The Stochastic Game

Ramblings of General Geekery

Addendum to last post: the only “algorithm” I ever wanted in an RSS reader is the ability to separate “high frequency” and “low frequency” feeds, so irregular blogs don’t get drowned by big websites. Fiery Feeds, for instance, does that.

No Algorithms

Joshua Emmons replied to Brent Simmons' No Algorithms post with a couple of very good tweets, which Brent quoted back on his blog. They summarize well what people have been saying about centralized, algorithm-driven social media for a while now.

When you read Facebook or Twitter everything that “bubbles up” to you are things that “register” on the algorithm’s requirements list: sometimes it’s funny or important things, but most of the time it’s just outrageous and/or outraged posts. This near constant flow of high emotion content takes its toll on people after a while if you don’t carefully trim the people you follow… but even then, if the platform decides to show you updates from people you don’t follow, or reorder those updates based on some obscure criteria, that’s not going to change much.

Compare that to getting your news and entertainment from RSS feeds, where you not only control your sources (the people/organizations you “follow”), but also control the platform (the way those updates are sorted, filtered, and displayed). If you don’t like one platform, you can always change to another one. You’re in control and, ultimately, that keeps you more sane.

After deAdder was fired from a New Brunswick newspaper over a Trump cartoon, it looks like, as always with social media, the initially justified outrage grew out of hand. Yay social media.