Pariser, E. (2011). The Filter Bubble: How the new personalized web is changing what we read and how we think.
I (finally) started reading this on the flight to Toronto. Fascinating take on the whole you-are-the-product thing.
Just as the factory farming system that produces and delivers our food shapes what we eat, the dynamics of our media shape what information we consume. Now we're quickly shifting toward a regimen chock-full of personally relevant information. And while that can be helpful, too much of a good thing can also cause real problems. Left to their own devices, personalization 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.
The manifesto that helped launch the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the early nineties championed a "civilization of Mind in cyberspace" - a kind of worldwide metabrain. But personalized filters sever the synapses in that brain. Without knowing it, we may be giving ourselves a kind of global lobotomy instead."