i-Pod Shuffle

When the i-Pod first came out,
it’s shuffle feature
generated a song order
that was completely random,
which means
the next song played
was chosen
without regards of the song
played prior or after,
and you could easily have
a song order with no repeats
or the same song
played ‘more frequently’
or at least,
seemingly so.

It’s about Chance,
the other side of the coin
Fate sits on.

We’ve rubbed our thumbs over
Fate’s side,
looking for ‘luck’
to leave imprints on our skin,
ignoring the rules
that Chance wrote
to play the game.

Everything happens for a reason
is the religion of the masses,
it’s Fate colouring the rose tint
of our narrow visions.

‘Repeats are not random,
Sequences are not random,
Patterns are not random’,
Fate says,
flipping through
the Big Book of Random Numbers
(i.e.the rules).

But Chance hasn’t explained all the rules yet:
that there is a loophole, where coincidences lie.

Like wild cards,
they can be a rare find:
in the deck,
they sit alone.

In play however,
we draw too many wild cards,
are given a hand with too many coincidences,
too ‘un-random’ to be randomness.

‘Someone didn’t shuffle enough’,
Fate exclaims
and Apple changed their algorithm
to be less random,
to seem more random.

And Chance’s favourite song
never made its way back around.

Note: This poem was inspired by the Documentary ‘The Joy of Chance’ hosted by Professor David Spiegelhalter of University of Cambridge.

Creative Commons License
i-Pod Shuffle by Cheyenne Alexandria Phillips is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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