GOOGLE: “Big Brother Knows Best”

Guest Opinion by Kip Hansen

 

Bog_Brother_Knows_BestThe world’s most influential information-gateway — GOOGLE Search — has recently made the decision to abandon its long-standing primary corporate policies:  1) “Don’t Be Evil” and 2) Provide internet search results based upon neutral algorithms, not human judgment; unbiased and objective.

Some may object to the charge that they have abandoned their oft-repeated mantra “Don’t Be Evil” — but to be clear, this has always meant, as Eric Schmidt (Executive Director of Google at the time) stated in a Wired profile in 2003,  Evil,” he said, “is what Sergey says is evil” (referring to Sergey Brin, who co-founded  Google together with Larry Page).

As for the second point,

“As Stanford’s Terry Winograd, Page and Brin’s former professor and a consultant on Gmail, explains to Ken Auletta, “The idea that somebody at Google could know better than the consumer what’s good for the con­sumer is not forbidden.” He describes his former students’ attitude as “a form of arrogance: ‘We know better.’”        …..

“[Larry] Page and [Sergey] Brin designed Google to avoid human judgment in rating the relevance of web pages. Recounting Google’s original design, Steven Levy describes the founders’ opinion that “having a human being determine the ratings was out of the question,” not just because “it was inherently impractical,” but also because “humans were unreliable. Only algorithms — well drawn, efficiently executed, and based on sound data — could deliver unbiased results.”

— Alex White,  in “Google.gov

In Alex White’s long discussion of the links and affinity between the Obama administration and Google executives, he notes “The common theme [as expressed by Obama and Google execs] is that we [the general public] make wrong decisions not because the world is inherently complex but because most people are self-interested and dumb — except for the self-anointed enlighteners, that is.”  Like Obama, Google has appointed itself to be The Great Enlightener.

 In a conference at MIT earlier this year, Obama said that tech companies such as Google “are shaping our culture in powerful ways. And the most powerful way in which that culture is being shaped right now is the balkanization of our public conversation,” contributing to the nation’s fragmentation — “. . . essentially we now have entirely different realities that are being cre­ated, with not just different opinions but now different facts —different sources, different people who are considered authoritative. It’s — since we’re at M.I.T., to throw out a big word — it’s epistemological. It’s a baseline issue.”

Let’s dive into that statement just a bit to make a point.  President Obama said “…different facts —different sources, different people who are considered authoritative.”.    What he says here is correct — it is a matter of which facts, what sources and whose expert opinion.  There is not only one fact or one set of facts about any complex topic affecting society today.  [ I wrote about this in the essay What’s Wrong With Alternative Facts?]   Obama acknowledges that Google (and other technology companies) “are shaping our culture in powerful ways….” contributing to “the balkanization of our public conversation” and the nation’s fragmentation.   I will point out, needlessly, that is bad thing. 

Bal·kan·ize  [ Balkanized, Balkanization ]

To divide (a region or body) into smaller mutually hostile states or groups.

What exactly has Google done?

Google has decided, under the false flag of fighting “fake news” to “think of itself as a genuine public good in a manner calling upon it to give users not only the results they want but the results that Google thinks they need, the results that informed consumers and democratic citizens ought to have”.  “Google, that is, has long aspired not merely to provide people the information they ask for but to guide them toward informed choices about what informa­tion they’re seeking.  Put more simply, Google aims to give people not just the information they do want but the information Google thinks they should want. As we will see, the potential political ramifications of this aspiration are broad and profound.” [quotes in paragraphs above from Google.gov.]

I would add, there are also profound social and scientific ramifications as well.

According to The Guardian, Ben Gomes, vice-president of engineering, Google Search, said in a blogpost in 2017: “We’ve adjusted our signals to help surface more authoritative pages and demote low-quality content … “

What they have done appears to be a public good.  They’ve moved “authoritative sources” to the top search results.  The question we need to ask is:  “How does this play out in the Real World?”   In the real world it means that the worldview, the political bias, the social preferences, the positions taken in various ideological and scientific controversies — as decided by top Google Executives — have been virtually hard-coded into Google’s search algorithms.  No longer is Google returning “unbiased and objective results”.  Google search returns now, at the top of search results,  only what Google’s executives think you should be able to find, only what they want you to see, only what they think all “right-thinking” people (like themselves, of course) would want.  Google has created a reality in which search results reflect, exactly, the opinions and views held by top Google executives on important societal issues.  One side of each issue will dominate the first few pages of searches on these important issues.

Amanda Ripley of  Solutions Journalism Network, recently wrote “Once we get drawn in (to a polarized issue), the conflict takes control. Complexity collapses, and the us-versus-them narrative sucks the oxygen from the room. Over time, people grow increasingly certain of the obvious rightness of their views and increasingly baffled by what seems like unreasonable, malicious, extreme or crazy beliefs and actions of others,” …. “The lesson for journalists (or anyone) working amidst intractable conflict: complicate the narrative. First, complexity leads to a fuller, more accurate story. Secondly, it boosts the odds that your work will matter — particularly if it is about a polarizing issue. When people encounter complexity, they become more curious and less closed off to new information. They listen, in other words.”    Attempts to simplify complex issues by exposing the public to only one side of an issue leads to more, not less, conflict and Obama’s “balkanization of our public conversation”.

