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Eli Pariser: Internet's democratizing potential is derailed by invisible algorithmic personalization

"A squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa." - Eli Parser's paraphrase of Facebook's driving algorithm. 

I find TED Talks to be almost unfailingly signficant in some aspect of a given topic's presentation. That is the objective, after all, to use Internet power to inform the world of great ideas.

And, so, it's blunt non-irony to watch MoveOn's Eli Pariser calling the gatekeeping innovators of the Internet to task for having inverted that power. Instead, he says that a 'filter bubble' is fostering global myopia through a process that uses the hidden algorithmic analysis of individual web navigation patterns to personalize the websurfing experience. Make the jump»

A Simple Question: Would God Condone Torture?

BENEATH THE SPIN • ERIC L. WATTREE
Make the jump»

Are we too stupid to save ourselves?

(Image courtesy of indiesocial.com)

I walked onto the train platform in downtown Chicago today.  A woman had just finished shopping at Macy's and had several red shopping bags.  She was trying to put everything into one bag.  The wind picked up and blew some of the empty bags down the platform.  I took off running and stopped them from blowing out onto the street.  Make the jump»

Friday: No-Brainers

Mohammed al Dulaimy, Jenan Hussein and Leila Fadel/McClatchy: Iraqi journalist recants claim that 11 family members were killed
Dhia al Kawazz, who publishes a Web site from Amman, Jordan, said his initial claim — which was widely reported, including by McClatchy — was based on false information. Family members said he'd lied to get his family refugee status in Jordan.

The good news? McClatchy's editors put the article on the ('lectronic) front page.

Noah Shachtman/WIRED: How Technology Almost Lost the War: In Iraq, the Critical Networks Are Social — Not Electronic
In the past six years, the world's most technologically sophisticated militaries have gone up against three seemingly primitive foes — and haven't won once.

Mohamed Osman/AP: Calls in Sudan for execution of Briton
"Imprisoning this lady does not satisfy the thirst of Muslims in Sudan. But we welcome imprisonment and expulsion," the cleric, Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karouri, a well-known hard-liner, told worshippers.

The Emily Latella school of journalism.

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