When we talk about “the algorithm,” we might be conflating recommender systems with online surveillance, monopolization, and the digital platforms’ takeover of all of our leisure time—in other words, with the entire extractive technology industry of the twenty-first century. Bucher told me that the idea of the algorithm is “a proxy for technology, and people’s relationships to the machine.” It has become a metaphor for the ultimate digital Other, a representation of all of our uneasiness with online life.

The Age of Algorithmic Anxiety via John Naughton

Our idea of algorithm is mixed up with other types of manipulation.

Read Searching for Kid-Friendly Searching | flower.codes
I set about trying to find a kid-friendly search engine that enabled exploration, while still protecting her from the toxicity of the greater modern web. And, guess what? I failed.

And,

If my kids want to search for dinosaurs, they should be presented with educational and otherwise appropriate websites to help them learn about dinosaurs; not a full page of ads for dinosaurs before they see the actual search results

I do not see much discussion of this from within education, I wonder why not?

Read Mark Zuckerberg Is TNR’s 2021 Scoundrel of the Year
The nitwit founder of Facebook has created the worst, most damaging website in the world. And we’re just supposed to accept it.

Americans represent only about 10 percent of Facebook’s users, but nearly 85 percent of the efforts that the company has put toward stemming the spread of misinformation has been focused on the U.S.

Scoundrel seems a mite gentle given the content of the article.

Via jwz

Read: This Is Your Mind On Plants by Michael Pollan 📚 ★★★☆☆

Three chapters, opium, caffeine, and mescaline. The opium one was recycled from some time ago, it would have been interesting to read more about the opiate crisis in modern times in the USA and the drug companies.

The coffee chapter was quite fascinating, given it is the one of the three I use. The social/political aspects were an interesting introduction to the area.

The mescaline chapter dug into some Native American/American Indian information and ideas. Including that some prefer the name Indian to Native American. I found this and the surrounding politics of mescaline more interesting that the effects of the drug.

Sarah Frier documents how Instagram co-founder Kevin Systrom wanted Instagram to be an outlet for artists (in a high-school essay, Systrom wrote that he liked how photography could “inspire others to look at the world in a new way”).

And

Click on Instagram today and you will still see plenty of photos, but you’ll also be confronted with a carousel of short, vertical videos (known as “Reels”) as well as the more-than-occasional ad. In his video, Mosseri explained that “the number one reason people say that they use Instagram in research is to be entertained” and the app was going to “lean into that trend” by experimenting with video. Citing TikTok and YouTube as competition, Mosseri said Instagram would “embrace video” and users could expect a number of changes in the coming months.

I use Instagram, I don’t see much of the work of “creatives” ’cause I don’t follow any. I do see an increasing number of adverts and have hated the changes like algorithmic photo order, lack of linking and locked down API.

Almost everyone I follow on Instagram I have met. It is the only place I follow relatives. I’d love to be able to follow then in micro.blog or some other nicer place. Interoperability please.