As far back as September last year, the New York Times was reporting on Google’s apparent tampering: “Accusations that Google has tampered with search results are not uncommon and date back to the earliest days of its search engine. But they are taking on new life amid concerns that technology behemoths are directly — or indirectly — censoring controversial subjects in their response to concerns over so-called fake news and the 2016 presidential election.”

How many issues?

We don’t know yet — but Climate Change results have been tampered with in a glaringly obvious manner — all web sites even slightly contrarian have been “de-ranked” and “demoted” apparently as “low-quality” (read instead — “containing Google-unacceptable points-of-view”) and are browser-pages down the list, if they appear at all.

Suspected tampering includes,  but is not limited to,:  Abortion, Gun Control, climate change/global warming, US Illegal immigration, Gender issues, feral cats (an tiny issue for which Google was dinged in the press), health and sugar…these were found with a very quick check. It will be a major undertaking requiring a massive  Citizen Science project  to determine just how many, and which,   controversial topics have been tampered with, topics into which Google has injected their own executive’s human judgement on which ideas, which opinions and which facts should be considered authoritative and which should be actively suppressed by “de-ranking” and “demoting”.  Once the extent of the damage is known, it will take a broad-based social movement to get Google to take its fingers off the scales and let the Internet decide for itself.

A recent New York Times article, titled “The Case Against Google”, quipped “Google has succeeded where Genghis Khan, communism and Esperanto all failed: It dominates the globe. Though estimates vary by region, the company now accounts for an estimated 87 percent of online searches worldwide.  …..  …When does a mega-company’s behavior become so brazen that it violates the law?”

Just this week, actually.  The New York Times carried the story “E.U. Fines Google $5.1 Billion in Android Antitrust Case”.  This case was not about tampering with Search Results — this case was about Google  “abusing its power in the mobile phone market”.

“Google has used Android as a vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine,” said Margrethe Vestager, Europe’s antitrust chief. “These practices have denied rivals the chance to innovate and compete on the merits. They have denied European consumers the benefits of effective competition in the important mobile sphere.”

  — New York Times

The European Union fined $ 5.1 billion (4.34 billion euros) in this case.  Last June, the EU fined Google “$2.7 billion for unfairly favoring some of its own services over those of rivals.”

“Google’s search engine has played a decisive role in determining what most of us read, use and purchase online,” said Shivaun Raff, a co-founder of Foundem, a British comparison-shopping site that was the first company to file a complaint against Google. “Left unchecked, there are few limits to this gatekeeper power.””

— New York Times

For a full version of Raff’s saga, see here.

Yes, Google dominates the Search engine field.  By how much?

Market_Share_2017

The charts above show that Google Search, worldwide,  has over 75% of the total search traffic market share and over 90% of the mobile search traffic share.  These figures are distorted — Google is banned in China, thus searches there by necessity shift to the Chinese-language-only Baidu.  For rest-of-world figures, add Baidu’s share to Google’s share for a clearer picture.

Note very well, please:   there is very little to be gained by comparing search results between the available search engines.  Where search engines are not owned outright by Google, many/most depend on ”Google Ranking” as part of their own search algorithms, thus Google’s “de-ranking” of a web site or a whole social viewpoint affects all of them.  Microsoft’s bing  has long been known to “sneak a peek” at Google rankings and include them  in its search algorithm.  Yahoo! has a deal to use Microsoft bing’s output in its search results (“Bing will continue to provide the underlying non-paid search results and technology for Yahoo.“)   So it reads like this:  Google tampers with its algorithm, bing peeks at the Google results and quasi-mirrors them, Yahoo! uses bing’s results. The remaining big English-language player is Ask.com, who’s market share is so small it doesn’t even make the chart.  They license someone else’s search results for general web searches, but don’t disclose who that is.

search_interconnections

Questions for discussion:

Is it important that Google has tampered with it’s search algorithm on social, political, and scientific issues?

 Is it socially significant that Google has tampered with it’s search algorithm on social, political, and scientific issues?

 Is it politically important that Google has tampered with it’s search algorithm on social, political, and scientific issues?  

 Is it important to Science and Science Education that Google is tampered with it’s search algorithm on social, political, and scientific issues?

What are the implications for Freedom of Expression?  for Free Flow of Information?  for Democratic Values?  for the Ethos of the World Wide Web?

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Attribution:  The featured image is adapted in part from a book cover for the Orwell title “1984” designed by nusentinsaino.deviantart.com.

