An early fall evening, a gust of wind loosens leaves from the trees and sends them flying through the air.
New technology targets each scattered leaf with its own burst of air, coming from different directions and of different strengths. Within a few seconds, irregularity of shape compensated for, closed off from effect, each leaf is falling strait down and at the same rate, giving the appearance of green rain.
Taking into account your personal history, your doctor uses information collected from millions of personal histories to choose the drug safest and most effective for you.
Search engines use your and everyone's personal history to send you information of a kind interesting to you in the past.
Political campaigns, advised by the very experts who devised the search engine technology, send you personalized messages likely to get you to vote their way.
We consider receiving each our own messages a form of personalized medicine. We are curing ourselves of ignorance.
But each of us, receiving a world of personalized messages, is isolated from the others within our own world of personalized messages.
Within our isolation each of us is induced to go the same way, a great uniformity is created that is invisible to us isolated within our personalization. Vote the same way, buy the same products, search for information traveling along our guided paths, we live within a world of uniformity believing we each are different. We are confused: when we meet in public we see how we are like each other in our votes and purchases, yet unlike each other in receiving our own special treatment. When we try to talk about our votes and purchases, we find we don't understand each other; we have come to these decisions by completely different paths.
If only we were only bodies needing cures! Bodies don't need other bodies in order to get better. Minds do need other and different minds to develop, to get better.
The Crowd Of Monopolists