The Precision of Luck, by Joel Rea, 2015. Oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 48 inches. © Joel Rea, courtesy the artist and Jonathan LeVine Gallery, New York City. 


Volume IX, Number 3 | summer 2016


When Apple released its Shuffle feature for iPods, users were deceived by the true randomness of its playback; songs from the same album or artist were often grouped by chance. Complaints led Steve Jobs to alter the device’s programming and begin offering Smart Shuffle, which allowed users to adjust the likelihood of hearing similar songs in a row. “We’re making it less random,” he said, “to make it feel more random.”

Those who trust to chance must abide by the results of chance.

- Calvin Coolidge, 1932


LQ Podcast

#09 Michael Kazin

Lewis Lapham talks to Michael Kazin, author of War Against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918. More