Sunday, 8 January 2012

The dawning age of DIY brainwashing?

After I'd written the update at the end of my previous post, paranoia began to set in. Was it really just coincidence that one visit to the Guardian homepage led me to two substantial pieces on the persecution of Christians? Or has the paper already mastered the art of silently tailoring the content it offers to the individual reader's interests and preferences? Depend on it, this is on its way even if it's not already with us. It would merely be an extension of what advertisers already do. Not always with great skill, of course. I seem to cut a pitiable figure in their eyes. There was a sustained campaign to get me to take out a credit card at the special paupers' interest rate of three zillion percent. They've given up on that one for the present, but now they think I need them to find me a woman. Perhaps they associate blogging with anoraks and questionable personal hygiene - quite rightly so, of course, but thankfully it hasn't deterred Frau Grumpy up to now.

I digress. My serious point is that we face the terrifying prospect of news media which allow us to brainwash ourselves, constructing ever more impenetrable walls out of our own prejudices without even noticing we're doing it. I infinitely prefer to have the Grauniad trying to convert me to its own prejudices. That way I know where I am, and I'm about as likely to succumb as I am to go down with chicken pox a second time.

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