One of the iPod Shuffle’s new taglines, “Enjoy uncertainty,” is a fun one. In a time of war, terrorism and a fidgety stock market, it’s a bit odd. Still, as Ottmar Liebert points out here, there’s something very Zen about the idea of ceding control of one’s musical selections to a machine. “Zen Buddhism teaches that there is no self, just a mental construct that makes us believe that there is a separate and isolated me,” he writes. “Often we use music to enforce our mood. When we are sad, we look for sad music. When we are lovesick, a song about heartbreak sounds like it is about us! When we are happy, we look for upbeat music. … I think the iPod Shuffle is cool, because it is great to observe our reaction to random emotion.”
Of course, random emotion isn’t everyone’s thing, particularly these days. Not surprisingly, the Mayo Clinic doesn’t have a Web page devoted to enjoying uncertainty, but it does have one about coping with it.
—Posted by Tim Nudd