So you can read my books

Tuesday, March 24, 2015



We have lost control of where today's algorithms are driving us. 

And that is a scary thing if you think about it.

And intelligent pioneers like Bill Gates, Stephen Hawkins, and Elon Musk have been thinking about it.


When the men most likely to benefit from a new technology see a need for it to be put on a leash, 

there’s probably something worth worrying about.

But they were talking Artificial Intelligence, right?

Now, "Algorithm" besides being a mind-fuzzing concept 

is only a piece of computer code that makes a decision or recommendation of some kind.

Tell that to Dr. Louise Selby.  

She was barred from entering a women’s locker room 

because the computer code behind her gym’s security system automatically regarded 

all “doctors” as male!


It is not just your imagination: 

there are A LOT OF OLD POSTS in your FACEBOOK feed. 

In an experiment last summer, 

a Washington Post reporter found FACEBOOK hid 60% of his friends' posts from his feed!

Sociologists are discussing that Algorithms are becoming a form of social engineering.


When you Google something, 

an algorithm decides what to place on your first page and what to put on the 1000th.

Facebook will not show you all your friends' posts, 
for they decide that would be too much. 

FB personalizes what you see as does Amazon and Netflix ... and the government ... and Big Brother.

Worse, FB's algorithm is optimized for FB and its advertisers ... not you.

 A study from Facebook’s data team showed algorithmic changes to the news feed 

could actually manipulate users’ feelings 
without their knowledge.

Sadly, FB algorithmically obscured breaking news from Ferguson, 

apparently in preference of lighter material with more pop cultural appeal.

More and more, algorithms are skewing 
what we see on the internet, 

showing us views that support our biases
 and filtering out data that counters them.



  1. Hi Roland. Dr. Louise Selby's experience was hilarious. Some things are slow to change, while others are ramping on at a great pace. Nothing surprises me about FB or Google. If we allow ourselves to be users of these giants we have to take the consequences.

    Denise :-)

  2. Denise:
    Sadly, algorithms are used by businesses to select prospective employees, by government to profile potential threats, and so many other uses that it is scary.

    This is why I so seldom use Facebook. Google I have to for my novels, Sigh.

    I don't know if Louise felt very amused! :-)

    Thanks for visiting and staying to talk awhile.

  3. Sigh. I don't play FB.
    And accept (reluctantly) Googles perverse decisions. Auntie Algorythm is like most relatives. A know-it-all who is not nearly as powerful as she believes.

  4. Hi Roland .. I am wary of what's going on ... especially when I don't understand it - I probably will do FB etc more regularly ... but I'll concentrate where I have more control. Interesting (not good though) about the doctor .. I know I'm being manipulated out there ... I just try and stay beyond the sidelines usually ..

    Cheers Hilary

  5. Glad I'm not on Facebook.
    Scary how everything is a suggestion based on our past history.

  6. Like Alex I don't FB. I have an account, but when all my friends were the same as my wifes I decided it wasn't worth it. I do like Google and Amazon telling what I might like, then again you don't need an algorithm to figure me out ...I'm easy to read. ;-)

  7. FB just doesn't appeal to me, nor do some of the other platforms in social media. Privacy is a delicate thing and something I prefer to hoard. I guess I don't play well. . .