I have the great pleasure of chairing an event with Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet is Hiding From You at the RSA next Thursday. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be pressing him about the ways technology can (and cannot) promote serendipity. I’ll also be picking apart the technological determinism of the book’s main argument (hearkening back to the agenda of US legal scholar Cass Sunstein), and why he is opposed to the “Daily Me” that the web can offer, as popularised by MIT Media Lab and One Laptop Per Child founder Nicholas Negroponte.

Here’s the blurb:

The Filter Bubble: How the hidden web is shaping lives

Our online experience is undergoing an invisible revolution. Rapidly and silently a radical process of personalisation is taking place, as each website we visit collects our personal data and tailors itself to us.

Increasingly we will live in a “filter bubble” – our own unique information universe, where all the news we will see will be defined by where we live, what we earn and who our friends are.

Online pioneer Eli Pariser believes this trend has profound consequences for our democracy, transforming the way we consume information, shaping what we know, how we learn and interact.

Eli Pariser visits the RSA to lay bare the forces that are already controlling our online experience, and to argue that it is not too late to change course.

Speaker: Eli Pariser is a founder of Avaaz.org, one of the world’s largest citizen organisations, and is now President of the five-million member MoveOn.org.

The event is sold out, but you can still register your interest on the waiting list. The session will also be livestreamed and podcast.