“Somebody was trying to tell me that CDs
are better than vinyl because they don’t have any surface noise.
I said, ‘Listen, mate, life has surface noise.”
Algorithms curb the discovery process. Amazon tries to recommend you books. Pandora examines your listening behavior to recommend music. Art.sy tries to introduce you to new art based on your preferences.
Algorithmic predictions feel a bit like Google, crowdsourced information that displays results for what the masses are also looking for in the aggregate.
The information, art, and music DJs that really know their stuff ignore algorithms altogether. They have trusted sources and spend the time to find new and emerging sources to pluck gems from. These curators master the art of showing people what they know people will like and what they think people will like.
I believe everyone should research at least one category of art and dig into it as much as they can. That means scouring the Internet for niche blogs, listening to obscure podcasts, seeing what the DJs are recommending, and following influencers on forums and on Twitter.
Discovery is an active process, not a passive one. Turn off mainstream radio and find something new or rediscover something old. The real gems lie in the nooks and crannies. Predict what’s next, not what’s now.