Streams of Content, Limited Attention
From danah boyd, a thoughtful, engrossing piece about how the spread of the means to produce and publish could, perhaps counter-intuitively, make the world more insular and clique-ridden.
In an era of networked media, we need to recognize that networks are homophilous and operate accordingly. Technology does not inherently disintegrate social divisions. In fact, more often then not, in reinforces them. Only a small percentage of people are inclined to seek out opinions and ideas from cultures other than their own. These people are and should be highly valued in society, but just because people can be what Ethan Zuckerman calls “xenophiles” doesn’t mean they will be.
One possible use for the research into auto-summarisation and related-content-finding tools could be to bring conflicting (balancing?) views into one’s information stream. For those who wish to.