The Inescapable Algorithm
I wake, and enter my algorithm-free RSS feed. It is perfect and pure.
I see a list (in the order I select) of everyone I want to follow. YouTube channels show up just like everything else, and I see only the name. With a quick shortcut-key, I tell the computer I want to watch the video later.
“Not today, Five Eyes!”, I chirp while downloading a podcast as an mp3 file. Then to Mastodon, to check out suggested blogs, from everyone I want to follow, feed produce in chronological order, just like the days of the TV guide.
But of course…
The people on Mastodon got some of those recommendations through an algorithm, which gets passed onto me, then I visit, take a cookie, and this reassures the algorithm that the ads have indeed succeeded in increasing the reader count. The blog writer, seeing the number go up, may now decide to purchase more ads on Google.
Lemmy is dead, as usual, so I wander off to Reddit where the algorithm has quietly replaced the old, public, formula.
Now those Youtube videos have finished downloading, it’s time to watch…and I discover the presenter making a forty minute video which could have been expressed in a paragraph. I guess the algorithm favours longer videos right now.
Off to Gemini I go, where I will inevitably pollute the space with essays on ideas brought to me (and now you) by the algorithm.