Eli Pariser's great TED Talk about the dangers of internet "filter bubbles" got me thinking about what other types of filters shape my worldview. I realized that in addition to the algorithmic ones that Pariser is concerned about, there are also filters I've unintentionally created myself.
When I looked at the RSS feeds I subscribe to I realized that almost every blog or webpage belongs to someone squarely in the classical music world, someone who is either part of a large, traditional institution, or dependent on one. I thought about some of these folks and wondered what they filter out. For instance, if you only read Greg Sandow you'd think that nearly all orchestras are going out of business. If you only read Alex Ross, on the other hand, you'd think that classical music concerts are the coolest, hippest things in the world. If you only read Proper Discord you would probably think that all arts administrators are idiots.
Well, we all read more than just one blog, of course, so what about the bigger picture? As I mentioned earlier, all of the blogs I read are written by people in the classical music world, and although they often represent different viewpoints, they all share the same basic premise - classical music is good. I have filled my RSS reader with like-minded people. Not surprisingly, this is even easier to do online than in real life.
So who out there might offer a contrarian perspective? Who thinks classical music sucks and wants to tell us why? I'm putting together a list - suggestions welcome! - and will post it soon. In the mean time, here's Pariser's TED Talk. It's very compelling and only 9 minutes long; I highly recommend you check it out.