How I Learned To Understand The World

I like hopping into random book stores inspite of buying most of my books from online stores like Amazon. It was one such day when Krish and I headed up for coffee, I hopped into a book store called Unforgotten Books. Krish giving me the usual stare asked me if I was going to pick up a book. And I ended up picking this one.

Matt Haig has a chapter in Notes On A Nervous Planet called Algorithms eat empathy. It talks about how we are recommended with things that are almost exactly like what we are already reading, listening, or watching. There is very little serendipity in the algorithms built by the big tech companies.

We are encouraged to stay in our zone and play it safe, because the internet companies know that on average most people generally like to listen and read and watch and eat and wear the kind of stuff they have already listened to and read and watched and eaten and worn.

We haven't done so in the past. We were obliged to meet, eat, read, listen, and watch things that were different from the ones that we usually like. Growing up I remember we had one national channel on the TV, it was called Doordarshan. We watched the movies that were broadcast, whether we liked it or not. One did have the choice of not watching it.

This was not a book that I wouldn't have picked up, but it was random enough that I would have missed it. It didn't come up in any of the recommendations, yet it was a good book.

Created on Jul 1 2022