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The Filter Bubble

What the Internet Is Hiding from You
Narrated by: Jeff Harding
Length: 8 hrs
Categories: Non-fiction, Economics
4.5 out of 5 stars (23 ratings)

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Summary

Imagine a world where all the news you see is defined by your salary, where you live, and who your friends are. Imagine a world where you never discover new ideas. And where you can't have secrets. Google and Facebook are already feeding you what they think you want to see. Advertisers are following your every click. Your computer monitor is becoming a one-way mirror, reflecting your interests. The internet is no longer a free, independent space. It is commercially controlled and ever more personalised.

The Filter Bubble reveals how this hidden web is starting to control our lives - and what we can do about it.

©2011 Eli Pariser (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

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Decent look at issues

This book is well-narrated & looks at an interesting & deeply relevant subject, but isn't quite as good as it could have been. The big problem is that there is one argument to the book, & the author just makes it over & over, slightly rephrasing it & focusing on different aspects of it, but still just the same point over & over. Going deeper into more technical aspects might have helped, or going more in depth on the social science, or more interviews with experts rather than a selection of scattered quotes. But it's obvious this is meant to appeal to as wide a range of people as possible, & the author is worried about scaring off less technically-minded readers. Understandable, but it still would have been nice to have a little more depth. Or at least make it shorter, to cut down on the amount of rambling.

Another part of the problem is that it's outdated. Obviously, that's not really something the author can do much about, especially on a topic like this, where you're writing about something as it is happening & there are frequent advancements & changes going on. (And it's a little my fault for not noticing the publication date.) But it did affect my perception of the book & its arguments in places. For instance the section on augmented reality looked at how it'd take the mystery out of seeking a romantic partner & how it'd be used to sell you stuff, & while those issues are important to bear in mind, it seems simplistic & overly-negative from a post-Pokemon Go standpoint, after seeing people getting outside & interacting with each other over a game. And his speculation on how the 2016 US presidential election would go down seems adorably naive.

As a basic look at some of the issues involved, & a wake up call to people who had no idea that their internet experience was filtered, this is fine. I'd just hoped for something a little more.

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Profile Image for Luis Mauricio Wouters
  • Luis Mauricio Wouters
  • 02-06-17

An eyes opener about Internet personalization

A reading that everyone that uses Google, Facebook or any other online tool should do, to be aware of how personalization works and the risks they make to creativity, innovation and intersection of thinking.