beethoven’s cow poop

Daily Trivia:
The original compact disc held 60 minutes of music, but a Sony vice-president suggested it be raised to 74 minutes so that it could hold Beethoven‘s 9th Symphony.

I think this is a good example of chaos theory as applied to something in our everyday world. To be straight with you, what follows is all the poop of a male cow, because chaos theory only applies to nonlinear dynamic systems. Anyways, the idea is that things that exhibit chaos appear to be random, even though they are really well defined and contain nothing random (no random parameters) at all. It seems totally random that a CD holds 74 minutes of music, right? Like why would it be such an odd number? 74 is really an even number, but it is odd in the sense that its greatest factor (and only factor other than 1, itself, and 2) is a prime number. So if somebody was like, hey, how many minutes are on a CD, you would probably guess a number like 60, 80, or perhaps 90. Then they would be like, no, actually there are 74 minutes. And you would be like what? that is so random! And then the person would explain to you, that although it appears random, it is entirely deterministic, i.e. there is a very explicit and rational reason for it holding 74 minutes, and there was no randomness at all in the choice to make the CD 74 minutes. Somebody just thought Beethoven’s 9th was a good benchmark.

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