commentary

Algorithms

6-3-16 algorithms

I use the apple news app on my iPhone and iPad. When setting it up I just picked a few sources that were fairly closely related. After a few weeks I realized that I was only reading one side of the story(ies) and how limiting that was. I added in more diverse voices and eliminated a few of the original ones. Much better, though sometimes off-putting to my sensibilities.

The Interwebs are smart. They quickly learn what (and who) we like and dislike, what pages we visit, what ads we click so that the algorithms can keep a steady diet of pleasing-to-us content coming our way. That way, we’ll keep consuming their sites and adding to the visits that enable them to charge advertisers more money. There is no incentive for them to challenge our patterns with content that might drive us away. They want to make us “happy.”

It’s a subtle form of mind control. It keeps us grinning stupidly at our screens and hardens our hearts to perspectives that are outside the ruts we’ve become so used to traveling.

And it contributes to the polarized, Us vs. Them world in which we live. No news flash there.

So try reading or watching something different. You don’t have to start with Rachel Maddow or Rush Limbaugh…just try to get into the center a little bit more. It will ultimately help us all.

 

 

 

September 12, 2014

9-12-14 commish-1

Yes.

August 27, 2014

8-27-14 butterfly-1

Hope is a wonderful thing.