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Author’s Note:

This is a Commentary, meaning that it contains my personal opinions about a topic being raised in the press about Google’s behavior and changes it has made to its search algorithm over the last year or so.

I strongly suggest reading as many of the linked news articles as you have time for…I consider this to be a very important and significant issue for all users of the World Wide Web.

This is a follow-up to my recent piece: “NEWS FLASH: World’s Library Sabotaged”.  The next installment in this series will cover the specific effects and implications for the topic of Climate Science — and why it matters for WUWT.

I expect that many will disagree with my viewpoints expressed above — that’s good, it means I have hit on something that readers can engage with.

Let me end with a conclusion by Adam White (his piece linked above) “… the pressure for Google to adopt ever more expansive interpretations of “exploitative,” “authoritative,” and “what people are looking for” will doubtless rise.”  The pressure did rise and we are seeing the results above….Google as Arbiter of Truth, Google as Big Brother Knows Best.

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LINKS IN THIS ESSAY:  [added 22 July 5:28 pm ET]

https://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/googlegov

https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/07/19/news-flash-worlds-library-sabotaged/

https://searchengineland.com/yahoo-bing-renegotiate-search-deal-yahoo-gains-right-to-serve-search-ads-on-the-pc-219020

https://searchengineland.com/google-bing-is-cheating-copying-our-search-results-62914

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/magazine/the-case-against-google.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/technology/eu-google-fine.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/18/technology/google-eu-android-fine.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/20/magazine/the-case-against-google.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/26/technology/google-cats-owls.html

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/26/technology/google-search-bias-claims.html

https://thewholestory.solutionsjournalism.org/complicating-the-narratives-b91ea06ddf63

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/apr/25/google-launches-major-offensive-against-fake-news

https://judithcurry.com/2017/02/26/whats-wrong-with-alternative-facts/

https://www.wired.com/2003/01/google-10/

https://www.wired.com/

https://www.google.com/

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beng135

Thanks, Obama and Google — founders of our Brave New World.

Bob

It’s been apparent for some time that Google’s search engine has been degraded. Specific search phrases do not return the same content and breadth of search as it did a few years ago. The political slant of returns on subjects that should be apolitical has increased. My wife’s google searches have to do with history and genealogy, looking for specific sources, etc.

Google’s politicization of returns had seriously degraded a great idea.

hunter

It is time for shareholder lawsuits against the internet companies hurting shareholders this way.

n.n

People Google, they don’t search. Pass the Kleenex… I mean, tissue.

R. Shearer

Depends on what you Google. I’m pretty sure Gore needs tissue.

Dan Davis
commieBob

How about DuckDuckGo.com?

No, they use Bing + Yahoo results link

If that’s accurate … Darn!

commieBob

The linked reddit article contains a comment that says when you google american inventors, you get a bunch of African American inventors nobody has ever heard about.

Google – Google displays text from the first hit at the top of the page. It’s a list of African American inventors who changed the world.

DuckDuckGo – The first hit is american-inventor.com which has a list on its home page. As far as I can tell, none of the people on that list are African American.

For obvious ideological bias the score is (1 is good, 0 is bad):
Google – 0
DuckDuckGo – 1

NOTA BENE – I’m not saying there were no important African American inventors. There were. You could argue that one or two belong on the american-inventor home page. All I’m saying is that DuckDuckGo didn’t obviously tamper with the search result.

Philip Schaeffer

Lol, I think there is more to the issue than that. The first result I get when I search for “American Inventors” is a page talking about the google search results! Just by talking about it we’re changing what google shows when we search for a term.

As would a few popular sites with miss tagged photos. It loops back around on itself.

A bunch of people talking about how a search for American inventors shows more black people than they expected, and doing the same search themselves, and making pages about it, reinforces the association. Computers are very bad at any real understanding of context.

Pompous Git

Did I just discover that Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison, Nicola Tesla and Albert Einstein were all “African-Americans”? Talk about fake news…

HotScot

Pompous Git

Like most great inventors, Alexander Graham Bell was a Scot. His skin colour is less important as I believe we all evolved from the same stock. I also understand location influenced skin colour more than genes.

Pompous Git

Yes, I know. I come from the midlands of the UK. When me dad went into the pit he was white; when he came out at the end of the shift he was as black as the ace of spades.

HotScot

Pompous Git

Honest dirt then. Respect.

” Just by talking about it we’re changing what google shows”
As proof of that, I tried googling
“American inventors” -reddit
Now there is a quite different story, with nothing like he same array of faces. They come from the meta-story.

beng135

shows more black people than they expected

Philip, watch any American or BBC show, commercial or movie and you’ll see that at least 50% of the population is black….

Tom Abbott

True. The Media distorts the racial numbers of the US population

It’s politically correct, but is a distortion of reality.

Alan Tomalty

We dont know who Ask.com licenses from but is there any indication that it is Google or a company that does license from Google?

Margy

I’ve read that DuckDuckGo uses over 400 different sources to compile results.

