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A Time tá com uma matéria foda sobre sistemas de recomendações baseados em dados, como os da Netflix. Uma parte que fala sobre seu efeito na cauda longa me chamou a atenção:

The general effect of recommendation engines on shopping behavior is a hot topic among econometricians, if that’s not an oxymoron, but the consensus is this: they introduce us to new things, which is good, but those new things tend to be a lot like the old things, and they tend to be drawn from the shallow pool of things other people have already liked. As a result, they create a blockbuster culture in which the same few runaway hits get recommended over and over again. It’s the backlash against the “long tail,” the idea that shopping online is all about near infinite selection and cultural diversity. It has a bad habit of eating its own tail and leaving you back where you started.

Obviamente que isso não se resume às compras:

How far will it go? Will we eventually surf a Web that displays only blogs that conform to our political leanings? A social network in which we see only people of our race and religion? Our horizons, cultural and social, would narrow to a cozy, contented, claustrophobic little dot of total personalization.

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