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Anton Ferreira

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

My iPod is trying to kill me

The Euro 2008 tournament will go down in history as the first major football event to be decided by iPods. It was all so clear as the teams disembarked from their buses to enter the stadium for the final, tell-tale white leads dangling from their ears – the Germans looking grim and teutonic as Wagner pounded their brains, the Spaniards focused and centred as they drew inspiration from Nina Pastori, Lole y Manuel, etc. So Flamenco is superior to north European opera. We knew that.

But what’s going on with the shuffle function on the iPod? Why does my iPod go directly from “Everything is Wrong” by Lucinda Williams to Leonard Cohen singing about the rain falling down on last year’s man and then straight into Johnny Cash reporting that he hurt himself today just to see if he could feel.

Okay, it’s my own fault for putting those songs into iTunes. But I was brought up on records, cassette tapes, CDs. I had control. You played Johnny Cash, but then you put on Janis Joplin to lighten the mood a little. Spice it up with Talking Heads. The iPod doesn’t do that. It searches out all the most dire, depressing tracks and plays them one after another.

It wants me to kill myself.

It’s Hal from 2001 A Space Odyssey all over again.

The scary thing is, Apple is bringing out an iPot to finish off any survivors. It will decide what you eat.

 

Recent comments:

  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    August 28th, 2008 @09:45 #
     
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    Hello Anton - I feel you. I have also started to read omens from my digital-music player's "random" choices. It's a progression from playing haruspex with the computer-solitaire draws.

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  • <a href="http://kathrynwhite.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Kathryn</a>
    Kathryn
    August 28th, 2008 @11:03 #
     
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    i haven't charged my iPod for about a year , i think i miss it but then i think where will i wear it/ use it?

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    August 28th, 2008 @13:14 #
     
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    I've heard rumours that there are mood sensors in the earphones. Apparently, you can jam the sensors by wrapping several layers of tin foil around the earphones and standing in ankle-deep water.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    August 28th, 2008 @13:18 #
     
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    For the normal working person, I think ipods are most useful for people in hostage situations, bureaucratic queues, or people who are sleepless between 2 and 5 am and don't want to wake the rest of the inhabitants.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    August 28th, 2008 @13:21 #
     
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    What a badly ocnstructed comment I just made. Formegive. I crave the return of the "edit comment" function!

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  • <a href="http://sveneick.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sven</a>
    Sven
    August 28th, 2008 @14:10 #
     
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    Louis, you need to click on the 'View Comments as forum thread' link on the bottom of the page. This shows you the comments in a format where you can edit them. However, try to avoid getting into the habit of clicking this link instead of submit, as you may, like me, end up wasting a fair amount of your time sitting in front of your screen looking at the thread and wondering where your comment has gone.

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  • <a href="http://louisgreenberg.com" rel="nofollow">Louis Greenberg</a>
    Louis Greenberg
    August 28th, 2008 @14:16 #
     
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    Gad, Sven! Thanks! I will (just only) stop myself from editing all my comments from the last week, but now I feel free! (And I'll try to learn from your experience.)

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  • <a href="http://antonferreira.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Anton</a>
    Anton
    August 28th, 2008 @21:30 #
     
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    I'm totally going to try that, Richard. We also have to assume that the sinister force that is manipulating the iPod is also tracking our every key stroke on the keyboard, monitoring what we read, what we buy, etc. etc. The question has to be asked: Is Google REALLY a force for good???

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    August 29th, 2008 @00:27 #
     
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    I'm one step ahead of them, Anton, whether they be good or evil, because my keyboard is wrapped in tinfoil, too. But I advise you to also wikkel several layers of cling wrap around it to prevent tinny tapping.

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  • <a href="http://antonferreira.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Anton</a>
    Anton
    August 29th, 2008 @12:23 #
     
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    It's a little known fact that the iPod was named after the Zulu word for seed pod, ePod. The connection to trees, muti, sangomas and witchcraft is transparently obvious.

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  • <a href="http://sveneick.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sven</a>
    Sven
    August 29th, 2008 @12:27 #
     
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    I have heard the same thing said about etv.

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  • <a href="http://richarddenooy.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Richard de Nooy</a>
    Richard de Nooy
    August 29th, 2008 @12:32 #
     
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    It's an acronym! Insidious Propagator of Doom!

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  • <a href="http://sveneick.book.co.za" rel="nofollow">Sven</a>
    Sven
    August 29th, 2008 @12:46 #
     
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    Or perhaps deafness.

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