Ian Bryan

President and Founder, Sensible City


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GOOGLE2, etc

Google's algorithm creates an abundance of opportunity, saves time and, in the case of businesses using it for research, can dramatically improve the experience and results of searching.

But at a personal level, Pariser hits on a huge issue, especially as we look at the imperative for young people to be globally aware and connected.

Google - can we have a "google 2"? One that would keep your brilliant algorithms intact while establishing a more "pure research" experience?

  • May 5 2011: This is absolutely outrageous! I had no idea google was doing this to me!
    Just earlier today I was complaining about the need for a "google information"

    I've been using google since it first started, and know all the tricks and methods and it has *definitely* gotten harder to find what I want in recent years. On some open source projects I have been reading about lately, discovering other open source projects on the internet to draw upon has become practically a matter of asking around because they can't be found through google!

    When google first started their credo was "people want to be able to find information effectively". Yahoo and everyone else was taking a different approach, assuming no one out there had the brains to think of anything better to do with the internet than shopping. Now google too has chosen this path of catering to the lowest common denominators, and without our knowledge.

    Oh sure hypothetically you could use this sort of thing to help people find information, but you know perfectly well that is not what this is about, especially given the fact they conveniently failed to allow opt-out.

    This is crazy, and we all need to DEMAND powerful data privacy protections NOW! And that is what this comes down to.

    This is part of the larger data privacy problem - companies collecting and using information about us against us for their own nefarious purposes, like deciding the information I have the privilege of seeing without telling me or letting me opt out.

    It's also the strongest argument on earth for anonymity! We need powerful technological systems for anonymity so they can't make profiles of us. Tor is good but it's too slow and these people will still profile the tor exit nodes so you still won't be able to see what you are looking for.
  • May 9 2011: I could see google using a "perspective" flag in their search to help the user alter their personalizing filters. Kind of like how you can now type in... site: www.Ted.com alternative energy. It will use "site:" as a flag and only give you results from Ted.com's website. You might be able to type in... Perspective: unbiased Egypt. And have it use the word unbiased as your intended perspective instead of a word to find on a web page. You could give it words like: funny, traveling, openminded, female, European. This could then give the user control to tinker with personalization that google is assuming for us.
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    May 9 2011: The basic idea by the Google filter isn't bad. When I am looking for "Tushita" I am most likely looking for the teahouse in my hometown and not for the meditation center in India.

    To me the problem is that Google has become an one-fits-all-tool. The search-engine-part of Google shouldn't be our major source of news. Back to my suggestion to the video: Can somebody please create a new news service "in other news" that informs us about the stuff we don't know yet. (But please with the option to deactivate news about Justin Bieber.)
  • May 4 2011: ummm i disagree with you such a huge company, know what they do .. they know more than us what the user need
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      May 4 2011: I think this is a valid point, when the search term is broad and possibly ambiguous. If I search for just 'Egypt' then what information do I want? If I recently searched for 'Tunisia' then possibly I'm interested in the uprisings. A recent search for 'Greece' might suggest archaeological interest.

      The more specific the search, though, the less such filters should come into play. The search engine doesn't need to guess at my interest if my initial search is more precise.
  • May 4 2011: Google is not a charity. It is a company to make money. That is the face it presents to the public eye. Who is behind the rise of Google is unclear. The massive investment in hardware and human knowledge is in billions of dollars. Makes one wonder who financed this and why. Just consider the enormous information they glean every day. The spiders are crawling the cyber world every day and every hour. Collecting data. All that is published on internet is gleaned by Google. What they release to us is up to the people managing, pulling the strings. Information = knowledge = power. Wouldn't be surprised CIA is hiding there.
  • May 4 2011: I'm not sure exactly what you are asking here, could you elaborate on what you mean by 'pure research' experience?
  • May 3 2011: If this is established over the internet, no. If it was established over some sort of infranet, yes. The web as a whole is literally as it is named. Too many loopholes and a constant defense mechanism that would have to be the absolute best, which in internet terms, "best" is changing every second. You'd need an apple-esk infranet which would not only be undesirable to destroy, but near impossible. I know very little in terms of firewalls and proper defense systems, but I do know that anything that can be abused on the internet most times will be.