Information Pollution

A (mostly unappetizing) appetizer for The Cleaners

Tarleton Gillespie, Logic, "The Scale is Just Unfathomable"

"the obvious parodies and even the shadier knock-offs interact with the legions of algorithmic content producers until it is completely impossible to know what is going on. "

"What concerns me is that this is just one aspect of a kind of infrastructural violence being done to all of us, all of the time, and we’re still struggling to find a way to even talk about it, to describe its mechanisms and its actions and its effects."

James Bridle, "Something is wrong on the internet"


"a recipe or a list of directions to a friend’s house can be understood as an algorithm...

...machine-learning algorithms are effectively programming themselves, meaning that they can sometimes be unpredictable"

Jacob Brogan, "What is an algorithm? An explainer."

"Like gods, these mathematical models were opaque, their workings invisible to all but the highest priests in their domain: mathematicians and computer scientists."

Cathy O'Neil, Weapons of Math Destruction

"Here’s an exercise: The next time you hear someone talking about algorithms, replace the term with “God” and ask yourself if the meaning changes."

Ian Bogost, "The Cathedral of Computation"


"Stacks.  In 2012 it made less and less sense to talk about "the Internet," "the PC business," "telephones," "Silicon Valley," or "the media," and much more sense to just study Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft.  These big five American vertically organized silos are re-making the world in their image."

Bruce Sterling, "State of the World, 2012"


"...the dominant logic of the web."

Wall Street Journal: Facebook: Blue Feed – Red Feed

Emily Glazer, Deepa Seetharaman, AnnaMaria Andriotis,  "Facebook to Banks: Give Us Your Data, We’ll Give You Our Users"

The models being used today are opaque, unregulated, and uncontestable, even when they’re wrong. Most troubling, they reinforce discrimination: If a poor student can’t get a loan because a lending model deems him too risky (by virtue of his zip code), he’s then cut off from the kind of education that could pull him out of poverty, and a vicious spiral ensues.

...the black box models that shape our future, both as individuals and as a society. These “weapons of math destruction” score teachers and students, sort résumés, grant (or deny) loans, evaluate workers, target voters, set parole, and monitor our health.

-- Weapons of Math Destruction

"Digital Detox is a pilot initiative to reduce the toxicity of our personal digital environments and how we engage with them. By mindfully taking on this detox, you will begin to develop critical habits that will improve your overall well-being and reduce risks to your personal digital data."

Mike Caulfield, Four Moves


information pollution

By Brian Lamb

information pollution

  • 2,382