The internet "thinks" it knows what I like. It uses crazy math to predict what I'm most likely to buy or pay attention to. What the internet DOESN'T know is that what I actually seek is novelty - new information that gives me more of an edge. But, by showing me a list of the same stuff I've made searches for in the past, it keeps me frozen in time. Notifications might give us the illusion that something new and amazing is waiting to be seized but, in the end, they're mostly just inert distractions.
The problem isn't the internet, however, its the inner recesses of my brain that motivate behavior in search of meaningful information. It's the same circuitry that allowed our ancestors to forage and uncover new territory. When the brain I use today (which you can think of as a type of computational machine) interacts with a computer of another sort, the relationship BECOMES the algorithm, or, rather, a meta-algorithm.
In the "olden days" (early 2000s) the arousal of curiosity would normally originate from outside these technologies which would lead a person to log-in until the relevant information is gathered, then go about their business. Now, the arousal of engagement and information seeking originates inside this space and keeps us around - because that's what it's designed to do. The longer I'm here, the reason I came becomes less relevant. If I'm trying to solve a problem, I've long forgotten what that problem was....
Side Note: Had a dream last night that I smashed every device screen in my house where every screen represented the box I feel stuck in.
It's a weird place to be - a weird time to live.
I like to screw with Google. They follow me, not really understanding what I'm actually doing and then ask me to review places. I reviewed a parking lot for them. Pointed out, in the review, Google had noticed I drove through, (cutting through to avoid an accident). I noticed they deleted it within a few days. But, it's kind of creepy. I'm not certain what value is served by collecting information they obviously misinterpret.
Wow! That is funny. How does one review a parking lot?
Google is dependent upon collecting user data to sell to advertisers. I think that's the tradeoff we made when we decided that Google (and Facebook, etc) should stay free.
I have also noticed how Google and related tech is being nosey. It picks up on my conversations and utterances and uses that to influence what it advertises to me. That's starting to happen more often now that I think about it.
I'm not the Orwellian alarmist type, but there only seems to be one Sherriff in town and that's Google..
I'm gonna dump a thought I had just a moment ago because its kind of relevant to this topic.
Technology has always had far-reaching unintended consequences.
Think of it this way; think about the number of rapes, murders, and robberies that have been facilitated through platforms like Craigslist and Facebook. That number probably far outweighs the number of rapes, murders, and robberies solved or prevented by these platforms.
People act so casually about all these new mediums and devices we plug ourselves into. They buy into the "any benefit" argument which is basically if there is any benefit to a technology whatsoever then we can go hog wild while ignoring the consequences.
There's no question that these technologies are shaping how we think, feel and socialize. It comes down to what we are all willing to sacrifice to keep it all moving forward...
I know eh. I'm always fighting 'the machine' but I love the connections that happen online, it has made the world a much smaller place, and that feels positive. But it is also overwhelming to process the vastness of it, and the sheer volume of 'information'. Easy to get overloaded. I'm happy I have to go to work everyday in the 'real' world, to stay at least a little bit grounded. And I love my books, pen and ink. Sweating over a keyboard for hours at a time is tiring.
First time I got a personalised ad I was so freaked out, it was for the Love, Simon movie except they swapped out 'Simon' for my own name. Thought my phone was haunted or something!!
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