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Why Big Data Is Bad for Pop Music and More #Mustreads

Taylor Swift might be right after all, just not how she imagined it.

RyanJLane via iStock

It’s only Tuesday.

And Re/code is awake, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, with some fresh content for you to peruse:

  1. All your music is digital now — thanks to iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Shazam. Which means all your music listening generates a lot of data. Now the music industry is analyzing that data, so they can make music they think you want to hear. The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson doesn’t like this. Meanwhile, indie rock god Steve Albini, who famously complained about the state of music of in 1993, thinks things are really good now.
  2. This War of Mine is a new, terrifying game in which you control a group of survivors taking shelter in a house that’s in a country in the throes of an endless civil war. Wired’s Matt Peckham gave it two thumbs-up, in a positive review that discusses how the gratuitous, mechanical shooting of Call of Duty doesn’t hold a candle to This War of Mine’s depressing violence.
  3. A few days ago, BuzzFeed reported that Uber CEO Travis Kalanick, whose Twitter picture used to be the cover of an Ayn Rand novel, loves Obamacare. This story in the Washington Post patiently explains that this is because Obamacare helps Uber drivers, because Uber doesn’t give its drivers health benefits. Unrelated: BuzzFeed is not getting invited to any more Uber events.
  4. Child celebrities and Ziggy Stardust spirit children Jaden and Willow Smith may have flesh and blood and all the other stuff that technically makes us human, but this interview in the New York Times’ T Magazine makes that hard to believe. A snippet: “There’s a theoretical physicist inside all of our minds, and you can talk and talk, but it’s living.”
  5. Wrongful imprisonment stories are always painful, but this one in the Intercept is worth reading for the small-town Texas feel and its nonfiction novel pacing. The subject, Rodney Reed, is scheduled to be executed by Texas in January, although the findings of this article could change things.

If you see any stories you’d like to send our way (or have any questions/comments about stories we’ve recommended), feel free to shoot an email to

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