing oral sex on a woman. This was not classified as rape, but as “other sexual violence.” And now the real surprise: when asked about experiences in the last 12 months, men reported being “made to penetrate” — either by physical force or due to intoxication — at virtually the same rates as women reported rape (both 1.1% in 2010, and 1.7% and 1.6% respectively in 2011).

USA Today

Even The Daily Beast found the 1 in 4 and 1 in 5 statistics to be poppycock:
The study clashes with data gathered by the Justice Department between 1995 and 2013, which found that college-age women who aren’t students are more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women who are students. The number of victims was significantly lower than those in other recent surveys: 7.6 of 1,000 non-students compared to 6.1 of 1,000 students.
Even Forbes recognizes the 1 in 5 statistic to be what we’d expect in War-Zones.
These are the sort of numbers we would expect to see in war zones…
This sort of language does not promote a mindset conducive to a fair process for accused students or taking the time to look for best practices to prevent and respond to sexual assault. This hurts everybody. We have seen these sort of panics about sexual menaces before and we should learn the lesson that the outcome is often shameful. Panic about black men raping white women led to lynchings. More recently, panic over “sexual predators” has led colleges to endorse overly broad definitions of sex crimes and an over-eagerness to punish perceived transgressors. Overly broad measures often harm the very people they are intended to help. Those who doubt this should read a shocking piece by The New Yorker’s Sarah Stillman about children who end up on sexual predator watch lists.