I dont worry about being in a filer bubble. I sample other viewpoints, but I certainly dont want a flow of conservative or religious views. I like my bubble. After all, it includes HN.
I want this to happen.
I use it to hide a few annoying toolbars and news bars on several sites.
I want to ignore the stuff I am not interested in, while being subscribed to the feed.
I'm more talking about muting topics from sources you like. I want to subscribe to you on Twitter but I don't want your SXSW tweets, for example.
When you think about it, that path is extremely well-trodden.
Sure, it makes your "life" "easier", but really, how hard are our lives right now? The best way to be "productive" with technology is to choose it selectively.
In my own experience, I found I can be 10X more productive than my peers if I choose to be. Its easier to choose to be with the less distractions / follows / whatever you have in your life.
I've been writing code for 16 years, butter my bread from the technology industry. But really, I use VIM for my coding, read Hacker News, browse Reddit as a guilty pleasure, use Amazon for shopping.... and thats it. Thats really it. No Facebook, Twitter, iphone/android apps, feed readers, chat roulettes, literally nothing. Its all superfluous.
This also means I have a pretty good eye for great software, as if I can see getting value out of it I know its a winner because my bar for "value" is pretty high. I was speaking with a local Austin start-up because I saw the value instantaneously and wanted to be a part of it. They were acquired before I could get an interview. In fact, I could probably use this intuition to make angel investments and just live doing that.
The "muting" concept should be reserved for cleaning up the experience from Trolls, my whole point is if thats the problem you are facing - you have over subscribed. This is true for software, why do you need an app for each and every task in your life? Its crazy.
I see this tech being relatively dumb at first and saving you seeing results for a fresh event, but over time, becoming smart enough to, for example, automatically adding spoiler alerts for an old movie you haven't yet seen.
Of course this a concession users might have to make in order to reap the benefits of such a system. It is a good idea, though dubious it is the 'future' of the internet especially since it exists in a self-contained platform that is opt-in by its nature.
Still, I must confess there are many brands who have yet to reach this level of understanding, but that doesn't mean services would necessarily choose to enable those types.
I don't want to mute Aaron Swartz because I'm sick of hearing about him but I want to tell my computer that I know of the fact that he died. I also read his wikipedia article.
My computer now should know what facts I know to not bother me with them or even better gray out paragraphs in longer articles when these paragraphs only contain stuff I know.
To teach a computer about what I know, I guess, some TLDR-interface would be needed, where users can tag paragraphs and whole articles (or videos?) with facts discussed in that article. Interested users could have edit wars about the appropriate facts but I would just have to confirm if I read and understood an article with some minimum interaction (slowly scrolling to the end of the article or not clicking a headline link for example).
Better than with some temporary hype like CES, such a system could help to dig deep into some more complex topic. I follow every news about my favorite subject but it gets so annoying to read the same introductions to my subject over and over again. I want to skip that part without missing the news. I want to skip the old news without missing the twist they found on that old news. A tool that could help with that would save the majority of users a lot of time. Of course people that profit from such a system would also have a high incentive to tag paragraphs, too, which should not cost too much time neither. Some day hopefully computers can do the tagging part.
Thoughts and condolences to his family, friends and peers who loved him so much.
Once you've defined what you like and dislike in a nuanced way, you can adjust your signal-to-noise ratio on the fly. See also: http://signaltonoi.se/ (disclaimer: my app, and not yet available.)
The only benefit I could see is counter intuitive. People follow/friend people they have no intention of paying attention to, so maybe this is a socially acceptable way to ignore them.
Twitter should hire Khaled Mardam Bey and stfu
If I don't want to hear about sports, I can filter out all kinds of stuff about sport in many services, but I need to do it manually in each one. I chose that as an example, because it is real for me: I don't care much about sport. Yet "every" news aggregator service etc. I might care to sign up for automatically assumes that I will care. So when I downloaded Google Currents to my phone, for example, it automatically pulls down a bunch of sports news I don't want.
Muting in this context is "filtering as a service". The ability to pay someone (whether with my eyeballs or cash) to keep track of what I like and what I don't like and ensure that when I sign up to new services I don't have to configure each and every one to exclude the information I have no interest in (or more positively, to tell them what I do care about deeply so they prioritize that).