Miss Bee’s Bolivar Buzz (8-18-2020)

By Shannon Williams
Sometimes it is hard to live in a community where the majority of the people are either retired or on vacation. You see, I am still one of those in the work force full time. I am very fortunate that I do not go to an office. In normal times, I am in my home office about 50% of the time and then it is “on the road again”, with Southwest and Marriott as my travel companions. As you might have guessed, that has not been the case for the past five months. So I am in my office day after day. My job is considered essential, so I have been working during COVID, in fact I have been working longer days since March. I am a MOM (Manager of Managers) and oversee affordable housing for seniors and persons with disabilities. So COVID has changed how we do business in so many ways, thus I am in the office longer hours and I know Southwest is missing me. But never fear, I have a companion in my office!!

Several years ago, my son introduced me to Spotify, a music-streaming program. It is my lifeline each day and gets me through days with lots of decisions that have to be made and keeps my stress level “within normal limits“ LOL. One of the best features and also the one that kind of scares me, is the Discover Weekly list. They say it is made for me and it totally is. They use an algorithm to put together a list for me each Monday. OMG…it is scary that a computer knows me so well!! It comes up with songs from my past that I have not thought of for years. You should’ve seen me dancing when The Partridge Family, “I think I love you“ came on. HOW did they know?

An Algorithm is defined as “a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer.“ What I call it is mind reading !! I have used algorithms before, in the mental health world where I worked for 23 years. In the 80’s they came out with all these algorithms about how to treat the various diseases, such as bi-polar and schizophrenia. I did not like them as I felt it took away the doctors decision-making process. However, this algorithm is just unreal. Now, I know it looks at what music I listen to and puts it together from there, but I have a wide range of music tastes. I listen to Broadway music a lot and then there is the old folk music, with some lesser known people, like Ry Cooder and Shake Russell. But I love country music and sometimes it takes Toby Keith to get me through a budget!! I also listen to some old hymns on days that I need that lift. I guess the whole point is that my music is all over the place and for someone to put a playlist together week after week that hits it, is just magic to me. Does someone have a database that shows the first record I ever bought was “Ferry across the Mersey” or to know my labor song was “More than words”? It gets a person wondering just what is known about us all, just from the music we like or where we go on a computer. Don’t ever look up something on Google, for in no time your ads on Facebook will be about that product. So I guess it is just part of what our world is like these days, and while l love someone picking music for me that matches my taste, I am not so sure I like them knowing so much about me. So remember to listen to some music this week and enjoy the adventure of where it takes you.


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