An article in The Straits Times frets that the mini iPod -- due to debut in Singapore soon -- and the iTunes Music Store -- not expected soon -- may endanger the music album, as people buy just the singles they already like or know the like. There could be a loss of people listening to anything but the already-proved-popular stuff of already-liked musicians. My music collection is so small and imbalanced I'm worried what it says about my personality, to the point that I'm proud all my subject lines since mid-February have been music riffs, but I don't think convenient single-track purchases and easy-to-mix playlists are a threat to music in this case. I think they'd encourage experimentation among people inclined to experiment.
One of the Internet's great blessings is anything you really can't stand is gone: don't go to that web site; killfile or /gag it. But that shuts out some chances for new and wonderful experiences. So I agree the Internet makes it terribly easy for people to wall their personalities in. That's some of the value of magazines and anthologies and just watching whatever's on channel 12 instead of putting in a DVD set all night is; there's something energizing in letting yourself be carried away.
I'm trying deliberately to correct my narrow experiences, taking more chances at what I read and listen to and watch. I'd like that process to be easier, but really the challenge is keeping myself in the habit of wandering through the library without looking at the card catalogue numbers, or going ahead and buying a music CD even if I haven't heard all the tunes on it before. Reporting my currently-reading book and a daily bit of trivia here helps; it's spooked me off a few re-reads. So maybe the Internet can correct an imbalanced personality after all.
Trivia: War-weary Parisians initially attributed the aurora borealis of 24 October 1870 to a Prussian military device. Source: The Siege of Paris, 1870-71: A Political and Social History, Melvin Kranzberg.
Currently Reading: The Lunar Men: The Friends Who Made The Future, Jenny Uglow.