Daily Archives: 09 October 2011

to discover

Every day, I discover new things here in the USA. New things about food, technology, culture, beers, people but especially I discover new things about myself, my feelings, my opinions and my beliefs about life. It is weird but at the same time interesting too. I would like to share with you three websites which I discovered (thanks to my roommate Taylor).

[Maybe I could write some discoveries about myself, too or maybe not :P]

These websites are Pandora, StumbleUpon and Pinterest. Actually they are kind of web search engine that shows you other websites or blogs according to your interests (that you express). For example on Pandora, you can write the name of the song or the artist that you like and Pandora creates a personalized radio channel for you. You can express with thumbs up or thumbs down buttons the songs you like or not.  It is the same for StumbleUpon and Pinterest. You can like or dislike the contents which the web search engine finds for you so every time you can find more customized information on internet. Pinterest has also an application on iPhone. These web search engines find really interesting blogs and images, especially Pinterest which is my favorite, is really sophisticated.

By the way recently there are some debates about how all these customized websites can influence the democracy  in a negative way. Because since we- the internet users or consumers- prefer reading, seeing or listening to the things we love, with all these super customized websites we “only” see and hear what we want to. So some researchers say that this can limit the public opinion and make us more fanatic and can close our minds to the other ideas that we do not like. In a real democratic regime, since there are a lot of different opinions we should be open and better informed about opposite ideas and point of views otherwise we cannot improve ourselves and just limit the public opinion space where we share our ideas and opinions with the ‘others’ and which is the essential for a real democracy.. There are also some political parties’ websites that show some political contents according to different interests. So with internet even the same political party can offer different political contents and messages  to different voters (#tellmewhatIwanttohear). People with different interests, see different political informations on the same website so they cannot see other messages of their party if they are not interested in. There is a paradox by the way: If you do not see, hear or taste something that you do not know , how can you know that you are not interested in or you do not like it?

If you are interested in these kind of social topics I advise you this article called The Daily We, Is the Internet really a blessing for democracy?  and written by Cass Sunstein.