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The Filter Bubble

The Filter Bubble
“How much has it been your experience that Americans follow what happens in the world? It’s something we’ll monitor, but Americans are somewhat self-absorbed.” -Reed Hastings, October 2010 In the book, Eli writes at length about the troubling combination of Peter Thiel’s extreme libertarian views and seat on Facebook’s board of directors. Peter Thiel is entitled to his idiosyncratic views, of course, but they’re worth paying attention to because they increasingly shape the world we all live in. There are only four other people on the Facebook board besides Mark Zuckerberg; Thiel is one of them, and Zuckerberg publicly describes him as a mentor.

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Online Personalization Creates Echo Chamber to Affirm Biases ON the Web, we often see what we like, and like what we see. Whether we know it or not, the Internet creates personalized e-comfort zones for each one of us. Why a hyper-personalized Web is bad for you (Q&A) We all like having things tailored to our specific needs and interests. But Eli Pariser thinks we should beware of the substantial risks inherent in the increasing personalization of the Internet. Better known (so far) as the executive director of the progressive political action committee MoveOn.org, Eli Pariser is making noise these days as the author of "The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding from You." His new book, which was released yesterday, argues that the latest tools being implemented by the likes of Google and Facebook for making our Internet experiences as individual as possible are taking us down some very unsavory paths. First, of course, Pariser explains the dynamic we all face online today: that no two people's Web searches, even on the same topics, return the same results.

Eli Pariser's The Filter Bubble: Is Web personalization turning us into solipsistic twits? The first conversation I ever had about the Internet was in 1993 with Robert Wright, who was then a colleague at the New Republic. This "Net" thing was going to be a big deal, I remember Bob telling me, but it could create a few problems. One was that it was going to empower crazies, since geographically diffuse nut jobs of all sorts would be able to find each other online. Another was that it could hurt democratic culture by encouraging narrow-minded folk to burrow deeper into their holes. Wright spelled out those concerns in an article that stands as a model of prescience and a delightful time-capsule. Tor Browser Bundle Download the file above, and save it somewhere, then double click on it. (1) Click "Run" then choose the installer's language and click OK (2). Make sure you have at least 80MB of free disk space in the location you select. If you want to leave the bundle on the computer, saving it to the Desktop is a good choice. If you want to move it to a different computer or limit the traces you leave behind, save it to a USB disk.

Algorithmic Literacies - THE LATE AGE OF PRINT I’ve spent the last few weeks here auditioning ideas for my next book, on the topic of “algorithmic culture.” By this I mean the use of computers and complex mathematical routines to sort, classify, and create hierarchies for our many forms of human expression and association. I’ve been amazed by the reception of these posts, not to mention the extent of their circulation. Even more to the point, the feedback I’ve been receiving has already prompted me to address some of the gaps in the argument — among them, the nagging question of “what is to be done?”

Could This Be The Most Upworthy Site In The History Of The Internet? Hi, we're Upworthy, a new social media outfit with a mission: to help people find important content that is as fun to share as a FAIL video of some idiot surfing off his roof. Let's be honest: The Internet's been overrun with inanity, and all of us are eating it up. For example, here's a scientific study we commissioned about what comprises the online world: We can't change all that. Live in Europe? Force Facebook to give you back your data - Facebook Ireland means it's liable Facebook isn't known for respecting the privacy or rights of its users, this is nothing new, but it looks like Zuckerberg may have to anticipate a kick in the teeth. That would be courtesy of European Data Protection, forcing Facebook to become a little more transparent over how much it holds on individuals. Many people probably think that Facebook is immune from having to abide by the EU data laws. After all, isn't it a company based in California - and therefore outside the scope of the EU? At the very top of Facebook's Terms: "Company Information: The website under www.facebook.com and the services on these pages are being offered to you by: Facebook Ireland Limited

Conflicting Codes and Codings How Algorithmic Trading Is Reshaping Financial Regulation Abstract Contemporary financial markets have recently witnessed a sea change with the ‘algorithmic revolution’, as trading automats are used to ease the execution sequences and reduce market impact. Being constantly monitored, they take an active part in the shaping of markets, and sometimes generate crises when ‘they mess up’ or when they entail situations where traders cannot go backwards.

Why can’t we read anymore? Spending time with friends, or family, I often feel a soul-deep throb coming from that perfectly engineered wafer of stainless steel and glass and rare earth metals in my pocket. Touch me. Look at me. You might find something marvellous. This sickness is not limited to when I am trying to read, or once-in-a-lifetime events with my daughter. A New Algorithmic Identity Soft Biopolitics and the Modulation of Control Abstract Marketing and web analytic companies have implemented sophisticated algorithms to observe, analyze, and identify users through large surveillance networks online.

Steven Pinker and the Internet As someone who has enjoyed and learned a lot from Steven Pinker’s books about language and cognition, I was disappointed to see the Harvard psychologist write, in Friday’s New York Times, a cursory op-ed column about people’s very real concerns over the Internet’s influence on their minds and their intellectual lives. Pinker seems to dismiss out of hand the evidence indicating that our intensifying use of the Net and related digital media may be reducing the depth and rigor of our thoughts. He goes so far as to assert that such media “are the only things that will keep us smart.” And yet the evidence he offers to support his sweeping claim consists largely of opinions and anecdotes, along with one very good Woody Allen joke. One thing that didn’t surprise me was Pinker’s attempt to downplay the importance of neuroplasticity.

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