Yet the Internet is building that bubble of "yes men" around you, right now, and you don't even notice. For instance, everyone's favorite social networking site, Facebook, is filtering your friends according to how much you agree with them. It's not some crazy conspiracy theory, it's a computer algorithm. Here:
There's a downside to kids paying too much attention in math class.
What, did you think that Facebook just gave you all of your friends' updates in order? Nope -- not unless you tell it to. By default, it filters them according to your preferences, and it knows your preferences because it keeps track of all of the links you click on. If you click on a lot of left-wing news stories, it will start filtering out your right-wing friends.
Tech expert Eli Pariser calls these algorithms the "filter bubble," and its implications are pretty sinister. You've already seen this if you are a younger person continually embarrassed/frustrated by the idiotic Facebook hoaxes your older family members fall for. No, Uncle Frank, Obama did not ban the use of the phrase "Christmas tree" and didn't paint over an American flag with his own logo. How can he not recognize these as silly urban legends? Because everyone who would tell him so has been filtered out. Bad information can circulate forever in a bubble where everybody agrees with it.
"Standing in this room right now, I can just feel that 2012 is the mullet's year!"