curate consent

Let's disagree by Evan La Ruffa


It's easy to curate consent in the digital age. Algorithms that batch & feed, the ability to unfollow "friends" on Facebook, and demographic grabbing advertisements that are all about how we label ourselves, and what we do or do not want to hear.

That goes from our latest purchase on Amazon to whatever political candidate currently causes us the most stress.

If we want to avoid anything contrary to our current belief, it's a fairly simple exercise. What's more, if we're looking for proof of something, we can surely find it.

I'm probably guilty of it as much as the next person, but it's given rise to a question about how to access information outside that which will merely confirm our biases. (It's also made me think of a digital property that could be the solution, but I better keep that to myself for now.)

One media outlet that helps me check myself is The Economist. It's always full of great information, supports a global citizen worldview, and gives plenty of insight into macroeconomic trends.

It's also hilariously biased in favor of free markets, is borderline unethical in their manipulation of graphs & tables, and can't help but lavishly romanticize capitalism of years past.

They've taken a stance and they're out to prove it.

All in, I know they're going to help me learn because I know how to decode the real info from the bullshit. I subscribe every other year, inevitably, because I need a break from the machinations of it all.

That said, I propose a resolution: when someone advocates for an idea contrary to our own (outside of racism, sexism, or any other -ism we have no lack of moral clarity on) lets invite them to tell us more, and ask them why, without condescension or sarcasm.

I don't expect us to do it every time we hear something that seems far out, but it's a good reminder for the certain, jaded, lummox in us all.

Even if that person doesn't satisfy our curiosity, it'll at least it give us a chance to listen and something new to research.

Let's gain more perspective. Let's disagree.