# Elimination tourney type question. Who's right?

Okay fellow Dopers I hardly ever post, mostly lurk, but today I need your knowledge. I had a discussion with my niece she kept playing me music off of youtube and asking which song was better. Example plays Jesse Mcartney tune and Rob Thomas tune and asks which is better. The winner goes against the next song. Say Jesse wins he goes against Pink and so on. At the end she states that is the best song out of the ten or so played. I think there is something wrong with this line of reasoning, but I can’t place it or is she right/

Her reasoning is sound. It’s the same idea behind a transitive relation.

If the “better” song is defined as being the one you prefer, and if this is a transitive relation—for example, if the Jesse McCartney song being better than the Rob Thomas song and the Pink song being better than the Jesse McCartney song implies that the Pink song must be better than the Rob Thomas Song (i.e. If A > B and B > C then A > C)—then yes, this “single elimination” tournament will produce the “best” song.

It won’t tell you which song is “second best,” though. And this doesn’t apply to things like sporting events since the “better” of two players/teams isn’t always guaranteed to be the winner every time.

It’s the single elimination part, a double or triple-elimination scheme or a round-robin works better. There’s more chances that the really good stuff will end up winning even if it loses in any single choice.

CMC fnord!

Music isn’t a race. There’s no definite winner or loser, but only a preference at a particular moment in time. There are many songs that I like when I first hear them because they’re catchy, but tire of after a while. Then, there are songs I don’t like at first, but they grow on me. Other songs don’t strike me as anything in particular until something happens in my life, and I simply want to hear that song.

This is not the transitive principle of inequality where if A > B and B >C, then A > C. You may simply prefer song “B” to song “A” because at that moment, you hadn’t heard song “B” before, and find the beat a bit snappier. However, when you hear it against song “C”, you might decide that “B” is simplistic compare to song “C”. But, if you heard song “C” compared to the original song “A”, you might prefer song “A” because song “A” somehow speaks to you.

The only way you know how good a song is is to listen to it on and off for a month or so, and see how much you like it then.

And, don’t forget the singer too. I am not a Lady Gaga fan, but this cover of Poker Face is great: <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mf7cQfhJSA>

that is what I was thinking qazwart, but i was wondering if it had a name or something.