Ted Talk: Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”…and of course a bit more…

14 Dec

Eli Pariser: Beware online “filter bubbles”

As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there’s a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a “filter bubble” and don’t get exposed to information that could challenge or broaden our worldview. Eli Pariser argues powerfully that this will ultimately prove to be bad for us and bad for democracy.

Pioneering online organizer Eli Pariser is the author of “The Filter Bubble,” about how personalized search might be narrowing our worldview.



For the last while I have wanted to talk about “Echo Chambers” in adoption, the different groups, thoughts, attitudes.  When Eli Pariser talks about the internet doing that, without us realizing, may actually be part of the reason for it.  When I hear someone say they have never heard about an adoptee who doesn’t love all things adoption, I automatically shake my head in amazement, thinking how could you not know adoptees want changes?  I see adoptees everywhere – so how come you can’t see them too?  You can apply that to every disagreement on adoption, both within positions, and between positions.

I do think it is very easy to self-select and stay within your own comfort zone.  There is comfort in being within a group, that while having some minor difference of opinion, generally agrees.  It is empowering and necessary to know you aren’t alone in your journey.  It is also disempowering if you only converse with others of the same mindset.  You aren’t challenged to prove your position, when everyone agrees with you.  I fall into that trap of wanting only familiarity, but it also becomes self-limiting.

The bottom line though, if we want to continue to improve ourselves, and particularly how adoption is practiced, we have to talk to those we disagree with, whatever the degree.  We have to exchange points of view, and honestly listen, absorb, understand.  We need to have the conversations that will initially make everyone’s defenses go up, but eventually they will come back down, and just perhaps, we can all meet on a common middle ground.

The picture below was taken many decades ago when I was only a toddler…I cropped it to only show the pebbles on the beach, each one a different size, shape, color, texture.  It reminds me that everyone is different, we have our own thoughts, and feelings, shaped by what we have experienced – but we are all human beings.


I’m willing to listen and try to find the common ground – are you?


This link is so touching and has nothing to do with the post above, but I wanted to share it anyway.  I love animals, and believe they make the world a much better place, and while babies are cute whatever species, I tend to migrate to the animals that aren’t the babies….Out with the old…

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Posted by on December 14, 2012 in Adoption, adoptive parents


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