Suggested Reading: The Filter Bubble

Eli Pariser — The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You — Penguin Press HC, 2011, 304 pp. ISBN 978-1594203008

(Buy at Amazon.com)

Pariser warns us about the danger of (potentially) excessive personalization of search engine queries, such as Google’s. While the search engine’s first goal is to be useful, targeted, and relevant to your personal interests, they pose the very real danger of hiding large segments of the web from search, thus preventing serendipitous discovery of new interests, possibly quite orthogonal to your usual tastes.

However, Pariser goes on a long while on the subject; after a few examples, we quite get the idea, and the book could have been considerably shorter, offering a few examples and then discussing the consequences, without loss. I have sometimes the impression that the author (or maybe his editor) feared a short, direct-to-the-point, book. However, conveying information succinctly is sometimes better.

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