Page One Review

Page One is a compelling and revealing look in to one year at the New York Times; the Old Grey Lady. By dumb luck, the documentary is filmed during an incredible and controversial time at the paper. During a round of layoffs, as the news world crumbles around their feet causing people to question whether the paper can survive, and during the publishing of the wikileaks of secret government cables; the viewer gets an unfiltered look in to the behind-the-scenes goings on at the paper.

The film really centers around David Carr, a journalist for the NYT. David is a compelling character to center the film around. He is outspoken, unapologetic, and profound in his writing. David, after years of drug abuse, alcohol abuse, and dark times in his life, shines as a traditional reporter in the new media world. The documentary covers the Media Desk, which was created to follow the changes in the media and new industry, including what was happening at the NYT.

It is a fascinating study in the changes in news-gathering, which includes film from symposium about news, and how many new media figureheads seem to resent the NYT and big newspapers for a perceived lack of credibility, which David Carr takes an exception to, and at one presents a web front page from one of the aggregate sites, with all the stories taken from big newspapers cut out…there wasn’t much content left.

David is a great protagonist for the film, the look in to story pitch meetings, and real news gathering, trying to get confirmation on stories, get people to go on record, and the minutia of doing proper journalism which seems to occur mostly through a series of tedious phone calls.

The documentary is fascinating. As a “writer,” I found it to be truly provocative, exciting, and a fascinating look in to the back room hard work that goes on to make a daily publication such as this happen. There are great retrospectives in to some scandals the NYT has endured to compromise its integrity, a little history, and a daily walk through reporting and getting copy from a journalist’s desk to the front page.

It comes from some of the people behind Waiting For Superman; Food, Inc.; and An Inconvenient Truth. Though you can argue that there is a liberal bias to these earlier films, there is enough stark fact and truth to keep it from feeling too much like an agenda-bent film. I highly suggest a look in to the film to see what work goes in to the words, and to maybe make you reconsider your potentially toxic distaste for “lame-stream” media.

Page One is available for online streaming on Netflix, so pop it in to your queue.

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Your Life on a Hard Drive

or: The Cloud Model…Extrapolated

We here at Poppyc**k love technology, and have for years welcomed the idea that one day our future robot overlords will see us for the dangerous and unpredictable variable that we are and decide through complicated algorithms that the course of elimination or enslavement far outweighs the dangers of tolerating our wild behavior. This is an inevitable course of events that we have decided is the most probable end to our lives on this planet. In the meantime, we are seeing the first steps toward a Matrix-like world so eloquently illustrated in the first installment of the trilogy by Andy and Lana Wachowski (two and three were shit, let’s be honest). As the idea of ‘the cloud’ marches on toward an inevitable reality that consumes every nook and cranny of your life, the next step is one that is disconcerting for current models of business and life. Though there will always be a set of humanity bringing up the rear in adopting the next logical step, it will all eventually lead to the conclusion that digital material will one day replace all analog material in the mediums of film, music, video games, and beyond.

The shift has happened already as we try to reconcile a world of ones and zeroes with the physical world we have all known throughout our entire lives. Look at what we’ve seen in the last few years alone. We’ve seen the rise of subscription and free services spanning everything from news outlets to movie services and streaming music sites. We’ve seen the rise of iTunes moving not only music, but every film and TV show you can imagine. We’ve seen ‘smart’ TV’s and the rise of downloading services like Steam in the video game community. Some brick and mortar buildings have closed their doors from the Rocky Mountain News to now Blockbuster claiming bankruptcy and even some magazines seeking refuge in cutting hard copy printing all together and instead shifting to a completely digital business model. The signs all point toward the fact that one day, sooner rather than later, your only source for anything you want, will be viewed through the pixels on a screen, not on a page of any kind.

