Naum's Reviews > The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You

The Filter Bubble by Eli Pariser
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's review
Jun 18, 2011

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Read from June 18 to 19, 2011

Admittedly, upon initial reading, began by sharpening the cutlery and prepared to launch into critical invective about this book. But it was not a terrible read at all, and the Mr. Pariser struck salience at a number of points.

I just reject the overt thesis that personalized filtering is the great 21st century media Satan. Yes, lack of serendipity is of some concern, but not the petrifying bogeyman that seems to warrant most of the book's main topic is way overblown, in an age where a discerning user can still discover and ferret out a panoply of diverse perspectives, reports and views.

However, this tidbit (which I shall condense in a single quote from the book) should trigger an alarm for all -- how code embeds then dictates the parameters of societal interaction:

We live in an increasingly algorithmic society, where our public functions, from police databases to energy grids to schools, run on code. We need to recognize that societal values about justice, freedom, and opportunity are embedded in how code is written and what it solves for. Once we understand that, we can begin to figure out which variables we care about and imagine how we might solve for something different.

But, still, this is at best a long essay that's been extended into book form. The argument would have been better served by further editing.
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