668: Pandora

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
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What? Oh, no, the 'Enchanted' soundtrack was just playing because Pandora's algorithms are terrible. [silence] ... (quietly) That's how you knooooooow...
Title text: What? Oh, no, the 'Enchanted' soundtrack was just playing because Pandora's algorithms are terrible. [silence] ... (quietly) That's how you knooooooow...


Pandora is a website which automatically plays songs of a certain genre based upon the user's previous musical selections. Unlike normal radio, it adapts itself to each individual user's preferences, producing playlists that the user will find enjoyable. In other words, Pandora plays music you like.

One may not want friends to find out that one enjoys certain songs and/or certain kinds of songs ("embarrassing music"), for fear of looking childish, sentimental, etc. A recent example is the soundtrack to the film Frozen: although enjoying popularity and critical acclaim, it is considered by many to be embarrasing music, because they do not want others to know that they like a soundtrack to a Disney animated film.

One certainly does not want one's embarrasing music to be played on Pandora when others are around. The frequency of this depends on individual circumstances, but generally one's embarrasing music is a small fraction of all music one likes. However, due to biased memory, people remember cases where embarrasing music is played in others' presence far better than those where "acceptable music" is played. So it appears that when others are around Pandora only plays embarrasing music.

The title text presents an example of this, the music in question being the soundtrack to Enchanted, a fantasy romantic comedy film produced by Walt Disney Pictures.


[There is a venn diagram of two circles. The left circle is labeled "Music You Like." The right circle is labeled "Deeply Embarrassing Music." The segment on the left is labeled "What Pandora Plays," and the intersection is labeled "What Pandora Plays If Anyone Is Around."]

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There is also the semantics behind "embarrassing". Embarrassment requires an audience. Anonymous 17:46, 4 December 2013 (UTC)

I beg to differ.Pennpenn (talk) 03:33, 26 February 2014 (UTC)