85 – The Internet and the Tyranny of Perceived Opinion

Henrik Skaug Saetra

Are we losing our liberty as a result of digital technologies and algorithmic power? In particular, might algorithmically curated filter bubbles be creating a world that encourages both increased polarisation and increased conformity at the same time? In today’s podcast, I discuss these issues with Henrik Skaug Sætra. Henrik is a political scientist working in the Faculty of Business, Languages and Social Science at Østfold University College in Norway. He has a particular interest in political theory and philosophy, and has worked extensively on Thomas Hobbes and social contract theory, environmental ethics and game theory. At the moment his work focuses mainly on issues involving the dynamics between human individuals, society and technology.

You download the episode here or listen below. You can also subscribe on Apple PodcastsStitcherSpotify and other podcasting services (the RSS feed is here).

Show Notes

Topics discussed include:

  • Selective Exposure and Confirmation Bias
  • How algorithms curate our informational ecology
  • Filter Bubbles
  • Echo Chambers
  • How the internet is created more internally conformist but externally polarised groups
  • The nature of political freedom
  • Tocqueville and the tyranny of the majority
  • Mill and the importance of individuality
  • How algorithmic curation of speech is undermining our liberty
  • What can be done about this problem?

Relevant Links


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