Apr 13, 2020
This argument about efficiency feels like it has seeped into every aspect of our society. We give up more and more of ourselves to tech companies because we want to use our time as efficiently as possible. We structure our economy in such a way that the entire success of our nation is determined by whether the growth of our Gross Domestic Product is sufficient. We’ve attempted on both a micro and macro level to remove serendipity, chance, and spontaneity as much as humanly possible. We drive where Waze (owned by google) tells us to drive, we listen to new artists that Spotify recommends for us, we watch new shows that Netflix recommends for us, we read the top results on Google that Google thinks will be most relevant for us. This is all so we can spend less time listening to bad records, watching shows that maybe we won’t like, or god forbid reading articles that don’t align with our own warped views of reality.
We’ve given the algorithms control, and every day we give them more. In the name of more efficient solutions, more efficient uses of our time, more productivity, more shareholder value, our humanity has been forced to squeeze itself into these narrow pathways of digital interaction.
It would be one thing if people were happier, if societally things were going great. But they...aren’t. This isn’t working. It’s time to turn the car around. Well, maybe not around, just take a different road.