Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

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Re: Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

Post by blinddrew »

I'd agree with that. The essence of the scientific method is hypothesis > test/experiment > prove/disprove > repeat. That appears to be what they're doing.
Whether that's of any actual use in this scenario is another question. ;)
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Re: Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

Post by Gone To Lunch »

Tomás Mulcahy wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:51 am
Gone To Lunch wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:37 am But it is pseudo-science because it is assuming a model of mind that flies in the face of a large and growing body of contemporary scientific literature; that is to say it is theoretically inept.

It's not assuming any model of mind, it's only asking a question "Miles is hopeful that their work will one day help shed light on how tonality is established in the human brain" i.e. they don't know how it works, and are not assuming anything. In order to learn, you have to ask questions and they will often be "wrong" because you don't know the answer yet. It will "shed light" eventually. That is (by Karl Sagan's beautiful poetic definition) science. It is not "theoretically inept", it is exactly how theories work.


blinddrew wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 4:36 pm I'd agree with that. The essence of the scientific method is hypothesis > test/experiment > prove/disprove > repeat. That appears to be what they're doing.
Whether that's of any actual use in this scenario is another question. ;)


By model of mind, I mean assumptions about what the brain and music are, and how they might work. It is obvious that they have blithely followed pop psychology at the expense of serious scientific research.

Whilst it is indeed true that hypothesis testing is part of the scientific method, it has to be done in from within the context of relevant appropriate theory if it is to meaningfully contribute to the knowledge base, which wasn't the approach taken in this research.

The claims that "This study gets to the heart of what is a dynamic effect within popular culture in a very concrete and measurable way. These findings [also] help further our understanding of how music is processed in the brain" are exactly and specifically the RECO model of mind, that I am counter-claiming is not scientifically appropriate.

This RECO model of mind is the assumption that the minds work like thoughts as software on nerve cells as hardware. RECO = representation & computation; the presumed idea intended to explain how ‘music is processed in the brain’.

However the brain is not an information processor in this sense, even though this metaphor has indeed achieved widespread acceptance.

I do concede however that the RECO model is well established away from academia, hence the phrase ‘pop psychology’.

Sagan is an astronomer and journalist, at least according to Wikipedia, and not a relevant contributor to current work in neurobiology as far as I can read.

I don’t doubt Scott Miles is a neuroscientist, or that he studies music in the brain; my point is that his assumed RECO model of mind approach is fast losing acceptance as other branches of science advance with better explanations.
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Re: Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

Post by BWC »

Gone To Lunch wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:12 pm Whilst it is indeed true that hypothesis testing is part of the scientific method, it has to be done in from within the context of relevant appropriate theory if it is to meaningfully contribute to the knowledge base, which wasn't the approach taken in this research.


In searching for new knowledge / understanding, phrases like, "it has to be" usually don't sit well with me. There are examples to the contrary of what you're insisting here, they may be rare, but they can also be some of the most meaningful.
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Re: Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

Post by Tomás Mulcahy »

I think your link to RECO in the article is tenuous. I think you are taking things out of context, and furthermore making assumptions. For example, it was not at all apparent that it was RECO you were referring to in your first post criticising the article.
Gone To Lunch wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:12 pm Sagan is an astronomer and journalist, at least according to Wikipedia, and not a relevant contributor to current work in neurobiology as far as I can read.

Please, stick to the context. I quoted him in relation to science, not the subcategory neuroscience. After all, we were discussing/ defining science at that point.
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Re: Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

Post by merlyn »

Gone To Lunch wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:12 pm " ... These findings [also] help further our understanding of how music is processed in the brain" are exactly and specifically the RECO model of mind, that I am counter-claiming is not scientifically appropriate.

I searched 'RECO' and didn't get any relevant results. If you think representation and computation is not a good model, what is the model you're suggesting is more scientifically appropriate?
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Re: Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

Post by Gone To Lunch »

Tomás Mulcahy wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 12:24 pm I think your link to RECO in the article is tenuous. I think you are taking things out of context, and furthermore making assumptions. For example, it was not at all apparent that it was RECO you were referring to in your first post criticising the article.
Gone To Lunch wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:12 pm Sagan is an astronomer and journalist, at least according to Wikipedia, and not a relevant contributor to current work in neurobiology as far as I can read.

Please, stick to the context. I quoted him in relation to science, not the subcategory neuroscience. After all, we were discussing/ defining science at that point.


merlyn wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 1:07 pm
Gone To Lunch wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 11:12 pm " ... These findings [also] help further our understanding of how music is processed in the brain" are exactly and specifically the RECO model of mind, that I am counter-claiming is not scientifically appropriate.

I searched 'RECO' and didn't get any relevant results. If you think representation and computation is not a good model, what is the model you're suggesting is more scientifically appropriate?


No one will find RECO anywhere because it is an acronym I just created all by myself for the purpose of this thread, in the attempt to summarise a vast area of scientific discourse. You might have more luck if you search ‘4E cognition’ and ‘representational theories of consciousness.’

In my view, the brave new world of 4E cognition is the future of this kind of science.

I do not agree that the question of theoretical assumptions is tenuous - I think it is actually THE fundamental issue, which is why I agreed with the OP that the research cited is frankly dubious.

Readers new to this area might be interested in these books:

‘Mind in Life’ by Evan Thompson;
‘Radical Embodied Cognitive Science’ by Anthony Chemero.
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Re: Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

Post by merlyn »

Relating this back to the original article ...

Where has the model warped the experimental method or interpretation of the data?

No offence, but is it not you who are being unscientific by insisting on a specific a priori model?
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Re: Interesting read: algorithm for writing a better pop song

Post by Oneal »

Very interesting read and even more interesting example.

I always try to add surprising elements during each part of a song. I studied Will.I.Am of The Black Eyed Peas a lot when I was kid and he always did a good job of this.

My suprising elements usually fall along the lines of a weird adlib, a sexual line that catches the listener off guard, or maybe even background vocals from a different performer. I definitely don't like predictable music.
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