Hmmm… I’ve used and promoted duckduckgo for their privacy stance. However, a test on the terms “climate change” gave a biased list with the Wiki, NASA, and all the usual players ranked on the top page and WUWT nowhere to be seen.

Did a search on “unbiased search engine” and got a pointer to https://www.mojeek.com/

Where, doing a search on “climate change” gave, in addition to the Wiki in a special box:

https://www.mojeek.com/search?q=climate+change

Climate Change Reconsidered – Climate Change

climatechangereconsidered.org/

About Global Warming Climate Change Reconsidered II: Biological … II: Physical Science Climate Change Reconsidered: 2011 Interim …

See more results from climatechangereconsidered.org »
Watts Up With That? | The world’s most viewed

https://wattsupwiththat.com/

site on global warming and climate change Menu Skip to content Home … alleging damages relating to climate change. Judge John Keenan wrote in …

See more results from wattsupwiththat.com »
Environment and Global Climate Change | U.S. Agency

https://www.usaid.gov/what-we-do/environment-and-global-climate-change

Environment and Global Climate Change Gender Equality and Women s … Environment and Global Climate Change Global Climate Change …

See more results from http://www.usaid.gov »
What does past climate change tell us about global

https://skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm

definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science … Translations About Donate Climate’s changed before It’s the sun It’s not …

See more results from skepticalscience.com »

With WUWT in the second from the top slot.

I think I’ve just changed my preferred search engine…

Alan Tomalty

Trump has to step in and stop this

Al in WC

Google is part of the Deep State. Google is all in for the fight against freedom. Trump is taking the DS down. Why does G have a new CEO? You think it was his idea to resign?

Percy Jackson

Alan,
Nonsense. American courts decided long ago that computer code and algorithms count as free speech. Google’s search ranking are thus protected by the first amendment. The only thing Trump should be doing is protecting google’s right to write whatever code it likes.

J Mac

Once again we see the feral chicago rat Barack Hussein Obama actively conspiring with Google and main stream media in the ‘balkanization’ and destruction of the USA. The daily news and net searches illustrates the Alynski-driven ‘progress’ that Socialist Progressives pursue.

J Mac

Substantiation for my Appel-ation of ‘feral chicago rat’….
https://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2018/07/21/study-chicago-number-one-rat-capital-u-s/

beng135

J Mac — quite right, except that it’s an insult to rats…..

ScienceABC123

I’m going to have to disagree with the author here. Google decided years ago to “abandon its long-standing primary corporate policies.” Like most progressives/leftists they have only recently decided not to hide it anymore.

beng135

Like most progressives/leftists they have only recently decided not to hide it anymore.

The indoctrination in the education system & infiltration into the media, academia, justice system and deep state has gone on long enough now that it’s no longer necessary to hide.

sycomputing

“[Larry] Page and [Sergey] Brin designed Google to avoid human judgment in rating the relevance of web pages. Recounting Google’s original design, Steven Levy describes the founders’ opinion that “having a human being determine the ratings was out of the question,” not just because “it was inherently impractical,” but also because “humans were unreliable. Only algorithms — well drawn, efficiently executed, and based on sound data — could deliver unbiased results.”

It just appears to me that the above contradicts everything I understood about how Google’s search engine was designed to work.

The idea was to elevate any website’s search ranking by popularity, under the common assumption in today’s world that consensus presupposes valuable content. Regardless of whether one agrees with that premise, it’s undeniable that consensus must presuppose human judgment, in which case Page and Brin contradicted themselves at the outset.

Kip, what am I missing here?

Brian

Ditto wikipedia:

https://anonhq.com/beware-wikipedia-never-trust/

BTW, try to find this expose’ on the google culture via google.
QED.

Interesting, but beware anonhq, which has an anti-corporate agenda.

Pompous Git

Works for me. Maybe Google hates you. And Kip Hansen…

HotScot

Pompous Git

Hmmmm……As a crumb of confirmation, I wrote a Wikipedia page on my late father, a minor celebrity in the Far East in the 1960’s.

I included a number of photographs of his exploits in motor racing, all of which I own as part of my inheritance.

Whilst the text remains unaltered, all the photographs were taken down and I was informed it was because I couldn’t provide proof of ownership.

I wrote to Wikipedia, as best I could considering their protracted and confusing contact process, and several years later am still waiting for a reply. Nor am I able to upload photographs to replace those taken down.

Pompous Git

HotScot, I wasn’t querying whether Wikipedia is controlled by scumbags. Just the claim that Google was preventing discovery of their nefarious activities.

HotScot

Pompous Git

That’s reasonable.

peyelut

HFS! This is the Foundation and skeleton for building the “MATRIX”. They aren’t advancing artificial intelligence, they’re constructing artificial reality.

A Friend

DuckDuckGo is better for climate results than Google. I use DDG as my default. It is not as good as Google for some things, but you can always prefix a search with “!g” to get the Google result if the DDG isn’t sufficient. 90% of the time, DDG is fine though. The main thing I miss is the Google maps integration.

