Thursday, November 18, 2004

This is cool and this is way, way cool!

My friends have been listening to me droning on for almost a decade about the coming of the personalization. TV's that learn what you like and what you don't. Video rentals that suggest what to rent, based on what you liked of your previous rentals. Radio stations that only play music that rock you.

And now, it's all here.

The only difference is that even if I always believed this change was coming, I still dreaded it. Desperately. I was afraid that it would narrow our already clostrophobic universe. The TV would block any "uncomfortable" news, the radio would never play us anything new, and we wouldn't even know that movies were being made that did not fit our profile.

So far, I have thankfully been dead wrong. has played me more new music in an hour than I have heard in a month. Probably because it is music that I like, but I didn't know it. I mean, who the hell is Serge Gainsbourg anyway? And you should just see my Netflix queue! All those movies I've been passing at the video rental place for years, just because the cover didn't really move me. The damn cover, for Pete's sake!

This is in some ways like having a new friend. Or, actually, an old friend. Somebody. Who knows what you really like. And doesn't hesitate to expose you to stuff you would never have the imagination to go for yourself. Feels good.

Of course I am probably just being overly optimistic, but I think that if this profiling trend will have any marked effect at all, it might actually be to widen our view, not close it more.

OK, I'm putting my headphones back on now. Listening to some Alec Empire. Amazing. Bye...

"Gentlemen, let's broaden our minds!"