If you thought people lived in their own filter bubbles, echo chambers, etc., it might be because the people building those tools reside in their own world: tech-centered Silicon Valley.
Silicon Valley makes the tools we all love to hate. Smartphones and the internet are simultaneously essential and unbearable, a facilitator of instant global communication yet a hijacker of attention and job-thief. The likes of Amazon and self-driving cars and trucks mean signal the end of retail and truck drivers, “one of the few decent-paying jobs that doesn’t require a college diploma,” writes Om Malik.
Silicon Valley is the new Wall Street, the myopic one percent that controls attention and manipulates the way common folks live and work. Perhaps they’d benefit from seeing how the other half lives, not just in Africa (Re Zuckerberg’s Manifest Destiny), but in their own country’s backyard. The Valley’s parochialism seems to grow wider every every year, along with its ballooning housing prices.
“The lack of empathy in technology design isn’t because the people who write algorithms are heartless but perhaps because they lack the texture of reality outside the technology bubble.” — Om Malik