In Orwell's 1984 people knew Big Brother existed. In present day 2013 most of us don't know the degree to which we are being manipulated. Oh, not by a specific malovalent organization but by a supposedly benign commercial world telling us what we want to know and NOT telling us things we don't want to know. Information bubbles have been a part of the internet world since 2006, I have just read in an excerpt from Eli Paviser's book, The Flilter Bubble: How the New Personalized Web is Changing What We Read and How We Think.
To tell the truth I am grateful for the program at Amazon that periodically tells me "You may also enjoy ..." Because I find books that I didn't know existed and, yes, I often want, and purchase, them. We can't open our email without seeing that many companies are trying to sell us things, We get email, banners and various cutsey attentions grabbers. Some are very irritation (I DON'T want to know about elegible men in my neighborhood!) But the bubble is not just irritating and sometimes seemingly irrational. Originally Google's algorithm just complied the most popular and frequented sites. This is no longer what happens. Two people can search the same thing and get greatly different lists. The example I read was two people who searched BP at about the time of the Gulf oil spill. One person got news about the spill the other person got BP's investment reports and information about what a strong company they are without any news at all about the oil spill. This kind of example is very scary. That 1% out there is not getting the same information the 99% are getting -- to exaggerate a little bit, but apparently not much.
This is not a Big Brother you can hide from. You can only, if you care enough, seek your own information. Being a concerned individual is a bigger burden and comes with far more individual responsibility than ever before. I go back to the previous post about the movie and the response of the film maker who told the concerned woman that the 1% have 99% of the public media. And yes, they have the mechanisms of the filter bubble too. They ONLY want to sell us things ... or so it seems. I don't think there is a conspiracy. No, I'm not saying that. I think think we've become a corporate-ocacy, like it or lump it.
The mid-70s are a surprise! Part of me remains in the 50s -- age, I mean, not decade of 20th century. It's a joy ride, new experiences land in my lap and I've become a better quilter, poet, writer than I expected. It's a rich life for a person never rich financially. Hey, this is what the mid-70s are like!