August 21, 2011
BOOK OF THE WEEK: WEEK THIRTY-FOUR, 2011
Eli Pariser, The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You (New York: The Penguin Press, 2011) ("In a small town or an apartment building with paper-thin walls, what I know about you is roughly the same as what you know about me. That's a basis for a social contract, in which we deliberately ignore some of what we know. The new privacyless world does away with the contract. I can know a lot about you without your knowing I know. 'There's an implicit bargain in our behavior,' search expert John Battelle told me, 'that we haven't done the math on.' " "If Sir Francis Bacon is right that 'knowledge is power,' privacy proponent Viktor Mayer-Schonberger writes that what we're witnessing now is nothing less than a 'redistribution of information power from the powerless to the powerful.' It'd be one thing if we all knew everything about each other. It's another thing when centralized entities know a lot more about us than we know about each other--and sometimes, more than we know about ourselves. If knowledge is power, then asymmetries in knowledge are asymmetries in power." Id. at 146-147. Also see Evgeny Morozov, "Your Own Facts: Is the personalization of search-engine results a blessing or a curse?", NYT Book Review, Sunday, 6/12/2011.).