DDG letś you choose which map provider you want to use. Of course Google maps is also available.
Personally I prefer OpenStreetMap.

https://duck.co/help/features/maps

CD in Wisconsin

The quote below has been attributed to a British novelist and scriptwriter Donald James Wheal who apparently went by several pseudonyms including Dresden James, Donald James and Thomas Dresden….

“A truth’s initial commotion is directly proportional to how deeply the lie was believed. It wasn’t the world being round that agitated people, but that the world wasn’t flat. When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over generations, the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic.”

Somehow, I think of the corporate biases built into Google’s search engine whenever I read the quote above. In my view, the smartest people are the ones that question society’s commonly held beliefs.

HotScot

CD in Wisconsin

“corporate biases built into Google’s search engine”

It’s a corporate entity with one objective, to make money for its shareholders. It’s not a social enterprise.

I’m pretty certain it’s shareholders are Capitalists, through and through. Capitalist investors are inherently wary of getting involved with political movements, they inevitably fail. To suggest Google is somehow a nest of socialist conspiracy theorists is becoming less credible to me with each article Kip posts.

Red94ViperRT10

This would not be the first CEO, or even Board of Directors, that acted out of personal bias despite adverse effects to stockholders, since after all they’re so all-fired convinced that their views and only their views are the best for all humanity and thus their shareholders as a subset of humanity. Witness GE as just one example.

HotScot

Red94ViperRT10

Oh please, give it a rest.

the majority of companies on the planet are run legally and ethically. Why would Google be any different?

wsbriggs

I hate to say it, but the majority of the companies on the planet are run by homo sapiens with exactly as many ethical view points as there are companies. Some companies have smart, intelligent leaders, others not so much, particularly when they have someone running interference when they do something immoral (in an ethical sense). This tends to occur where there is big government, but I’m sure that’s only coincidence. Consider plastic in the waterways, melamine derivatives in milk products, diesel fuel in cooking oil, pipelines deliberately sabotaged (producing 200 million gallon spills look up Belarus oil spill), and more for a clear sense of the problem.

Most people don’t try to cheat others, nor do they try to steal normally, but there’s a reason people used to ask how much the butcher’s thumb cost per pound. There’s also a good reason for caveat emptor.

Pompous Git

I hate to say it, but the majority of the companies on the planet are run by homo sapiens with exactly as many ethical view points as there are companies.

You sure about that Briggs? I suspect there are somewhat more ethical viewpoints than companies given that some have one for internal use only and another for external use. YMMV of course. How ya keepin?

Gamecock

???

Everyone knew the world was round. Washington (a raving lunatic?) Irving’s 1830 biography of Christopher Columbus is the source of the notion that people thought the earth was flat. Columbus’ Great Belief, erroneous as it was, was that the earth was considerably smaller than believed. The size of the earth had been fairly accurately known for many centuries. When Columbus found the West Indies, he thought his theory of a smaller earth was vindicated.

bonbon

Columbus had a Venetian map , a fake map which showed Cipango where Mexico was found. So Venetian fake news (Marco Polo’s diaries) . Venetians were sure Columbus would die and the mission would be lost at sea. Just imagine their horror at the actual result – Columbus derangement syndrome! To this day he has not been forgiven for changing all of history.

The reference to “flat” is to Eratosthenes . Most refused to listen, but the Pharaoh did and launched the circumnavigation mission led by Maui and Rata, as the calculated diameter was quite accurate.

peyelut

2nd google search result for “Kip Hansen” – “Kip Hansen’s badge of dishonour | HotWhopper”.

I’ll take that as proof of thesis.

Ed Reid

Try a search for a prominent skeptical scientist. It’s enlightening.

https://www.therightinsight.org/Not-so-subtle-Influences-Search-Engine-Bias

R. Shearer

I’d say it’s the Western World’s most influential gateway. It can’t be accessed in China under normal circumstances, for example.

michael hart

I’m not as concerned as some about the way Google chooses to devalue its brand.

Their real success came from eliminating spam, or, more correctly, reducing it to acceptable levels. Sure, they can downgrade individual sites they don’t like. But it’s hard work to get them all, or even some of them. They would really, really prefer not to exercise their political biases that way because their power is not as great as many would like to think. And they know it. Plus, there isn’t even any one at Google who fully understands how their whole algorithm works.

In short, they have implemented algorithms to downrate pages which are excessively repetitive and copying text from elsewhere, in the many forms that can take. They know that is the basis of their success. Tinker with that algorithm at your peril.

Guess what? I’ll bet Swiss Francs for Venezuelan bananas that global warmers are more likely to fall into the spam category than climate sceptics. It is one of those self-evident truths. As one of the climate infidels, Google still serves me up pages from other climate infidels.
The number of adult naifs who go to Google asking about global warming, but not already having an opinion about what they might want to receive, is vanishingly close to zero. This is why so many activists focus on the very young.

