Cartoon: Algorithm Blues

I click on items in my Facebook feed as much as the next person, but I’m also a print subscriber to the New York Times, and I love finding articles I never would have come across any other way. As we are increasingly served information based on personal data, it seems a narrowness of range is inevitable. Reality bubbles get reinforced, and news that is important but not-so-sharable gets lost in the shuffle.

Of course, I’m hoping the algorithm gods smile favorably upon this comic.


  • Alan Barta

    “Newspapers work too fast and can’t be trusted. Science works far too slow and gets no results. You have to do it yourself.” Lena Nyman, I Am Curious Yellow.

    “Facts are useless in emergencies.” David Byrne, Talking Heads’ song Crosseyed and Painless. David also had an interesting analysis on his website about the insular nature of social media, calling it an echo chamber where statements and validations come from selection bias.

    Having faithfully followed your cartoons for years, I’m disappointed not more comments arise. But whenever someone is truly on the mark, audience seems stunned in awe. Majority is incompetent. prone mostly to react, seldom used to considering ideas rationally, and tend to fail at logical reasoning. You’d think logic would be an elementary course, as opposed to reading, which is merely consuming, after all. Allowing buttons to be pushed exposes democracy to tyranny.

Jen Sorensen is a nationally-published political cartoonist. She is a 2017 Pulitzer Finalist and recipient of the 2014 Herblock Prize and a 2013 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award.