Against a Hyper-Personalized Web
Adding to the current debate on downside of search filters and algorithms, Daniel Terdiman interviews author Eli Pariser on why a hyper-personalized Web is bad for you.
What's the Latest Development?
Though most of us like having things tailored to our specific needs and interests, Eli Pariser thinks we should beware of the substantial risks inherent in the increasing personalization of the Internet. Author of "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You", in this interview Pariser says that as consumers we can at least, "vary our information pathways more and use things like incognito browsing to stop some of the tracking that leads to personalization. But that's only a partial, temporary solution."
What's the Big Idea?
"Really, it's in these companies' hands to do this ethically—to build algorithms that show us what we need to know and what we don't know, not just what we like. So we need Google and Facebook and the other companies to take their curation responsibility seriously, and to build a sense of civic life into their algorithms. And if they don't, then we probably need some regulation. Google and Facebook are now more than insurgent startups--they hold a lot of public trust."
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Is it "perverseness," the "death drive," or something else?
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
It's up to us humans to re-humanize our world. An economy that prioritizes growth and profits over humanity has led to digital platforms that "strip the topsoil" of human behavior, whole industries, and the planet, giving less and less back. And only we can save us.
- It's an all-hands-on-deck moment in the arc of civilization.
- Everyone has a choice: Do you want to try to earn enough money to insulate yourself from the world you're creating— or do you want to make the world a place you don't have to insulate yourself from?
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