"Repetition is the mother of all learning"

repeat400Here are some new hard facts. A scientific study has shown that for every hour of music-listening in a typical person's lifetime, 54 minutes are spent listening to songs they've already heard. There are several factors at play here. Nostalgia is one factor, for sure. Introspection is another in the sense of reflecting on yourself trough the music you used to listen to when you were young. The latter is a risk venture. A simple test: how do you - after all these years - feel when Ozzy Osbourne screams "You Bastards!" in the song Sabbath Bloody Sabbath? Does it (still) send a chill down your spine and do you (still) feel a little rebellious? I passed the test with flying colours. I'm evidently not dead, yet. Still, the 54 minutes leave me no peace. It's 90 percent. Are we humans really so limited and unimaginative? But after thinking back and forth, 90 percent may be acceptable. Personally, I believe that I'm closer to 100 than 90. It's an age thing. When you're young you listen, learn and absore. However, you aim and fire with a shotgun and not with a fine-caliber rifle and telescopic sight. At that age you haven't developed your ability to evaluate and select. Some of the music you used to listen to will live up to your standards today, while other music will definitely end in a facepalm. There's also the law of diminishing marginal utility. Wading through a quagmire with loads of music will make you quality conscious, but disillusioned. You will not get exited and expectant when someone says: believe me, this band is the new "The Smiths" (oh, no they're just another example of bleak britpop copies). With age, conservatism tends to take a firm grip of you, an early form of rigor mortis. You can try to convince yourself that you're open-minded and like to try new things, but that's probably not completely true. The management consultant says: step out of your comfort zone. Hmm, I kind of like it here. Besides, my comfort zone is probably, if not certainly, much larger than most people in my age. At least when it comes to music. And 90 percent of a record collection of 3 000 cds is more than 90 percent of a record collection of 50 cds. Some acquaintances ask me "do you still listen to music" as if music listening is an transition illness. I read the following summary in another science study: "As a person ages, perception declines, accompanied by augmented brain activity. Learning and training may ameliorate age-related degradation of perception, but age-related brain changes cannot be undone. Rather, brain activity is enhanced even further, but for other reasons and with different outcomes." I read between the lines. Work with what you got until you're dead and gone. I will keep on pushing the repeat button. Repetition is the mother of all learning.

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