Ronni Barrett at "Time Goes By" [see side bar and click on it] does a collection of interesting stuff on Saturdays. Yesterday she had a wonderful, very short clip about dog wrapping himself in a duvet, a stunning 101 year old lady who drives an 81 year old car, and a Ted Talk that I highly recommend listening to. This is the introduction:
GOOGLE CENSORS OUR SEARCHES
Not just Google – other search engines too. You and I can search the same word or phrase and get entirely different returns depending on what the search engine knows about us from our past searches and other information.
Google is not the only search engine, or large internet site, that filters the information that comes to you. Facebook does, says the speaker. I don't do Facebook but I do buy from Amazon and was immediately aware of their "you might also like" messages based on things I've bought from them. In that case,I actually like the filer, they let me know of books I don't know exist and sometimes, yes, I might also like that, and I order them.
The information filters are scary. I don't know if my AOL homepage filters the "news" that pops up, I think it's possible. At any rate it seems to me what's happening is a kind of Orwellian Big Brother. This BB is without an agenda beyond sales [in Amazon's or NetFlix's case], and it is without morals, it is an algorithm of our own habits. It re-enforces our bad habits [yes, sometimes I wonder about who George Clooney is dating] and doesn't tell us things we probably should know [a recall of E.coli tainted foods?] Happily I get a lot of information the old fashioned way, through reading, but fewer and fewer people get any amount of real information at all. If we are being dumbed down, in a sense it's our own fault. I strongly recommend looking at the TED talk on "As Time Goes By".
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