It all makes sense to me. Why continue with the crushing overhead of DVD’s, CD’s, paper, delivery, shipping costs, purchase orders, presses, employee work forces, and all the other issues that go along with distributing in the three-dimensional world? It is all cut down to near zero overhead when it goes digital. What it used to take thousands of people to accomplish from beginning to end of a process can now be accomplished by three guys jacked up like drug addicts in a dark room with no windows. Just plug those kids in and let ‘em code. Hell, they don’t even need health insurance plans; more savings!

So what is the new business model? What will the landscape look like once there is literally no ‘hard copies’ of anything? Well, I suggest we take a look at the three major industries I highlighted earlier. The three areas where this move will be easiest to make and the major changes that have already taken place. It’s like getting fat, it doesn’t happen overnight, but one day you realize after looking at an old photo, shit, how did it come to this?


There have been a lot of issues surrounding the music industry in the digital age, dating back to Napster’s unveiling (ask your parents, kids). The idea of property rights in a digital age really started here and this is where DRM questions really came to light. Well, if I own it, why can’t I share it digitally with a friend? When I bought CD’s I was allowed to let a friend listen, this is just like that, but on a scale of millions of people. Who really owns the music? I’m not selling it for money, I’m just sharing it with strangers. Where’s the harm? Someone bought it, since I am downloading it, they already got their money, but I just am borrowing it from someone I don’t know, where’s the harm? Well, it was decided there was harm and Napster went away for a while after lawsuits and…forget it, just watch The Social Network.

Now, after the crushing eye-opener that was the Napster business model, digital media is still pirated and illegally downloaded. Hell, if you’re really savvy you can get an album off the net weeks before it’s even released to the public; that’s a real digital pirate, right there. The model for music production and distribution has changed as the technology has improved. The great thing about today’s landscape is that, through social media and cheap music programs, anyone can make an album and distribute it across the world. Technology for the consumer has caught up with what used to take a multi-national label to achieve; and a fucking 14-year old boy in Iowa can have an EP online in a matter of days when his mom buys him a Mac and Fruity Loops for Christmas.

With the advent of technology finally trumping the once touted label powerhouses, small indie labels and truly independent artists have been carving out their corner of the net to the tune of real cash money through a completely digital product. They don’t actually make anything. After initial cost, the music they made and put up on the net for sale, which people will pay for, cost them nothing but time. Zero overhead! No one is taking a cut, there is no advertising blitz, press junkets, or CD release parties. They just tour performing shows and then eventually press ‘Enter’ and BAM, they have an album. There are so many avenues for personal promotion. From WordPress, to Facebook, to SoundCloud, to CD Baby, to iTunes, to, to privately hosted website and PayPal, there is a distribution network already set up for anyone with a beat machine and a crack pot pipe dream of producing their own music.

It doesn’t stop there. With free streaming mega giant, Pandora, you don’t even need to pay for music to hear it. It’s just like the radio, but it’s a radio that only plays what you want, and there are no annoying fucking crank calls to celebrities on the local morning drive show where assholes are supposedly entertaining you. Play some Goddamned music already! With Pandora, you pick the music you want on the station, and it will play that and anything else that preprogrammed algorithms think you will also like based on your tastes. Sure, a short commercial or two, but for a few bucks a month you can make that go away with the free station’s premium package.

Speaking of paid services of music libraries, how about that MusicUnlimited? Or maybe you might have heard of Spotify? Well, these are just the tip of the iceberg for accounts with limited listening for free, or for a reasonably affordable upgrade, you can have access to millions of songs without actually paying for any of them individually. This trend is three-fold. Down goes the old model, like Ortiz from a Mayweather cheap shot. Not buying albums anymore? Who gets the money? How does an artist make a living in the digital milk crates with all the other artists? The second fold is the terrifying realization that you will probably never stand out if you are nobody, and becoming somebody will be that much harder when no one is buying digital albums anymore, let alone hard copies out of the trunk of your car or at the merch booth after your set. How are the talented and unknown masses supposed to get your attention when people stop buying a new artist’s music SPECIFICALLY?If people are downloading tracks from an artist in particular, they are far less likely to draw an interest in that artist if they are just a part of the Spotify catalog. Third fold is the complete elimination of money going directly to an artist. When I buy music (I never pirate music) I am doing so because I love what that artist is making and I want to support people, groups, or musicians so I can continue to hear them create with the dollars I give them. I am directly supporting the cause for more good music to come out of that person. How much is going to them in the catalog subscription model? They are already touring in a van and eating Vienna Sausages out of a can. The shoe-string can’t take that kind of tension, friends. Do you want to see your favorite artists quit the game because they can’t make a living on the subscription model? I didn’t think so. Be weary. But I guess there is always Kickstarter…but that’s a WHOLE ‘nother article.


