Tuesday, March 10, 2015



We now live in an age where the internet filters results for you based on assumptions about what you're like drawn from geographic location or other patterns. This creates a phenomenon called a "filter bubble," says Koster, where increasingly one's perception of the world is led by online targeting. Your average online user will increasingly see only those news sources and even political candidates that agree with their own views -- and anyone who's ever Facebook-blocked a relative with offensive political views has become complicit in this sort of filtering. 

In this climate, says Koster, the common context shared by disparate groups begins to erode, and homogenous groups crystallize. "As noble as we wish we are, we're not -- given the choice, people hang out with people like them," says Koster. 

"Given a limited population, over time, not only will we [form] groups that are like us, but the larger group will exterminate the other one," he says. "In simulations, that's what happens: They literally commit genocide, they literally chase everyone else out of the room. It's a distasteful fact about human nature, and if our definition about who we are is rigid, then you're going to have that conflict."

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