Have we lost our love of serendipity ?

They say that your cognitive learning abilities begin to decrease from the age of 27 as you become more habitual and you begin to lose your sense of discovery. The problem is that now our laziness is going to be controlled by an algorithm.

A video created by Eli Pariser, believes that facebook, google and applications across the net are creating a filter bubble that will go against what the web was intended for. He believes it was created to introduce us to new people and help us find new perspectives. The problem is, as the web becomes more personalised you could argue it becomes more isolating.

Here is a great quote from it’s inventor Tim Berners Lee:

‘The filter bubble phenomenon, I think that noun is applied to the idea that a search engine can get to know you and so it can get to know the source of things it thinks you’re interested in. You will end up in a bubble because you will reward the search engine — you will go to the search engine — it feeds you things which you’re excited about and happy about and it won’t feed you things which get you thinking.’

A person you walk past on the street, an image you take of someone interesting, a comment a person makes in passing, someone telling a story through their art. These small serendipitous moments of life can not be valued, but are a major part of what makes up someone’s persona. One of the nicest things about travelling is just wondering the streets and running into things that are unexpected. How does that happen if you plan, analyse and organise every part of it?

What separates us from the machines is, a sense of wonder or imagination of what we don’t know or what we don’t expect. At a time that seems like the world is out of control, people feel great comfort in knowing what is going to happen. Will we lose our ability to tap into the eccentricities of life to bring that sense of imagination and wonder to things that we do, be it for a greater audience or just to make our lives a little more fulfilling.

I don’t know about you, but I am connecting a little less often and trying to enjoy the small eccentricities that are slightly beyond my reach a little more.

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