Films have seen so many advances in technology, and still employ so many of them it can make your head spin. From reel to reel still used in filmmaking and projection at movie theaters, all the way to 3D technology and digital editing and distribution in DVD and Blue Ray formats, this industry is still using just about everything it did at it’s advent at some point in the process. It is the oddest thing.

Want a real world example of how the industry is unable to make the full leap forward? The advent of the digital copy. Not only will they not relinquish complete control of the film’s rights through safeguards in copying movies to hard drives for streaming to iPads, mobile devices, and computers, they are now going to provide you with a copiable copy of the movie with the purchase of the film in DVD and/or Blue Ray format. Couldn’t we just do that with the one disc I already paid for? This is a losing business model. What if Henry Ford had rolled out a promotion of getting a free horse and buggy with every Model A sold? Maybe Verizon should throw in a free pager with every Android-powered phone they sell? One more example? OK. I can’t wait for my doctor to give me a free Leach treatment to get out all the ‘bad blood’ next time I get a flu shot. I mean, c’mon.

Movies have always been protected in usage rights. We’ve all seen the scary FBI warning before a film. Who can blame them? With movie costing hundreds of millions of dollars when you factor in promotion, advertising, production cost, buying a script, rewriting a script, screen testing, lawyers fees, actors pay, union pay, and on and on, it is a wonder movies even get made anymore. The investment up front is so huge and the cost of producing DVD’s on the back end (with more promotion), it is astronomical cost that is met with great venom if anyone beats the system and shares a film online or sells bootleg copies. (side note: movies are bootlegged but music is pirated? Why?) They sink so much liquid and borrowed capital into the production and release of a film that it can be catastrophic for a movie to be bootlegged even a few thousand times, let alone downloaded through Bit Torrent sites by millions.

Movies have also seen the fall of rental stores and the rise of Netflix. This is another shift in an industry not unlike that of music. A massive library of hundreds of thousands of TV shows and films to which you have 24-hour access. No longer do you buy a movie. You stream it or rent it through the mail service of Netflix; well, Quikster now, but that is a WHOLE ‘nother article to itself. Fuckin’ Netflix. Anyway, people are no longer buying movies at 20 to 40 bucks a pop. They are just renting as part of a service, or skipping hard copies all together and just streaming it to their TV through an online service. Sure, the quality of the video and audio depends on your internet connection and the availability of HD for any particular title, but the result remains the same: No one is buying the title outright at Best Buy.

Those that are buying movies specifically are the quickly dwindling folks on iTunes who want to buy a movie, or a season of a TV Shows. Yes, people are still buying movies. I don’t remember the last movie I bought. I think I got a used movie at a Blockbusters “80% off because we are fucked” sale a few years back. The titles online are cheaper than the actual hard copy version, and you do have the option of just renting the title. You can also watch the trailer for the film before you do either of those and even read peer-reviews of the film by those that think their shit smells like Roger fuckin’ Ebert’s (that’s me by the way, three reviews deep).

