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Filterworld by Kyle Chayka
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Filterworld by Kyle Chayka
Hardcover $28.00
Jan 16, 2024 | ISBN 9780385548281

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    Jan 16, 2024 | ISBN 9780385548281

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  • Jan 16, 2024 | ISBN 9780593749067

    717 Minutes

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A Most Anticipated Book of 2024: Foreign Policy • Lit Hub • The Millionsi-D Magazine • Town and Country • Elle Magazine

One of Esquire‘s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of 2024 (So Far)

“Trying to quiet ‘algorithmic anxiety’ and 24-7 digital overwhelm, Chayka posits, we tend to take refuge in the average. [Filterworld] urges us to throw off the blanket some influencer has convinced us is a necessity…Unlike the cascade of content from strangers on the internet, Filterworld, as a proper book will, evokes less transient impulses than genuine, lingering feelings: depression about our big-box corporate dystopia and admiration for Chayka’s curiosity and clear writing style.” —Alexandra Jacobs, The New York Times Book Review

“[Filterworld] brings stark clarity to the formulas that guide our behaviors online…it does the near impossible: It makes algorithms, those dull formulas of inputs and outputs, fascinating…This is a book about technology and culture. But it is also, in the end—in its own inputs and outputs and signals—a book about politics.” —Megan Garber, The Atlantic

“Chayka’s logic is seductive. The internet of today, where Filterworld’s impact is most keenly felt, is both less weird and more corporate than anyone who lived through the GeoCities era could have possibly imagined. There’s a palpable sense of grief in Filterworld when Chayka describes the walls of the internet closing in as it consolidated onto privately owned platforms.” The Washington Post

“If our old tech anxiety amounted to well-founded paranoia (‘Are they tracking me? Of course they are.’), the new fear in Filterworld is more existential: ‘Do I really like this? Am I really like this?’….[With Filterworld] Chayka offers an alternative to the numbing flow of the feed.” Esquire

“[Filterworld] explores the tension between our perceived online freedom and the increasing homogeneity of our Instagram-saturated world. . . Chilling. . . Evocative. . . Incisive.” The Wall Street Journal

Filterworld nearly vibrates…Chayka brings his background as an art critic and curator to the fore. He positions curators as a potential salve for our current cultural malaise, a sort of anti–Mechanical Turk that rejects computational sleights of hand in favor of deep, patient research.” The Los Angeles Review of Books

“[Filterworld] provides a robust survey of many of the essential issues [of digital technology], in six brisk chapters that strike a readable balance between cultural theory, feature-style reporting, and hot takes. . . [Chayka is] a well-informed critic and thinker.” Bookforum

“Chayka is an astute observer of the ways the internet and social media affect culture.” MIT Technology Review

Filterworld is the kind of book worth wrestling with, critiquing, and absorbing deeply.” —Elle Magazine

“Intriguing—and distressing. . .Chayka’s timely investigation shows how we can reject the algorithms of the digital era and reclaim our humanity.” Kirkus Reviews *starred review*

“Chayka’s frank discussion of his own digital detox, full of anxiety before arriving at an algorithmic homeostasis, will inspire readers to believe there is a way out, returning to human tastemakers. . .[an] astute historical analysis and philosophical rumination on the subject, all ‘filtered’ expertly with his own biography as a millennial who grew up amid the explosion of the socially fixated web.” Booklist *starred review*
“Necessary reading for anyone who has wondered just how, in expanding our world, the internet has ended up emptying our experience of it. Chayka’s wide-ranging anatomy of algorithmic curation—which, he argues, is increasingly the cultural substitute for human choice itself—makes a bracing case not only for creativity exercised beyond the confines of digital constriction, but also against the dehumanizing sameness algorithms have introduced into our societies and lives. Timely, erudite, important.” —Ayad Akhtar, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Homeland Elegies

Filterworld incisively diagnoses a problem that I’ve long felt but struggled to name and is the most convincing explanation I’ve encountered for why so many of our cultural products carry an uncanny whiff of familiarity. Amidst cheers for the death of the monoculture, Chayka offers a sharp and necessary counterpoint, demonstrating how mass culture, even as it diffuses into niche datastreams, trends toward a vacuous mean.” —Meghan O’Gieblyn, author of God, Human, Animal, Machine: Technology, Metaphor, and the Search for Meaning

Filterworld is a vital interrogation of algorithmic technology and its unrelenting power in shaping both our online and offline experiences. Chayka deftly explains how today’s social media ecosystem operates and, more importantly, reveals a way out of the ever-tightening grip of this stifling digital filtration.” —Taylor Lorenz, author of Extremely Online: The Untold Story of Fame, Influence, and Power on the Internet

“Kyle Chayka is a vital observer of how digital technology shapes our culture, and Filterworld will change how you think about the internet.” —Ben Smith, author of Traffic: Genius, Rivalry, and Delusion in the Billion-Dollar Race to Go Viral

Filterworld skillfully examines how the giant project of measuring humanity using the internet turned into an unfortunate modification of humanity. The story told here is instrumental to your own, even if you do not realize it.” —Jaron Lanier, author of Dawn of the New Everything

Filterworld is a smooth and fascinating read.” Hyperallergic

“Great.” —The Verge

“Compelling….What Filterworld does wonderfully is deconstruct our current scroll culture with precision to make it less appealing. If Filterworld is not just a technology but a mindset, this alone is an accomplishment.” —The Rumpus

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