Johann Wundersamer

Much ado about nothing.

If you really want an unbiased text search machine then migrate from

Microsoft operating system

to unix

and build your own Google, based on

https://www.google.at/search?client=ms-android-samsung&ei=z2ZTW5vPO8KPmgWS0Kb4Cg&q=unix+awk+script+processing+&oq=unix+awk+script+processing+&gs_l=mobile-gws-wiz-serp.
_____________________________________________________

The difference:

in unix awk script processing it’s maybe hours to build the appropriate search algorithm.

in Google it’s seconds to get the asked for results.

michel

Its the explanation of why, in the US but not in other countries, views about scientific issues can be predicted from political outlook. So for instance on climate, Republicans generally are skeptics and Democrats alarmists. Republicans oppose Paris, Democrats are in favor.

The debate in the US, but not elsewhere, has consisted of ‘progressives’asserting policy recommendations, citing scientific evidence in favor, and then accusing their policy opponents of being anti science. The opponents then predictably move the debate onto what exactly the science is, then people who take differing views of the scientific issues are called ‘deniers’ and so on.

In the end we have neither intelligent debates about what the science is, how certain it is, what needs to be done to clarify it, what the objections are to various theories, how settled it is…. Nor do we have intelligent debates about what policies to follow.

Of the two, probably the most serious damage is being done to scientific inquiry, which has increasingly turned into the effort to find bad reasons for views that one adopts out of political stance. We see it for instance in the question of hereditary abilities and characteristics: the right being persuaded of heredity, the left that its all nurture. In gender, we see it in the view that its scientifically correct to think that gender is fluid and that men can be turned into women through surgery and hormones, and that gender typical behavior is entirely cultural in origin. These are all topics that cannot be discussed any more in a detached scientific way, because we have essentially come to believe that some views of the facts are evil, it is wicked to think that the world may be a certain way.

I don’t know how to get out of this, and back to science as inquiry. A first step though might be to recognise that this is a peculiarly American malaise. In Europe and the rest of the world, you cannot predict a man’s views of climate science if you know what party he votes for. This is an American problem, a very serious one, and will have to find an American solution.

Adam White’s piece is very insightful on all this.

tty

” In Europe and the rest of the world, you cannot predict a man’s views of climate science if you know what party he votes for. ”

As a matter of fact you can, at least in Europe. It might not look that way, but that is only because “the Swamp” has very nearly complete control of the MSM. In Sweden for example if you question e. g. the official views on climate or immigration you are very likely to lose your job and have a fair chance of being indicted for hate speech (“hets mot folkgrupp”). And remember – in Sweden it is the political parties that appoint jury members.

John Garrett

Thank you, Kip.

I don’t trust any of ’em. I never did and I never will.

The “fake news” meme is itself fake news, because the problem is seldom erroneous facts, rather it is the deployment of those subsets of the facts that confirm a pre-ordained or desired conclusion, ignoring or casting doubt on the other subset of facts.

WXcycles

No, there are in fact people who just make stuff up, and it is actual fake-news.

What you are talking about there is ‘biasing’, which is totally different.

hunter

….that is exactly “fake news”….

howard dewhirst

This would explain why the September Porto Climate Conference does not show up in Google, but does in Dogpile at https://www.portoconference2018.org/

Pompous Git

Works fine for me. Maybe it’s because I’m in Tas mania…

WXcycles

Is Tasmania plugged in?

Pompous Git

Dunno. Does it matter?

Old Engineer

howard-
I found it depends on the exact search term you use. (by the way I always use google advanced search) When I searched for “porto conference” I got lots of entries. When I searched for “porto climate conference” I got nothing.

Pompous Git

Searching on “September Porto Climate Conference”, the WUWT page came in at numero uno. “Porto Climate Conference” however came seventh. Maybe we just found a way to overcome Google’s disdain for WUWT!

” Maybe we just found a way to overcome Google’s disdain for WUWT!”
If you use quotes (often a good idea), “Porto Climate Conference” get WUWT at #1. In fact it is about the only response. Otherwise you get the problem that Google gives preference to a major July conference in Porto, featuring Pres Obama as keynote speaker, over the September one, featuring Lord Monckton. Exactly as it should.

beng135

Obama as keynote speaker, over the September one, featuring Lord Monckton. Exactly as it should.

Why? Obama doesn’t hold a candle to Monckton in regard to intelligence. Obama’s major skill is smooth-talk (as long as he has his prompter), but even w/that he falls short of Monckton.

Pompous Git

I share your opinion. Surprised several of my friends when asked: “Who would you most like to invite to dinner?” and I answered: “Chris Monckton.” The relative intelligence of Obama versus Monckton is completely irrelevant to a Google search that depends on the collective opinion of the hoi poloi with modification from the searcher’s browser history and other factors.

