Loved this piece. A few quibbles:

- When you say "the quality of the music and the selective criteria cannot be explained in terms of these descriptive features," I think this is wrong. Might these be objective criteria? Might music have actually gotten worse in recent years because these criteria have fallen out of favor? Just like other other traditions can get worse over time (say, science drifts into instrumentalism?)

Though I love your point - we don't know what criteria are operating for the new music, so it might in fact be better than the old, we're just prejudiced by old criteria. Am I getting that right?

- More generally, I think this argument about creativity might have more punch if we stop using the famous examples of Einstein and the like, and instead show that a toddler is doing something different than the dog. Even the most basic artistic achievement is lightyears ahead of the dog. Right?

Father, physician, organizer. Optimist. Twitter: @astupple