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The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You MP3 CD – Audiobook, May 12, 2011
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About the Author
Kirby Heyborne is an accomplished actor, musician, and comedian who has received a number of AudioFile Earphones Awards for his audiobook narrations. He has had starring roles in over a dozen features and many short films. Kirby is also a cofounder and director of the Los Angeles-based improv comedy group The Society.
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That being said I do feel a lot more educated on the topic after reading the book. The narrative is smooth and easy to read and even his interpretative predictions on the future of this technology are easy to imagine based on the foundation he creates for his argument.I will no longer roll my eyes when someone talks about how invasive personalization will someday be in our culture.
The author also gives his opinion on what this means across a host of environments such as politics, news, entertainment, education, etc. Just wait for the next election!
The book started to become a little repetitive about 2/3 of the way in, and then at the end, as in so many books, really failed to engage me in a solution. I think because the solution is so obvious, but so difficult....get more people involved, the idea being that there are hundreds of millions of us regular people whereas most of the benefit of the direction of this trend is towards the rich and powerful and we need to to work together on this because Internet policies are more set in the stone and the key players get even more powerful. Unfortunately I know from personal experience that this is almost impossible. Best described by my favorite quote from Rolling Stone magazine - "Organized greed is more effective than disorganized democracy". I'm an ex-activist because I just had to stop because of the frustration of it. The business world is at least 1000x more efficient and focused. Nothing will change that it seems. I used to believe we could change it, but unfortunately I don't anymore Although I'll keep trying somehow to stay involved with those who continue to try.
Despite all this, a must read.
Top international reviews
Pariser still acts as an excellent guide to what data internet companies gather about users, why they gather it and the marketing uses it gets put to - not to mention how the way information is presented to us online involves all sorts of filtering and selection decisions, many of which are obscured from us.
The book is written very much from an American perspective, for an American audience and with very little mention of the rest of the world until right near the end. That's a shame because it is possible for internet services to rely on user data for their core business model, to make profits from this and yet to give the public much more knowledge and control than is currently the case in America. That's not just an optimistic statement; it's the reality from other countries. The very different approach to data in, say, Germany from the US, only gets a brief look-in near the end after many chapters which present the current American situation as being one fostered by technology rather than, more accurately, one fostered by the political decisions that Americans have taken but which others show do not have to be taken.
The other factor to consider is that, as is common with people making predictions about the future in pretty much any field, Pariser falls prey at times to the myopic prediction of spotting something bad which is happening and predicting the future will be more of the same, without any countervailing reactions from anyone taking place.
So whilst Pariser is right to highlight the risks of loss of creativity, culture and functioning societies if all people are fed is information which matches what they already believe and like, there is no consideration in The Filter Bubble of how others might react to protect it.Yes, creativity might be
Yes, creativity might be stifled if you have a monoculture of news and entertainment. But the very costs of that does and will encourage people to take counter-steps to preserve the value that Pariser is worried about being lost. The greater your fear of its loss, the greater the value you put on it - and so the greater the flaw in your picture of the future if that very picture is based on no-one taking any counter-measures.
That all said, although written in a much more lively way than a textbook, The Filter Bubble does act an excellent textbook - a good overview of the main issues and points to consider.
What Eli Parser does is to show the extent of that information gathering and its consequences.
The overall argument is that whilst there are benefits to us there are also drawbacks, such as reducing our understanding of the complexity of world (we are only told the things we want to know) and, consequently society is harmed.
It is not necessarily a new argument but is a persuasive one.
Parser has an easy style of writing and his passion shines through. The themes are repeated a little too much and I would have liked a bit more depth.
But an important topic which too many people will ignore because social media is more fun.
Im Weiteren beschäftigt sich das Buch natürlich auch noch mit der Thematik des Userprofilings und was die Internetfirmen alles über uns wissen. Tatsächlich ist das Thema Privatsphäre im Kontext dieses Buches, obwohl extrem wichtig, für mich fast zweitranging. Das Filtern von Suchergebnisse, was dazu führt, daß unsere vorgefassten Meinungen sich selbst verstärken ist viel beängstigender.
Für mich ein Buch, das man lesen muss.
How they've gone from a company that didn't want to be corrupted by advertisers (as vested interests would affect them) to who they are today.
Google has definitely shifted it's views - it's gone to the dark side. They're selling you.
They have a Mossad Contract.
As well as a one million square foot facility next to the NSA.
A chilling and informative book, that is a delight to read.