Tag Archives: music

Inattentional Blindness and the Invisible Violinist

Anime violinist ao blue

If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s around to hear it, does it make a sound? It would be hard to prove if you weren’t there to notice it. But what if you were there… and you still didn’t notice it? This is something we experience every day. Even cavemen couldn’t possibly focus on all the stimuli around them at once – from the rustles in the bushes, to the winds blowing by, to the tribesmen hunting for food – so what chance do we have, in our world of constant advertisements vying for our attention? Our most natural coping mechanism is to (justifiably) unconsciously tune out most of the stimuli around us; but the case of the Invisible Violinist begs the question: What are we missing?

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Bollywood Zombies and The Westernization of Indian Pop Culture

Go Goa Gone poster

Go Goa Gone, the first Western-style zombie flick to be made in Bollywood, was just announced last week. The trailer was released a few weeks ago and seems to be quite popular, with already over 2.5 million hits on YouTube. This may not seem like a particularly significant thing, but it’s just another example of how Indian TV and movies are taking cues from their American counterparts, effectively transforming their pop culture. What effect might this have on Indian popular culture?

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The International Gangnam Style Phenomenon

Music videos aren’t usually, in my opinion, news worthy. But one video has gone so viral that it should probably now be described as a worldwide infection. It seems like everyone has caught the “PSY” bug, and this English-speaking Berklee-educated Korean pop star is now one of the most famous people in the world. The music video for his satirical song “Gangnam Style” has become the most watched video in the world, skyrocketing in popularity shortly after its release in the middle of July, and it’s now a global phenomenon.

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Can You Hear the Music? – MP3 Players Yield Hearing-Impaired Youth

They always said that listening to music too loudly would cause permanent damage. As it turns out, they were right. Researchers at Tel Aviv University (Israel) published a recent study that investigated the music-listening habits of young people (pictured above: a young person). A quarter of teens (aged 13-17) were said to be at risk of early hearing loss because of personal listening devices. “In 10 or 20 years, it will be too late for a generation of young people suffering from hearing problems much earlier than expected from natural aging,” says lead author Chava Muchnik, giving new urgency to the phrase “can you hear the music?”

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Skeptikai Notices (Aug22) – Psychology, technology, Japan & more

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Rock Star Skepticism

If you thought there was no skepticism in the Japanese rock scene, you would be wrong.

Most people reading this (i.e., English speakers) are probably unaware of just how much music Japan produces. Japan has a rich musical history and distinct cultural sound, not to mention the second biggest music market in the world, right after America. I find that some Japanese bands are able to tap into the sounds of their American counterparts, but not really vice-versa. Regardless, I’m not here to review music. I’m here to introduce you to the award-winning Japanese rock band “Radwimps.” Their music is not only fantastic, but their lyrics are always meaningful and fascinating. My favourite Radwimps song did what so relatively few have done in Japanese history (or mainstream music history in general): They dissed God.

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