The more of what you want algorithm is always bad. It's great for wasting an afternoon watching videos you may or may not actually care about. It's great for putting on repetitive music in the background. But it's bad for serendipity and discovery; bad for active listening; bad for critical thinking.

I'm reminded of this today as I listen to Kind of Blue on YouTube Music. I don't listen to this album, or jazz generally, every day. But when I listen to it, I'd like the algorithm to feed me more of that music instead of more of what I already like.

This is not a promise the algorithm can make me. I'm not being aurally guided by a human DJ, who can gauge my mood and play off of it. I'm being led by a pre-programmed robot who only knows what I already like, and doesn't have any preferences of their own. So instead of more jazz, I'm literally hearing indie folk artists I like next to vaguely genre-adjacent tracks I've already heard a million times.

I'm sure this is what the people in charge of these products think the masses want: more of the same. How boring is that, though? Why not tune the algorithm toward inspiration instead of tedium? Why not use this powerful position as product designer to break filter bubbles, instead of building and reinforcing them?