What can large production houses hope for, best case scenario? They still need to blast your face with advertising like their movie is a GOP candidate for President. There needs to be more advertising for this film than your brain can handle. They need big Hollywood names, and you gotta pay for that. You still need key grips, union guys, set designers, wardrobe people, craft services, extras, insurance, equipment that’s not getting any cheaper, special effects guys, stunt doubles, rooms of editors, interns, assistants, trailers, marketing guys, screen tests, script writers, and the rest of the world’s biggest enchilada. The best they can hope for is that streaming sites will be able to cut them in deeper on the pie and costs keep rising in those fees. You’re gonna cut out hard copies to only maybe 20% of DVD sales in the next five years. It will mostly be subscription services and digital downloads in HD. Oh, did I mention HD digital copies cost more than standard definition copies? Well, they gotta get you somehow, right? Since they can’t get you with the price of popcorn in your living room, you’ll pay for a clearer damned picture…the movie is better in HD, right? Picture quality has gotta be worth at least one more thumbs up from MovEENerd810.

Video Games

Ah, one so near and dear to my heart we could write all day and night about this industry and never be done. This is my bread and butter, the jam on my toast, and the wiggle in my walk. Literally, I think I have a deformed tail bone from all my hours sitting in a chair with a controller and a bursting bladder waiting to pee until I reach the next checkpoint.

The gaming industry has always confused me. Well, not always, just in the last five years or so. Why are AAA-titles costing me 60 bucks a pop!? I know they cost a lot to make, but then again movies generally cost more…so what gives? The money invested and the man hours are on par with a film, but it costs three times the price for a copy of a game that costs less to make? I never got that. Where does all that money go? They always have multiple titles in development, on the shelves, or in my collection and you still charge me sixty dollars for a title? I never got that explained to me.

That said, this is a multi-billion dollar industry that shows no signs of slowing down. Kids keep being born, and in this digital age, they’re not satisfied with sticks and cardboard boxes to play in, they want real entertainment. They want entertainment it took a team of a few hundred people two years and 60 million dollars to create. They want entertainment so vivid and visceral that movie producers and script writers are jumping ship and joining the gaming world pitching new IP’s and joining development houses. Games have gotten so good that I would pit the script and storyline of any video game trilogy up against the likes of any of the best movie trilogies of all time. Frankly, our stories are better, and you get to fucking be IN them!

Gaming has seen the advent of many technologies since it’s inception, too. Unlike the movie industry, they have adopted new technology and let the old stuff die a slow and painful death. Well, not a death, but they fall in to the category of nostalgia, not dead technology. I doubt you still watch movies on a reel to reel on the wall of your garage in 8mm, but there are those that still love the feel of an NES controller in their hands and live their life in 8-bits, gladly. With new systems, new graphics engines, and extremely talented minds, the gaming industry went from nerdy to chic pretty damn quickly. Have you seen an after party at E3…that’s like any Emmy after party out there…star-studded.

As internet connectivity has given way to multiplayer expansion, DLC, and now media streaming like ESPN and Netflix, the console has taken on a whole new meaning. With the internet hooked up to your XBOX or Playstation, you can download music, stream movies, play game demos, watch sports highlights and live games, can download indie titles from the arcade, play games with friends across the country, and oh yeah you can even purchase full games without leaving your chair. Just like with movies and music, you don’t need to leave your house and drive to the store to get a title, you can just press a button and have the title at your disposal before dinner is done cooking.

This idea of live and on demand has gotten to video games in a big way. The DLC was a huge leap. Wish there was more ‘movie’ in your movie? Well, you can now have more ‘game’ in your game! With DLC (downloadable content) you can buy another chapter to the story, another side mission, another part of the world that was weaved for you by all the people that made the game. Game developers are no longer limited by the space on a disc, they can just keep adding things on and new content to keep people buying copies and spending money through the digital marketplaces.

