Bezos is worried about information bubbles

Discussion in 'The Tavern' started by Paul Bellow, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    Bezos is worried about information bubbles
    Jeff Bezos, meanwhile, is concerned it is also a "confirmation bias machine." The Amazon boss, who is on the record highly valuing intellectual humility and curiosity, is worried social media is cocooning us in information bubbles.

    "I think the internet in its current incarnation is a confirmation bias machine. I worry that some of these technologies will be very useful to autocratic regimes to enforce their will," he warned at the Wired 25 conference this week.

    But while exposing ourselves only to information that supports our existing views makes us easier to lead (and easier to lead astray), Bezos is optimistic we'll figure out how to fight back against this problem.


    "The book was invented and people could write really evil books and lead bad revolutions with them. And create fascists empires with books. It doesn't mean the book is bad," he noted. "Society develops an immune response eventually to the bad uses of new technology, but it takes time. ... We will figure it out," Let's hope it doesn't take a few hundreds years of war to manage it this time around.


    What's the Worst Thing About Social Media? Musk, Bezos, and Systrom Give 3 Different Answers
     
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  2. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    It's a real concern. I feel like people are getting more and more insulated, so ultimately if this continues, viewpoints from "the other side" will become so alien you can't even comprehend them -- and then... civil war...

    Another problem is that it's actually more difficult to find good information on the internet now than, say, ten years ago, because all websites copy each other and all articles are rewritten, spun and regurgitated, and good journalism is dead.

    And the blogs? Where can I even search for blogs any more?

    Then someone speaks out and they get attacked for supporting "the other side". Geesh. It's ugly. When people are more obsessed with moral outrage than compassion and listening, this is what happens.
     
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  3. Paul Bellow

    Paul Bellow Forum Game Master Staff Member Shop Owner LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    I see it happening in our genre too.
     
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  4. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Are you talking about cliques? (I'm not on facebook, so I might miss a lot of things)
     
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  5. Gryphon

    Gryphon Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I'd assume he is. I don't want us to become the next romance clique, but if that's the case we need to stop fighting each other. We all enjoy what we're doing, so we should stop getting in each other's way and stop trying to ruin what we've created.
     
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  6. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I have no clue who's fighting who, except the trademark thing, but, once you form a clique then it's like forming a political party and then you sorta lose your own free will but have to vote what they tell you to "for the greater good of all of us", which is sad. The readers lose out.
     
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  7. Yuli Ban

    Yuli Ban Level 17 (Theurgist) LitRPG Author Citizen Aspiring Writer

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    ^ You haven't been following those who have extremely strict ideas about what sets "litRPG" apart from "Gamelit"?
     
  8. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Not really... I mean, I don't even know if there's hard line between the two, and I don't think the people who argue about them can even give proper definitions, and readers care even less, so ultimately the whole definition thing becomes meaningless. I do know there are two big facebook groups, and I tried to look at them for a while, but I sensed eggshells, so I stopped.

    And since we're on that topic... at first I thought 'Gamelit' should be preferred, since it's more 'inclusive', but now I've changed my mind, so LitRPG is the way to go because a) it's weird, a mouthful, and kinda ungrammatical, b) it shows its Russian roots, and c) it's got a trademark scandal behind it. So now the term's got some juicy history behind it like a real person and doesn't feel like it was made in a lab.
     
  9. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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    There's a ton of drama everywhere and it's unavoidable. It's like a poonami (a tsunami of poo) and the only way to escape it is to head to higher ground.

    That said, there's absolutely nothing you can say that won't upset someone, anymore. You can align with one side and only be hated by half of the population, or you can stay in the middle and be hated by everyone. So information bubbles formed as a result of that - because nobody wants to be hated - and evolved into echo chambers. I really hope that we as a society can pull out of this spiral, even though I fear it's gone too far.
     
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  10. Windfall

    Windfall Level 16 (Paladin) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    Did you make that up? Because seriously that needs to be a real term.

    Yeah, peeps need to grow some backbone and bask in the glorious heat of the middleground.
     
  11. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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    Pretty sure I didn't? I'm relatively sure someone else has thought of the term before me, but it's not something I've really seen bandied about anywhere.
     
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  12. Gryphon

    Gryphon Level 18 (Magician) LitRPG Author Citizen

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    I would not be surprised if it was Syfy.
     
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  13. nightwriter

    nightwriter Level 6 (Footpad) Citizen

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    Information bubbles were always there, right? Its just now much easier to get into the conflict thanks to internet and thanks to social changes that challenged the "norm" on many levels. Honestly, the only way out of this is either the tyranny or people evolving to see past their differences. With information bubbles we are just playing out innermost fears and insecurities through the modern technology, so we have a lot of catching-up to do if we want to go for the second option. I think we are back at trying tyranny at the moment, what do you think?
     
  14. CheshirePhoenix

    CheshirePhoenix Crazy Hermit on the Hill LitRPG Author Beta Reader Citizen Editor Aspiring Writer

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    Well, yes and no. People have always chosen what they want to believe, but the internet has made it simple to completely shut yourself off from any competing opinion. Pre-internet, you actually had to interact with folks who held different beliefs than you, whether they be political, religious, or whatever else have you. Now, with the internet, you don't have to do that anymore. You can voluntarily shelter yourself from any competing beliefs or ideas and build yourself an echo chamber where everyone thinks and says the exact same things.

    And that's a problem. Because without competing ideas, polarization and ossification sets in to the point where we're at now. Things gain weight and momentum based on how many people believe them - take conspiracy theories, for example. It's easy to dismiss one person as a whackjob when they come up with some off-the-wall lunatic fringe theory about something. It's less easy to disbelieve it or dismiss it when there are thousands of people parroting the theory, because that core of whackjobs has built a layer of gullible people around it, who then build more and more layers around it until entirely reasonable people are holding entirely unreasonable beliefs, kind of like how a grain of sand turns into a pearl.

    The internet is young, though, and this is just inevitable growing pains. We will eventually grow out of it, it just completely sucks right now to live through. And I don't think it's going to be a short process, so the people alive today probably won't see the end of the insanity. But maybe our grandchildren will.
     




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