Algorithms resolve two things: Indecision fatigue and the wisdom of crowds.
The elevator is programmed to manage simultaneous requests while picking up passengers in route on the way up and down. If runs on a series of complex “if and then” statements to influence its movements.
What to read next bears a similar issue. We suffer from the infinity of choice, to what type of books we're interested in, all the way down to the format we want to read it in.
Amazon's recommended books algorithms removed the barrier to indecision. Taking into account your past reads and what other have read, it makes relevant recommendations on the next book to pick up. Spotify Discover Weekly works the same way after it gets to understand your habits and preferences.
The mind hates thinking about what's next. Such is the reason Obama settled on wearing the same outfit every day. Algorithms free up our brain space to do rather than toggle between the options.
Algorithms free up our brain space to do rather than toggle between the options. They are the antidote to the chaotic linear 21st-century feed. The more time we spending consuming rather than deciding what's next is time well spent. By outsourcing our digging, we create more time to learn.
On the other hand, playing the tastemaker can also be deeply satisfying.
Whether we're providing or consuming lists, it's better not to push out or take in everything at once. Keep some of the hidden gems in stock.