I found myself in a spat on Twitter today arguing about AI content sorting. Among the many whining fools on the internet, hands outstretched and begging the government to regulate the sorting algorithms of Facebook and Twitter was a boomer named Grady.
Self-proclaimed as “scientist, storyteller, philosopher”, Grady believes we don’t need sorting algorithms at all! Instead, we could all stay happy with a basic chronological feed.
Top of the news today is that @Facebook is open to the idea of federal oversight of its ranking algorithm.— Grady Booch (@Grady_Booch) October 10, 2021
The best algorithm is one that doesn’t exist: replace Facebook‘s newsfeed algorithm with a time ordered feed.
This is stupid boomer energy for a multitude of reasons, one of the most important being this is a Luddite way of thinking. The best way to solve the problems of what you consider to be bad technology is to build better technology. The call to rid ourselves of data-augmenting technology is dumb.
For chronological-sorting to work and have any value, you would have to follow very few people and have very little exposure to the actual internet. For everyone else, more content is created in a single day, or even an hour, than you could finish reading in your lifetime.
No. I’m just a fast reader— Grady Booch (@Grady_Booch) October 11, 2021
Thus, you need effective tools to help you navigate the insurmountable quantities of data that is produced. Good algorithms help you achieve this by elevating data and content that is relevant and important to you. A good algorithm can both increase the value you derive from content found on the internet and decrease the time spent trying to find it. For a “humanist” like Grady, this is a great advancement.
This is an important goal of BitSurf. Better algorithms means a better experience. Don’t take it from me, Grady puts it well:
Ah. You did have a hidden agenda.— Grady Booch (@Grady_Booch) October 11, 2021