Philip Schaeffer

Yep. Regardless of my opinion of Obama or Monckton, you have got straight to the heart of the issue.

Pompous Git

you have got straight to the heart of the issue.

Thanks. I try to. It helps to simplify things, but not to the detriment of understanding. While Kip portrays this as a poor, oppressed couple of workers versus the Giant Google, and I’m sure this part of the story is reasonably accurate, it leaves too much out. The elephant in the room is Microsoft. MS’s Bing is far less successful than Google and MS have decided it’s easier to fight Google through government intervention than by writing better code. I wonder what gave them that idea.

Having failed with the FTC, where better than the EU Commission where the bar is set much lower? I don’t have any skin in this game. I use Google for the simple reason it works well for me; much better than Bing. I use Windows 7 (much to the chagrin of MS who want me to use Win10) because it works well for me. Long may both prosper…

Louis Hunt

I did a goggle search for “best websites about climate change” and found almost no mention of the most viewed site, i.e. Watts Up With That. Even lists of 100 websites about climate change failed to mention WUWT. The only mention I could find in the first page of results was on the Quora website. In the first answer to the question, “What are some of the best websites about climate change in the World Wide Web?”, Jean Vidler puts the following blogs at the bottom of her list:

judithcurry.com < a "lukewarmist" who agress AGW is happening but is sceptical about how bad it will be. One of the best informed sceptic.

wattsupwiththat.com < the most popular denier blog.

commieBob

It doesn’t matter if there are other search engines if nobody uses them.

The problem is the same as if all the Main Stream Media (MSM) were owned by one person. It would be very bad for democracy.

… the media have become a significant anti-democratic force in the US (and beyond) by stifling civic and political involvement, and that ‘[t]he wealthier and more powerful the corporate media giants have become, the poorer the prospects for participatory democracy’. As well as more generalised charges of commodification and corporatisation of public media spaces, American critical schlars have over the years produced a number of stories about some of the consequences of oligopoly and centralisation, such as a Clear Channel local radio station missing a major nuclear dumping story because its journalism had been delocalised … link

Even if I’ve never watched Fox News, I still say thank God for Fox news.

(trigger warning) Noam Chomsky thoroughly documented the fact that, for the first part of the Viet Nam war anyway, the MSM effectively spouted the government line without any coercion or censorship. link* After all, the freedom of the press belongs to the guy who owns the press.

*I’m almost alone in my interpretation of that book. He pointed out that the average American had little chance to know what was really happening in Viet Nam at least in the beginning.

Johann Wundersamer

commieBob:

“It doesn’t matter if there are other search engines if nobody uses them.”
______________________________________________________

Yes:

no competition no verification:

keine Konkurrenz keine Überprüfung.

“It doesn’t matter if there are other search engines if nobody uses them.”
Presumably no-one uses them because they like Google best. How do you propose to disrupt that, and why?

commieBob

Darn good question.

Before Fox News we had an acknowledged left wing bias in the news media. Fox News restored some balance that had been missing for a long time. I would say that’s a good thing for democracy. link

Suppose that Google could control all the information that everyone gets. It sounds like Pravda and Izvestia. It would be the Soviet wet dream.

Suppose that could happen. It would be a good idea to control it, would it not? The trouble is that, when we try to control something like that, we usually discover the law of unintended consequences … again.

The civil courts are unable to control defamation and unbalanced coverage by news media, so that’s out.

Maybe something like common carrier legislation could be crafted such that dissenting views could have a chance. That sounds unwieldy.

How about … no tax deductions for google ads? You could still buy a google ad but it wouldn’t count as an expense. That would encourage businesses to advertise in local media. That would hit Google where it hurts them most. That might encourage diversity.

The real answer to your question is: I have no idea.

Pompous Git

“It doesn’t matter if there are other search engines if nobody uses them.”

If nobody’s using them, why do they exist?

https://searchenginewatch.com/2016/02/25/say-goodbye-to-google-14-alternative-search-engines/

hunter

You mean like Bezos buying the WaPo, Warren Buffet controlling ABC?

Tom Abbott

“Noam Chomsky thoroughly documented the fact that, for the first part of the Viet Nam war anyway, the MSM effectively spouted the government line without any coercion or censorship.”

He must have been talking about the time before the middle 1960’s because the MSM was definitely anti-war biased in the later years.

I believe the Vietnam war is what polarized the Media and caused them to start blatantly taking political sides. They have continued their partisan political bias to this very day.

tty

Well there’s always baidu.com and yandex.com.

Both are now noticeably better than google, at least on climate-related searches. Yandex has always had better coverage of Russia and Eastern Europe.

Chimp

You too can collude with China and Russia!

