Miller’s Law in the Archipelago of Weird

Status 451

How big is your filter bubble? bubbleWhat’s in it? What’s outside it?

Okay, next question: how can you tell?

In 2011, Eli Pariser defined a filter bubble as “that personal ecosystem of information that’s been catered by algorithms.” Unfortunately, he never defined a measure on filter bubbles. Like its name implies, a measure is a way to tell how big something is. Without one, we can talk qualitatively about filter bubbles, but if we want to get quantitative, we’re going to need to do some more work. We’ll start with a literature search.

Let’s assume that the continuum of human experience is a continuum in the mathematical sense. (Whether this is actually true has some interesting philosophical implications. If it is instead discrete, the analysis below is overkill, but still works.)

In the last few years, researchers have studied the frequency with which Facebook and web users, in aggregate, encounter news…

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