Things are progressing further and the talk of strictly digital sales is slowing growing from grumbles by gaming futurists to a dull roar from all involved. This could have both dire and profitable ramifications. Say goodbye to Gamestop, for one. Without hard copies of games, trade-ins, used titles, they are out of business. The chain should already be figuring out a third-party business model to work in the coming analog-apocalypse. With no hard copies, GameStop would go the way of the Dodo in lieu of the larger chains like Target, Best Buy and Wal-Mart offering consoles at a cheaper price and more conveniently in their omni-specific outlets. Also, with digital distribution it would require an upgrade to the skeleton system of servers that keep the online marketplace and multiplayer universe going. A switch to digital-only would result in a better user infrastructure, fast forwarding the slow development and minimal servers in place now to handle increased traffic. I would hope it would lower costs for AAA-titles overall, but I fear that the savings would be only minimal in the range of five to ten dollars a title.

There are already some services out there that are the first-adopters that see the wisdom of investing in the inevitable shift early, so they can be on the cutting edge of a working model while everyone else is just getting their pants on. Steam is quickly gaining, well, steam, as a progressive and successful gaming model for PC-users today. It is not just a gaming marketplace with over a thousand titles available for download, but is a community of savvy gamers with forums, automatic game updates, Steam-only special offers, chat services, and up to the minute industry news, but it is a successful model with full transparency. From stats on how many people are playing, achievement stats, and a lot of open information, it is a model for what might truly be the next step in the gaming process. I know we are still at a mostly hard copy stage right now. But just as with music, small gaming publishers and simply just dudes with coding skills and some free time, are able to create and distribute fun and exciting new IP’s in a cost-effective and explosive manner. Do you think Limbo was possible even five years ago? Not a chance. Digital is where it is at with the video gaming future. We already did away with user manuals for the most part. GOW3 was just north of directions scribbled on a used cocktail napkin, but at least it came with stickers. Yay for the digital future in gaming.

So where does this leave us? I could go on about book sales, newspapers, the inevitably shaky future of standard programming on cable, the advent of on demand streaming sites like Hulu and Sidereel. I could have dazzled you with massive statistics to back up every point I have made, but that’s not the Poppyc**k way. I could continue to prattle on about Omni-tools and devices and the attention span of an ever busier and ever more impatient and uninformed world. I could keep moving toward the simple idea that we don’t have enough hands to carry it all or the time in the day to drive somewhere and buy it all. We need it on demand, at our fingertips, and at a reasonable monthly price. We want less stuff but access to more things. It’s all about the digital.

We sit in an odd ethos right now, as consumers. You go and rent a movie, and buy a video game. Most people have moved on in their music to the digital world with a mix of iTunes, Pandora, and Spotify. As we move forward some stuff will stick around for nostalgia’s sake, and for high quality viewing. Blue Ray will be replaced with something, smart and 3D TV’s will be standard. Books will be a quirky thing it is chic and trendy to buy from a corner shop in downtown LA. Textbooks will be a thing of the past as tablets and Kindles become more cost effective.

We are straddling a very odd time where we have on foot in the age of analog and one foot in the age of a digital (r)evolution. The (r)evolution won’t be televised, it will be downloaded and streamed on demand. It will end up in our Netflix Queue between Uncle Buck and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It will be shared on our FB profile and synced with Tumblr and Twitter as we watch sports highlights and news videos while we download the big video game title of the year and search through the complete Beatles anthology on Music Unlimited. I feel like we’re currently in a scene from the video for A-Ha’s “Take on Me.” We are in a sketched, standard definition world. Walking behind the window we are in full-color and 3D. We’re on our way to the other side, but right now, we’re just leaning around the window; we’re both sketched, and real. I don’t know what the motorcycle guys with wrenches represent in this analogy, maybe DRM rights, but all I know is that it is an inevitable change, the cloud idea, because everyone wants to make just a little more profit, and overhead is just such a dirty word today.

