[NetBehaviour] Networked Optimization

netbehaviour netbehaviour at furtherfield.org
Thu Oct 3 15:14:54 CEST 2013

Networked Optimization

By Silvio Lorusso, Sebastian Schmieg and Amazon Kindle Users

"Our behavior is a function of our decisions, not our conditions." The
Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Pos. 952

Networked Optimization is a series of three crowdsourced versions of
popular self-help books. Each book contains the full text, which is
however invisible because it is set in white on a white background.
The only text that remains readable consists of the so-called "popular
highlights" -- the passages that were underlined by many Kindle users
-- together with the amount of highlighters. Each time a passage is
underlined, it is automatically stored in Amazon's data centers.

Among the books with the most popular highlights, there is a striking
number of self-help books. This points to a multi-layered, algorithmic
optimization: from readers and authors to Amazon itself. Harvesting
its customers micro-labour, the act of reading becomes a data-mining

The series consists of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,
The 5 Love Languages of Love, and How to Win Friends & Influence


More information about the NetBehaviour mailing list