I have a love/hate relationship with the “recommended for you” section on websites #RecommendedForYou

On the one hand, there have been times that I have appreciated the “recommended for you” section – particularly when it comes to books. Through these recommendations I have at times found things of interest to me – works I might not otherwise have discovered.

But if books define us or explain us (see quote below) I hate it that a website (via its knowledge of other purchasers and my own purchasing history) assumes to know what I want to purchase next. And I hate it even more that I might ever allow myself to be reduced to such a one-dimensional purchasing cog in this capitalist/cultural machine.

In a sense, trying to stay ahead of the “recommended for you” section is like playing a game of Temple Run (my niece just introduced me to this game on the weekend). It is an “endless running” game in which you are perpetually pursued by demonic monkeys. Staying ahead, or out of reach, of the ‘recommended for you” section equally requires such endless running. But with imagination and stealth and a willingness to reach beyond what you have known – you might just stay ahead of them.

“Far more than the everyday biographical details of a life (what one ate, whom one slept with), a person’s library is an indication of what concerns continue to possess him through time.” (From Superfluities Redux) H/T @faiththeology


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