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Filtered to Death

Out of Site Out of Mind:

The Rampant Desire for Personalized Digital Media Exposure

 It began innocently enough, I suppose. I could go back to newspapers and even as far back as newsreels that played before movies back in the day. I could trace the steps of the advent of the digital age and the shift in American consumer tastes spurred on by the growing outcry calling for more news distilled in to short bites and clips so as to stay abreast of what was going on beyond our purview. I could go there, but I think I want to start more recently with the very modern form of news as we know it. Yes, there are papers which no one really reads anymore, but with the undeniable power of aggregate news sites battling demographic targeted broadcast and cable news channels, I think we might have gone a touch too far. Digital ratings-based advertising coupled with the algorithmic world that now surrounds our every waking moment makes for a dangerous cocktail of inadvertent censorship and willing non-participation that we have created and embraced, filtering content to the point that we are now able to literally shape the world that we allow to be known to us.

The most subtle, and probably the most rewarding, form of filtration really goes on without our consent; algorithms. Algorithms are like open-ended lines of code and equations that power some of the most wildly popular and engrossing forms of media entertainment and access. Your TiVo has them. Netflix, Hulu, and iTunes wouldn’t really even be the programs that they are without them. As you rate, record, listen to, or watch something, a little line of code is having a circle jerk with all the information therein. As you rate a movie five-stars on Netflix, that information, all the defining aspects and genre information of said movie, is being run through a program and it is able to spit out similar movies and TV shows which it will bet that you like. It also takes that information and begins to eliminate from your view all the movies you won’t like. So even as you are taking in media, companies and corporations have decided on your behalf what you want to be exposed to from that moment forward. There is no going back even after watching one TV show or buying one single song on iTunes, your tastes will be extrapolated to an almost pornographic level and what makes it to your eyes and into your song catalog will now be censored for your viewing pleasure, courtesy of Faceless Entity, Inc.

What also exists is the wonderful world of personalization. Oh, this glorious form of self-expression extends from the iPhone case to how you get your news. Well, thanks to the geniuses of Let Them Eat Cake, LLC; you can now personalize everything news related from your homepage to your homepage. Gone are the days of all relevant news and information getting to you. No, now you can get only the news that matters to you. So do away with local stories about government, national stock information, foreign news, and fuck cricket scores or LPGA rankings; those aren’t real sports anyway. Now you can get just the news you want to know, not what you NEED to know. The paper was nice because it was all there for you to read or not to or even to not want to read but be interested after skimming a headline. Screw that shit, I don’t even want to be bothered with crap that doesn’t amuse me. Just simply set up your page with a few ticks of boxes, a couple simple questions, and a few loading pages later we have successfully ousted even being bothered with anything that doesn’t get my brain all riled up like Anthony Weiner’s Jockey shorts.

Most disturbingly I have found that this is also happening to us in our search for knowledge. At it’s best and most ideal the internet is simply a wealth of knowledge. You can learn quite possibly anything on the internet. (I have recently been toying with the idea of writing a book about how I taught myself how to pass the California Bar Exam and other ridiculous accomplishments through free information on the web) One might think that portals to this wealth of knowledge should have no filtration or any oversight beyond what a parent is allowed to limit from the innocent minds of their progeny. Alas, this is not the case. Google for one will filter and order the news, unless you specify otherwise in “search settings,” according to previous methods of searching. So, based quite possibly on the sites you click on and the hours you spend searching for nutshot videos or dramatic squirrels, this could effect the outcome of a search on struggles in Tunisia for a freestanding and non-corrupt post-revolution government. Those two search-types seem independently exclusive, but algorithms at work in search engines kick back to you what they thinks you will want to see, not what might be most relevant or even the most up-to-date information. I for one get wikipages with almost every search I do because I went on a tear over the wikileaks and warlogs.*

Is any of this dangerous on it’s own? I think it certainly could be innocent if any of this existed wholly separate from the rest. Your Netflix preferences are nice, you like when TiVo gets it right, and you like that iTunes can make you hip to a new sound not unlike the other sounds you already like. Hey, so do I! I don’t mind my tastes that make me an individual broken down in to key numeric values and variables, fed into a machine, and then the very tastes and preferences that make me human are displayed on a homepage in so many unfeeling pixels and sums to a numbers problem; who doesn’t like their humanity dissolved down to nothing more than a solution to a math problem that humans cannot even fathom solving with scratch paper and a pen!?

