As I was thinking once again how much I dislike giving “star ratings” to things, I got to thinking about how the insistence of asking for them – or the simple binary “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” on Netflix – on sites is just a base manipulation to get the recommendations field populated by the algorithm.
And it occurred to me what I should have been doing all along, and what I should consider doing from this point forward. It might seem weird, but it might be the thing to smash the algorithm altogether.
Sure, I had the thought of finding things without the aid of the algorithm. This is the next step.
Instead of giving an honest rating to the media you just consumed – be it movie, book, television show, music, or anything else – give it the opposite rating of what you think it deserves. It’ll feel like a betrayal to the things you love. It will seem a lie to the world at large.
But what wonders might you discover with this little deception?
Will the algorithm start to expose you to other fantastic genres you’d never consider?
Like Sybok says to McCoy…the next steps, we’ll take together. Join me in this digital sabotage.
Like so many theoretical models we’ve seen in the last few months, garbage data produces garbage results. Feed the wrong input to the machine, and see what the machine produces.
What do we have to lose?