All of those who read this post will know what I am talking about. And all will know the horror of the news that Twitter is proposing to replace its timeline sequencing of tweets with an algorithm that predicts what users want to read and hear.
The Twittersphere is up in arms - for three reasons. First, if stuff ain't broke, don't try fix it. Second, the interference with how each of us look for and gather information has upset many who have been talking (tweeting, in fact) about freedoms being curtailed. And third, the realisation that Twitter is proposing this change not because users want it - but because shareholders do: the motivation is to correct a falling share price and drive revenue - because Twitter does not make enough money. So Tweeters are being ushered into the stalls to be milked.
As a historian, I have a natural love of chronological sequences (even though when it comes to writing history, it is sometimes more rewarding to present in terms of themes, rather than order). So I should naturally be barricading the ramparts and chaining myself to Twitter's metaphorical fence in protest.
But then, as a historian, I have also long been resigned to the fact that predictive algorithms are effectively a fact of life.
Go into any bookshop, and you will see what I mean. Row after row, shelf after shelf of things that we are expected to want to read: books about the First and Second World Wars; about Europe; about the rise of the West. Almost nothing is about the rest of the world.
Here is a shot of the Cheltenham Literature Festival this autumn and the shelves of Germania - books about Germany.
Content is 'curated' just as Twitter is proposing; and it is all driven by the bottom line: stuff needs to sell or it won't get stocked.
Thank heavens then for independent book stores - and even some of the big chains. Time and again when I pass by Daunt Books, John Sandoe, Blackwell's, Heffers and many branches of Waterstones (and many other book shops besides), I ask the staff for recommendations. Time and again, the staff are lovely, and really know their onions (and their books).
So if Twitter does change everything (it will be a shame if it does), we'll be turning towards a familiar world. Less diversity, less choice and less fun.
What a shame that Twitter, that heralded in a new age for so many of us, that was an almost perfect medium to be more curious about the world beyond, and to find and share new information, looks like it is going to shoot itself in the foot.
Hence my favourite tweet of the morning.