Posted at 27 May, 15:55h
Messing With Fate – Andrew Keen
In Silicon Valley, however, failure has a way of previewing the future. Just as social networks like Friendster gave way to Facebook, so will these early social-discovery apps mature into something more user-friendly. What, though, will the eventual success of such technology mean? Will it… “amplify our humanness” by compounding the coincidences in our lives?
…Do we really want the preternatural ability to avoid entering any Starbucks where we might encounter an ex? Do we want to wonder, during a conversation with a delightful stranger, whether that person plotted our “chance” meeting? And the reverse: Do we want to find ourselves forever stalking people in airports because an app says they might be professionally valuable?
Ultimately, apps that claim to engineer serendipity seem more likely to do the reverse. Their main offense is not ubiquitous surveillance, but that they stand to destroy surprise and, with it, true serendipity. Rather than enriching our lives with unexpected encounters and genuine strangers, they threaten to take the mystery and the magic out of people we don’t know.
(via The Atlantic)