Serendip is an independent site partnering with faculty at multiple colleges and universities around the world. Happy exploring!

Serendipity: More Than Just a Mediocre Movie with John Cusack

AnotherAbby's picture

I think that Sunstein presents a very interesting issue in the disappearance of serendipity in favor of filtered control over what we read and hear. I, personally, enjoy the ability to wander and discover new things and opinions. I think, in terms of issues like amazon stores tracking browsing history to offer a more personal shopping approach, the filtration of information isn’t necessarily as bad as, say, filtering the news to only hear stories that agree on certain problems. One is trying to help you stumble upon another book or DVD you may like, while the other is trying to potentially warp your opinion. Growing up the daughter of a conservative journalist and liberal graphic designer, I have understood the values of listening to and understanding both sides of an argument from a very young age. By cutting people off from the opinions of others, especially in hot button issues like politics, people on both sides are deprived of the essential understanding of opposing viewpoints. I would much rather talk to people whose views differ from my own, especially on issues I don’t understand, in order to form an opinion, than blindly pick a side based on my existing bias. This, more than any other reason, is why I think the sacrifice of serendipity for careful management is tragic.