Internet, I love you but you’re bringing me down

I’ve got a piece in tomorrow’s G2 on what happened when I did everything the internet told me for a day. In writing it, I came across lots of interesting/troubling articles on how the web is, well, turning. Here’s a handful of snippets…


“Left to their own devices, [the web’s] personalisation filters serve up a kind of invisible autopropaganda, indoctrinating us with our own ideas, amplifying our desire for things that are familiar, and leaving us oblivious to the dangers lurking in the dark territory of the unknown.”

Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble, CNN


“Our attention is well directed these days…  thanks to good algorithms and great curators… but it’s like a flashlight whipping around the room. Never resting, Never returning…we catch and release…”

Robin Sloan, Fish


 “Everything that makes cyberflânerie possible — solitude and individuality, anonymity and opacity, mystery and ambivalence, curiosity and risk-taking — is under assault by Facebook. And it’s not just any company: with 845 million active users worldwide, where it goes, arguably, so goes the Internet.”

Evegeny Morozov, The Death of the Cyberflâneur, NYT


“Google has become so good at meeting our desires that we spend less time discovering new ones … you can always get what you want. But you may not get what you need.”

Ian Leslie, In Search of Serendipity, The Economist


“As we start to understand how people actually use the Internet, the cyberutopian hopes of a borderless, postnational planet can look as naive as most past predictions that new technologies would transform societies… A central paradox of this connected age is that while it’s easier than ever to share information and perspectives from different parts of the world, we may be encountering a narrower picture of the world than we did in less connected days.”

Ethan Zuckerman, A Small World Afer All, Wilson Quarterly


“The internet promises the idea of actualising ourselves in an essential way, but in fact we fall victim to a much cruder kind of sorting.”

Will Self, The Internet is a false friend


“Unlike more Luddite critics, Lanier complains not that technology has taken over our lives but that it has not given us enough back in return. In place of a banquet, we’ve been given a vending machine.”

What Jason Lanier thinks of Technology, The New Yorker


“The Google I was passionate about was a technology company that empowered its employees to innovate. The Google I left was an advertising company with a single corporate-mandated focus.”

James Whittaker, Why I left Google, MSDN



*Benji retreats to shed in garden to draw lines between torn out newspaper articles.*

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s