I love Mike Elgan, and have for years. His work appears in a variety of publications, including Cult of Mac, Computerworld, Datamation, PC World, InfoWorld, MacWorld, ITWorld, CIO, the San Francisco Chronicle and many others, reaching more than a million readers per month. I read his latest on Computerworld.com and felt strongly enough about this topic to base this piece on it.
You all know the saying about “Perception is everything”? Pisses me off everytime I hear or read it. Why? Because there are facts, and then there’s oatmeal, mushy, touchy-feely crap. Or that’s the way it should be. At least some of the time, right?
I was brought up with “There’s reality. We can measure it and dissect and quantify, etc. it.” – you know: Science, math and intellectual freedom/responsibility. You can’t have that when someone is deciding what you see and in what order you see it.
Remember “Portals” (AOL. Yahoo…etc) that kept you inside their “bubble”? Now it’s far worse.
Well, turns out the relativists were right. Try this experiment yourself. Have a friend or two over with their iPads/phones (with net access) or laptops. In fact, they don’t even have to come over. Have them go to Google search (no, it’s not an anti-google rant) or bing or any of the engines… main thing is you’re all on the same one.
Then tell them a topic, and have them make a scrolling screen shot. email them to each other and compare. They’ll be different, as well as the ads they’re seeing before they type in the search subject. They shouldn’t be, should they ?
Google, bing, facebook… many, many sites do the same thing. They “personalize” things for you.
As Sarah Palin (among others) said, “Thanks, but no thanks.” All I signed on for was a connection: Not the connection someone else thinks I should have or the one that makes things ‘easier’ for me.
Why? Because I’m not feeble minded yet (shut up, Smedley biyotch), and because it really isn’t about me or making it easy for me: It’s about making it easier to sell me stuff.
In truth though, it goes farther than that.
Read Mr. Elgan’s article. Please!
I’ll take it one step further:
I think this is a form of wire tapping without a warrant. They collect their indicators (that’s the ‘tapping’ and all of them do) and modify what you see to match their formula.
It’s worse than a wire tap. They narrow your choices and by doing so, shape your thoughts. Eventually, you’ve stopped thinking critically, because you don’t really see what’s out there. It’s like being surrounded by “yes men”.
That’s not a wire tap, folks: That’s a lobotomy. They don’t want you to be educated to think for yourself, or critically. Anything but. Educated? No: Inculcated and tamed.
This is reproduced from Mr. Elgan’s article: