Submission + - Music Science: Has Popmusic Recently Become Louder, Simpler And More Repetitive? (bbc.co.uk) 2

dryriver writes: The BBC has posted a very interesting article investigating whether people claiming all over the internet that "Pop music just isn't what it used to be" are simply growing old, or if there actually is objective science capable of backing this claim of a "steady decline in music quality". The findings of 5 studies are quoted, and the finding of study 4 in particular is striking. 1. Pop music has become slower — in tempo — in recent years and also "sadder" and less "fun" to listen to. 2. Pop has become melodically less complex, using fewer chord changes, and pop recordings are mastered to sound consistently louder (and therefore less dynamic) at a rate of around one decibel every eight years. 3. There has been a significant increase in the use of the first-person word "I" in pop song lyrics, and a decline in words that emphasize society or community. Lyrics also contain more words that can be associated with anger or anti-social sentiments. 4. 42% of people polled on "what decade has produced the worst pop music" since the 1970s voted for the 2010s. These people were not from a particular "ageing demographic" at all — all age groups polled, including 18 — 29 year olds appear to feel unanimously that the 2010s are when "pop music became worst". This may explain a rising trend of young Millenials, for example, digging around for now 15 — 30 year old music on Youtube frequently. Its not just the older people who listen to the 1980s and 1990s on Youtube and other streaming services it seems — much younger people do it too. 5. A researcher put 15,000 Billboard Hot 100 songs' lyrics through the well known Lev-Zimpel data compression algorithm, which is good at finding repetitions in data. He found that songs have steadily become more repetitive over the years, and that song lyrics from today compress 22% better on average than less repetitive song lyrics from the 1960s. The most repetitive year in song lyrics was 2014 in this study. Conclusion: There is some scientific evidence backing the widely voiced complaint — on the internet in particular — that "Pop music is getting worse and worse in the 2000s and the 2010s". The music is slower, melodically simpler, louder, with more repetitive lyrics, more "I" focus (first-person focus), more anger and anti-social sentiments, and the 2010s got by far the most "music quality downvotes" with 42% from people polled on which decade has produced the worst music since the 1970s.

Submission + - The Poor Man's Air Force? Rebel Drones Attack Russia's Airbase in Syria (bellingcat.com)

0x2A writes: Bellingcat reports on drone attacks on a Russian airbase in Syria: On the night of the 6 January 2018, the Russian airbase at Khmeimim was reportedly attacked. Videos and rumours from the airbase claimed that this attack may have included drones, although there were also reports the base coming under attack by rockets.
Russia has all but accused the U.S. military of being behind the improvised drone attack on its air base in Syria last week, claiming the aircraft could have only come from a major military power like the United States

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