# In Black Mirror's "White Christmas" episode, why does the song on the radio play in real-time?

In Black Mirror Season 2 Episode 4 "White Christmas,"

The cookie of Potter who is in the wooden house perceives the time as 1000 years a day. However, the song on the radio (which is in the house) plays in real time.

I assume that the song on the radio is specifically that song because it is left on the computer. Then, 0.004 second of the song should be played through one year in the cookie.

Is this a plot hole?

• Firstly, you don't need to hide your own question. Secondly, this is two separate questions. Given that the second question can probably only be answered with speculation, I'd suggest removing it.
– Tim
Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 22:54
• @Tim thanks for the notice. Corrected. Commented Feb 12, 2018 at 22:55
• Can you clarify what you mean by "the song on the radio"? Are you talking about the song Joe hears inside the cabin?
– Tim
Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 0:21
• I want to be clear about this - just because it's on the radio doesn't mean that the song is being transmitted from outside the cookie. It's part of the cookie, part of Joe's punishment.
– Tim
Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 0:29

The cookie perceived time at a real-time always. That is, cookie thinks that its day is 24 hours.

However, relative to the time of the outside world, time inside cookie can run differently.

This is easy to demonstrate, considering that cookie is a computer. Let's say, to simulate 1 second of cookie life, you need 100 operations of CPU. At 1Hz clock rate of the computer, it will take 100 seconds. In 100 seconds of real-world time, you will make cookie believe that it lived for 1 second. Now, use 100x faster CPU, and yours and cookie's time lines are synchronized, you can talk to each other in real time. Speed it up more, and cookie will perceive you as moving in slow-motion

No - it is not a plot-hole.

Joe is not perceiving time as 1000 years a day. He is perceiving time as normal, within the confines of the cookie. The cookie includes the cabin, the radio, and the environs.

The song is not playing in real time. It, like everything else in the cookie, is perceived by Joe to be normal.

If you were to listen to the song in the real world, you'd hear it as a blip.

Remember, everything in the cookie is experiencing time at the same rate.

Basically Joe's consciousness is trapped in an eternal virtual world. From his perspective, the day repeats itself over and over, forever. The song repeats itself on the radio. Joe never ages, never dies, cannot escape.

The 1000 year thing comes from outside the cookie. For each day that occurs in real life, the cookie (which contains Joe, the cabin, the radio, the song, etc.) runs a 1000 year cycle. That is, a "day" for the cookie is 0.004 seconds in the real world.

The entirety of the cookie experiences this, not just Joe. For Joe, everything is happening at a normal pace. He experiences 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It's just that the same day is repeated ad-nauseam. He has no idea that each day he experiences is only 0.004 in the real world. He has no idea that he will be trapped there for thousands of years.