A Messy World (II)

In Current reading, Irish Mist, Local projects, Revision on October 27, 2014 at 8:23 am

This is an important read. I don’t know for how long the link will stay active. For future reference, the article appears in the October 26, 2014 edition of The New York Times. With a by-line by Ravi Somaiya, the title reads : How Facebook is Changing the Way its Users Consume Journalism. In essence, a mathematical code, designed by a Facebook employee, drives what you find (or don’t) on your Facebook page. You clicked Like on something? Expect more items of the same kind. More news, more photos, more links that reflect your tastes – as defined by an algorithm.

Your reasons for clicking (or not clicking) the Like button? Who cares; you clicked; you like; you get more. How far are we from the bar-press releasing a food pellet to the lab rat? Right next door, folks. The rats had better stay clever or else they’ll find themselves locked into “echo chambers” – all the reverb saying exactly what they want to hear and nothing else.

Google does it already. Your search terms determine which pages will show up highest on your next search.

Unless the whole system collapses – or unless you choose to live in a cavern away from the world and all its sins –  there’s no turning back. There’s only dealing with what is and staying as alert as possible  to the inner signals that say:with all due consideration, this matters to me, this doesn’t. Accepting the necessary discomforts of being wrong, at times, along with the satisfaction of getting it right; of being challenged; of being confused and uncertain. Of making sense of my own sensations, thoughts and experiences – in the face of what someone else holds to be truer than true, in total contradiction to what seems oh-so-obvious and unassailable to me.

A twenty-one year old man died here over the weekend, during clashes with riot police over the dam project at Sivens. Circumstances of his death still unclear. The Experts’ Report is said to support the views of the opponents to the project. What happens next: still unclear, beyond a temporary halt to the work that should be announced today. As a friend said last night: precious little grounds for rejoicing.

Life’s never been simple. It’s not about to get simpler. I try to choose my craziness as best I can. Try to insure it involves as much living and laughing as possible for me and others, even through the inevitable tears. What can I say. Craziness is like everything else. I like the kind that makes kids laugh – including the little kid on the back seat of my inner vehicle.

To whom I dedicate Oscar:


Oscar and my personal inner-kid will do their best to make this Monday as manageable as possible for the grownup me and those the grownup encounters. Allez? Allez.



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