Category: Atheism

I want to see what I don’t ‘like’…


Programmatic Myopia

A very interesting viewpoint from Dave Trott.

I don’t know about you, but the 2 social networks I frequent the most are Twitter and Pinterest.

And they are full of things I ‘like’.

Lots and lots of lovely posts about Atheism (in Pinterest) and Brexit (in Twitter).

In fact, over the period I’ve used them, it’s over 50% full of these things.

Now I admit I am an atheist, and (for many complicated reasons, none of which have anything to do with the EU per se) support the UK leaving the EU.

(Don’t let that put you off, I’m really quite a nice guy).

So I tend to ‘like’ and ‘retweet’ the things I agree with – as we all do.

So, Twitter and Pinterest’s artificial intelligence thinks that that’s all I like to hear about.

It thinks that don’t want to hear anything remotely challenging, negative, upsetting or otherwise counter to those things I ‘like’.

There’s that word again, ‘like’.

The most depressing word I’ve ever heard – how do I know if I like something, if I’ve never had a chance to experience it?

What about all those counter-views, opinions that as far as I’m concerned (from Twitter & Pinterest’s opinion) – don’t exist?

What if I stop liking something – that is possible, isn’t it?

Or am I slave to the things I like – forever?

How did I come to ‘like’ these things?

Not just these things, but let’s say, the paintings of Jackson Pollock?

He is nowhere in my social sphere, but I am partial to his work, and fascinated by his life.

I like the Cocteau Twins, but I also like Nirvana – am I allowed to like opposites anymore?

Under a system where ‘what I like’ is decided by an algorithm, is that even possible?

I like those things because I spent the first 30+ years of my life being exposed to millions of different stimuli, randomly – nobody or no-thing chose for me.

What kind of person will develop under the system we have now, where you will never be exposed to things you don’t ‘like’?

There’s that word again, ‘like’.

The scariest word I have ever heard.

We are all afraid that one day, robots will rise and overthrow us, has it ever occurred to anyone that they have already, it’s that they’re just not physical yet, and go by the name, ‘algorithm’.