Despite my clear reticence to accept our future robot overlords, I do embrace some of these comforts that technological advance and free-market consumption have offered us. I just wonder if this move to changing and shaping what gets to us is starting to do that world “out there” a disservice. I like my TiVo, Netflix, and even my Hulu. To a large extent I know those kinds of filtration are for my convenience and my pleasure. I am glad Netflix knows I don’t want to see Tyler Perry present ANYTHING, and I get that this system is really meant for entertainment only, but these things also represent a portal to learning new things and that kind of power should not be taken lightly. Think of what a mind-bender someone might get from the right documentary or the right film that doesn’t fit their designed preferences. Genius can be struck through any forum, and just because a person’s tastes say they might not like Citizen Kane, doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be exposed to it on their Netflix homepage and given the chance to watch the greatest film ever made.

When it comes to building my own filters I like having a choice to only watch the sports highlights that I wanna see and follow teams or players very carefully as a fan on I sure as shit don’t give a holy hell about rugby or cricket unless it is 4am and ESPN3 has a replay of what apparently was a really big game and then try and figure out the rules as I watch it, but I like to be given the option to see it when I want and then otherwise forget it is a thing at all.

It is the way of the times that we even personalize our news pages and sites. This is where fear starts to creep in for me. This is where people now have control not to pick and choose sports, but the things happening in reality all over the world. Depending on a person’s views, morals, beliefs, business interests, location geographically, they can design a filter through a homepage and email updates catering to their specific needs and desires. This is where a slippery slope comes in as we begin to live in a more global society where issues in any one place can and do effect us all. Didn’t know that the Supreme Court ruled violent and sexual video games are protected as free speech same as books like Catcher in the Rye and Howl and are legally allowed to be sold to minors? Well, change up your page and you might learn a thing or two about the reaches of the Constitution.

In the end I guess it is all about pleasing the customer. This might be as much the problem as the solution though. We should filter the world a bit, I will admit. You have to box things up because there are 3,000 kinds of cereal, 500 kinds of soda, and 1,000 different energy drinks, and if you try to look at everything your brain will fucking explode (paraphrasing Budo); but if it is that or being obtuse and ignorant to particular, meaningful things because you can’t be bothered, then I think we might be headed to personalizing ourselves in to a corner. Maybe filtration should be used to only a limited extent. I don’t think anyone has ever complained about being offered more. Give people options, but always keep certain things on any page. Major developments, updates to stories, and anything pertaining to a region or a story of any great weight should have a place on a page no matter if a person decides that they care or not; and don’t forget Citizen Kane. I also think it is dangerous and almost criminal on the part of search engines to throw algorithms at what shows up when I desire to go out and learn; whether it’s movie quotes or reports on warcrimes, I want to be able to access the most relevant information, not what you think I am looking for, Google. Exposure is key to changing and opening minds and if someone isn’t exposed to new ideas, music, movies, or news, I fear it could retard our growth as individuals which can have dire consequences at the relatively cheap cost of having to skim through the “crap” on our homepages for an extra five seconds.

 *If you’re reading this (all five of you), then I would like you to do a search of “Tunisia” on Google and list the first three sites or listings you get. My first three are two wikipages: Tunisia and Tunisian revolution, I get Google images (which doesn’t count) and the third entry is a entry. I will bet that your three links, minus photos, will be different, unless you read a lot of wiki and love the NYTimes as I do. POST THOSE LINKS IN THE COMMENTS BELOW. I doubt you will do this, but if even a couple people do then I think we are in for an interesting experiment to see if I’m lying about algorithm intervention or if there is a little credence to what I have to say. God knows I love to be proven right.

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