CLOSE

Are most geeks atheists?

No one would suggest that most atheists are geeks; that would be a dangerous generalization. It may be fair to suggest, however, that most geeks are atheists, as a few writers as Shuzak.com have recently done. The debate was sparked after an online poll revealed that nearly half of Digg.com users -- whom we may fairly assume are more likely than not to be geeks -- identify themselves as atheists. Trailing far behind, just over a quarter of users identified themselves as Christians, and about 2% were Jews and 2% Muslims. Why is that? Shuzak offered some interesting theories (which, we feel compelled to add, don't necessarily reflect the views and opines of Mental_Floss ... but we sure think they're interesting):

1
Geeks tend to be interested in how the universe works. From the delicate and intricate dance of subatomic particles to the raging of stars thousands of times larger than our Earth, the complexity and beauty of the universe awes many of those geeks who have looked deeply into physics. They are people that collect information almost compulsively and nurture deep understandings of very obscure branches of knowledge. So perhaps problem-loving geeks have a fundamental disconnect with the idea of a Creator; it's just too easy.

2
Geeks tend to shy away from parties. Given the social aspects of religion, a person who does not particularly care about socialization or interpersonal interactions might find some of the allure gone.

3
Someone who has grown up with the notion that he or she is more intelligent than those around wants to get the most satisfaction from that intelligence. The quickest and most reliable way to be rewarded for intelligence is to prove someone else wrong, which tends to establish a sense of superior intelligence. Being constructive, on the other hand, is much less rewarding. Hence, simply having faith in something -- the crucial key to religious experience -- becomes extremely difficult.

What do you think?

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
music
New AI-Driven Music System Analyzes Tracks for Perfect Playlists
iStock
iStock

Whether you're planning a bachelorette party or recovering from a breakup, a well-curated playlist makes all the difference. If you don't have time to pick the perfect songs manually, services that use the AI-driven system Sonic Style may be able to figure out exactly what you have in mind based on your request.

According to Fast Company, Sonic Style is the new music-categorizing service from the media and entertainment data provider Gracenote. There are plenty of music algorithms out there already, but Sonic Style works a little differently. Rather than listing the entire discography of a certain artist under a single genre, the AI analyzes individual tracks. It considers factors like the artist's typical genre and the era the song was recorded in, as well as qualities it can only learn through listening, like tempo and mood. Based on nearly 450 descriptors, it creates a super-accurate "style profile" of the track that makes it easier for listeners to find it when searching for the perfect song to fit an occasion.

Playlists that use data from Sonic Style feel like they were made by a person with a deep knowledge of music rather than a machine. That's thanks to the system's advanced neural network. It also recognizes artists that don't fit neatly into one genre, or that have evolved into a completely different music style over their careers. Any service—including music-streaming platforms and voice-activated assistants—that uses Gracenote's data will be able to take advantage of the new technology.

With AI at your disposal, all you have to do as the listener is decide on a style of music. Here are some ideas to get you started if you want a playlist for productivity.

[h/t Fast Company]

nextArticle.image_alt|e
iStock
arrow
quiz
Food Sorting Gallery
iStock
iStock

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios