Out of Pages - About a month ago, Laurel Hechanova and I decided to start a little side project together. The problem we're attempting to solve...

THE Lowly Peon

the shuffle god 
05 November 2008, 1:05pm

the presence of god has always fascinated me. no, not the presence of some super natural being that somehow created you and me and love and hate and music and numbers. the presence of the idea among people. usually people in the west (and within america, usually more the south).

the are lots of people, i feel, that don't believe in god, but when prompted with the question, do you believe in god, they dance around and respond with something like, i'm still searching, or i'm agnostic, or i'm spiritual, or something of the sort. i have nothing against that. i considered myself to be agnostic for a long time (mainly, though, because i feared saying "no" and being darn* to a hell i wasn't sure existed).

i suppose what i'm saying amazes me is this. there are two sides to every spectrum. dark is the absence of light, but not light to dark. cold is the absence of heat, but not the other way. the way some high school teachers give you 100% and dock points for your mistakes.

so why do people always start with the assumption there is a god and [maybe] work backwards?

i feel the reasons for this are the same reasons that most people want to believe in a "god" in the first place: there are questions they want answers to, or at least the knowledge that someone (priest?) has those answers, and because they want to believe that there's "more" to life than just the complex beauty of our world and all of the elegant rules and reason behind it (which may or may not be among the aforementioned questions).so i started thinking. i have lots of those questions. i want to believe that there's some sort of karmic balance in the world (i do, actually, but i'm not sure why or how. that's one thing i can't rationalize). i want those good days to have meaning, and those bad days to be some kind of payment for the good ones.

so again, i started thinking. lots of cultures have gods that relate to their worlds. farmers pray for rain, hunters pray for game, egyptians pray for floods, christians pray for repentance. in fact, a lot of these cultures (or "cults", as one of my favorite professors said) have dances to worship their gods. the way some african villages have rain dances, or some religious cults have dancy services.

i have dances of my own. and after some careful analysis, i realized that they too, are ceremonial worship dances. and maybe there is a god, because, i swear, sometimes, just sometimes, they work.

proof by example: the shuffle god.

how many times have you been listening to your music on shuffle when it just played everything you wanted to hear, and by the time it played something not so good, it was time to go?

just tonight, i put some tunes on shuffle, knowing that my luck may not be so good, and i'd have to listen to those 3 or 4 tracks i just don't want to hear. but, dear god! it was time to go before they came on!

back in high school, i had a five disc CD changer, and i always put it on before i went to bed. i prayed that i'd only hear the mellow songs, so as to sooth me, and then i could hit power and fall asleep. and boy oh boy. if i prayed hard enough, the shuffle god repaid me in kind.

i'll even do a stare down with my apple-tv or my iPod right before the end of a song, silently asking it to be nice. and if i was a naughty boy that day, or thought bad thoughts about my apple-tv... he knows. he always knows.

so, my friends. you'd better watch out. you better not cry. you better not pout, and i'm telling you why. god is watching you. he can hear your thoughts. he can receive your karma on an 802.11n WiFi channel. and if you want to hear what you want to hear, you'd better pray to:

the shuffle god.

  • views:
  • 761
  • comments:
  • 7



[05 November 2008]

I had a professor in college that proved the existence of God with the following argument.

1. Every effect must have a cause. 2. You can trace these causes and effects back throughout history. 3. This would go on forever. 4. Things can't go on forever. 5. There is a God that was the first cause.

This makes no sense. 4 and 5 contradict 1, the very first statement!


THE Lowly Peon

[06 November 2008]

true, but benji. can you explain why my apple tv sometimes gives me the greatest playlist, and other times a horrible one? can you explain that?!

if you can, please tell me. if not, i've just proved the existence of my shuffle god. booyah!



[06 November 2008]

Actually, Benji, I think it was Thomas Aquinas who made that argument, among others. (Among others who made that argument, and also among his other arguments for the existence of God.)

As an additional note, repentance is an action that someone does on their own (or, depending on your beliefs, perhaps mediated through, say, a priest). One prays for forgiveness, not repentance.



[07 November 2008]

I think this phenomenon, the shuffle god, conspiracy theories, whatever, can all be explained pretty simply. The fact is, millions of things happen to us all day. And when one of those things happens to be a 'coincidence' or an inexplicable phenomena, people use some sort of supranatural thing to explain it. I too sometimes think that my ipod shuffle 'knows' me. But then I remember, I listen to my itunes/ipod on shuffle several times a day, everyday, 7 days a week. So if that song comes up that I really wanted, great. But think of the hundreds of other times it DIDN'T. All those times, my mind doesn't consciously acknowledge them, it only acknowledges the 'wierd coincidences'.

Think of all the times toast or wood panelings come out with no significant design on them. Billions of times. And then when one out of those billions slightly resembles a woman with a glowing head in a hood, it must be the Virgin Mary! Dig? I suppose I kind of rambled on...


THE Lowly Peon

[07 November 2008]

yes of course. but i will continue to worship my shuffle god. because my life is so much better when (s)he's good to me



[08 November 2008]

Poppy, you are definitely right, it was originally Thomas Aquinas.

Also, let me say, that just because I think the proof of God listed above is just the silliest thing ever, does not mean I think God is the silliest thing ever. I just don't think you can prove his existence. You have to believe.

I hear the same thing for the Shuffle God, so Will, you better shape up.



[08 November 2008]

Nothing to add except that I thoroughly enjoyed these exchanges. And I agree with you, Benji..It's a belief thing. And quite a phenomenon that so many are guided by that belief. Guess I wanted to add something after all.