How Algorithms Flattened Culture

Paperback, 304 pages

Published by Doubleday.

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Terms From New Yorker staff writer and author of The Longing for Less Kyle Chayka comes a timely history and investigation of a world ruled by algorithms, which determine the shape of culture itself.

From trendy restaurants to city grids, to TikTok and Netflix feeds the world round, algorithmic recommendations dictate our experiences and choices. The algorithm is present in the familiar neon signs and exposed brick of Internet cafes, be it in Nairobi or Portland, and the skeletal, modern furniture of Airbnbs in cities big and small. Over the last decade, this network of mathematically determined decisions has taken over, almost unnoticed—informing the songs we listen to, the friends with whom we stay in touch—as we’ve grown increasingly accustomed to our insipid new normal.

This ever-tightening web woven by algorithms is called “Filterworld.” Kyle Chayka shows us how online and offline spaces alike have been engineered for seamless consumption, …

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