Green DayI enjoy many small pleasures in life, and I’d like to share one of them with you.  I’ll call it “Next Knowledge,” because it’s cool to have an alliterative name that doesn’t look alliterative.  Don’t you agree, Tony the Pterodactyl?  Next Knowledge is the term I’m using to define the mental leap one’s mind takes to the next item in a logical sequence.  What the hell am I talking about?  I’ll try to illustrate via examples from two forms of media:
First, when an episode of The Simpsons ends, I know I’m going to see a couple-second thing for the production company called Gracie Films.  It starts with the silhouette of a kid going, “Shh,” then it zooms into the screen and says the company name.  With Next Knowledge, my mind is ready for the music from Fox that immediately follows.  It knows it’s going to be there right after the black screen that says, “In Association With.”  I haven’t watched The Simpsons for years and yet I can quite clearly hear both ditties in my head, spaced out correctly.  You may have found yourself saying, “You stinka!” along with David E. Kelley shows or, “That’s some bad hat, Harry” after the show “House.”  My earliest memory of this is from right after episodes of “Family Ties.”  Some of you may already be nodding in agreement.  “Sit Ubu sit, good dog.  Woof!” always immediately followed.  It was a nice capper to the show, and my mind automatically went there every time.
Second, and the way this is most common in my life, has to do with music.  One song ends, and I’m ready with the word, guitar riff, or drumbeat that starts the next one on that cd.  For the rest of my life, I will never hear the end of “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” by the Beatles without the beginning of “I Will” immediately starting in my head.  The same can be said for countless songs – hundreds probably – which always makes it a little awkward when I hear the song on the radio or some other stand-alone situation.  If I’m singing along to Green Day’s “American Idiot” and not paying much attention, you better believe I’m gonna start nodding my head to the opening pounding notes of “Jesus of Suburbia,” whether it’s actually playing there or not.
I thought of this and decided to write about it because I found a small problem with how strong my Next Knowledge is in the music field.  I was listening to a playlist on iTunes at work, and I paused it right after a song ended so that I could go to the bathroom and not miss the next song that I really like.  About two minutes later, I walked back into the office and said hi to a co-worker before heading back to my desk.  During that time, my head had continued the playlist and I’d just “heard” that entire next song.  So when I sat down and hit the spacebar to restart playing the music, I didn’t feel like listening to that song anymore since it would essentially be like hitting repeat on something that just played.  My Next Knowledge made the real experience superfluous and therefore unnecessary.  
I can’t be alone in this, right?  How strong are your senses of Next Knowledge?  Do you feel a second of unsettledness when the song that should follow the one you just heard doesn’t come on next?  Let me know if this is fairly common or just another one of my Silly Psychoses.

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