Sorry state of affairs when a Russian oligarch is more committed to free speech than American oligarchs.

hunter

The American oligarchs controlling media and commerce are much more troublng than the Russian oligarchs…

Hocus Locus

I like it when things suck — at least to some people — that’s when I can do the best research in the shortest time. The greatest challenge these days are the too-obvious results like corporate name matches, and especially, returning clickbait pages that rank highly if your topic is not too popular. The Internet has become weighed down with pages without conversations in them. And yet one of the best ways to learn about something is to listen to people discussing it.

My suck trick is to add ‘sucks’ … both as two unquoted words, then in a quoted phrase. Ex,

tesla – the bare word tesla brings up the who’s who of official sources, positive reviews (because they’re more often linked to) and variations, page after page. Interesting reading maybe but you’ll be led down the garden path because 🙂 this IS the garden path.

tesla sucks – the two bare words. Still on the garden path, though we’ve taken another branch into corporately sponsored mega-unpopularity. But it’s still dominated by major media players. You wouldn’t catch many reporters actually saying anything as crude as “Tesla sucks”. That’s an advantage…

… because it allows us to search “tesla sucks” – the “quoted phrase” uncloaks pages where everyday humans are speaking. As opposed to fancy frilly kind. We have left the garden path and it’s not all negative, in fact, strongly expressed negative sentiment brings defenders out of the woodwork with their best arguments, and these people often have more interesting and accurate things to say than any defensive press release.

Limit your “X sucks” phrase to a website where people routinely gather an argue and you hit solid gold. “tesla sucks” on Reddit gives an amazing variety of topic. And if you know Reddit, for negative sentiment you can expect the staunchest defenders.

You can also catch a glimpse of Google’s bizarre and somewhat disturbing index purging. Oddly, “tesla sucks” at slashdot.org brings up only TWO result for me, from June+July 2018. For a site that has hosted hundreds if not thousands of Tesla topics… Is Google sending Slashdot down into the memory hole?

Google’s great, but it also sucks.

Jacob Frank

In my professional opinion gaggle is worse than Hitler and Stalin and Satan combined. The earth has never experienced an evil so pervasive

Hugs

I think I’m out. Thanks for the fish.

Bill Treuren

This is really a discussion about the hypothesis that Google is a neutral player.
A filter can be a valid addition to any system to reduce dross.
However, did the silicon valley players contribute funds evenly to each political grouping if not then they are disqualified and I think that is what happened.

I do remember Obama very early on in a speech stating that if you earn a million dollars per year and if he is president you will pay more tax.
So what actually happened he received very substantial support from the valley and they literally were able to continue paying in round terms zero tax. Where I live this is a kick back and earns jail.
They are not politically neutral and they should not be the “values keepers” of the world.
How does anyone fix this, that is a very big problem.

Marcus

Set your “home page” as “Start Page” at Cnet and you won’t have these problems….Ad Block Plus helps too..Unless you have Win !0 (then your screwed !)

Sara

I’ve said this elsewhere: a lot of this seeming control of search results has to do with the laziness of the people who are doing the searches themselves. I do very little random net searching, because I know exactly what I want to find.

If I find that a book I’m interested in buying has a cheaper price by a direct order to the publisher, where do you think would I go? I’m certainly not being blocked from finding what I want to find. I have never been bounced out of a site that was low-rated on Giggle’s rankings.

If anyone can prove incontrovertibly that Giggles is blocking access to certain areas of information, then what are you going to do besides complain?

If the EU is fining (twice now) Giggles a truckload of money for using algorithms that provide only what The They think web surfers should find, then why is there such a wealth of pornography of ALL kinds available on Giggles instead of more wholesome stuff??? I think they should be sued just for providing a venue to porn producers and traffickers for that evil crap.

Just glad right now that I have only a modest need for the net’s usefulness, and a nice, fat library of real books in a spare bedroom, not the tripe that passes for information on the internet.

Hubris as inflated as the cloud that Giggles’ operates in has a load-bearing limit, at which point, it will likely implode when someone is unable to find the bank where her accounts are held because Giggles decided it’s not a necessity and should be somewhere at the bottom of the search list ranks. The inflated egos of the people who run Giggles have a load limit, too, you know.

Gunga Din

I’ve said this elsewhere: a lot of this seeming control of search results has to do with the laziness of the people who are doing the searches themselves.

Sara,
Laziness or ignorance? “Ignorance” is just a lack of knowledge. Not everyone knows how to fine tune a search. They’re not “lazy”, they just don’t know.

“Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” Will Rogers

For them, Google is happy to steer them, rather than just show them, what they wanted to find.

Pompous Git

“Not everyone knows how to fine tune a search. They’re not “lazy”, they just don’t know… Google is happy to steer them, rather than just show them, what they wanted to find.”

How To Google Like A Pro! Top 10 Google Search Tips & Tricks …
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0DQfwc72PM

Wot came up for me when searching on “how to search on google”. Note especially Tip 10.

Pompous Git

“why is there such a wealth of pornography of ALL kinds available on Giggles instead of more wholesome stuff???”

Turn on Safe Settings in your search preferences.

Kip,
” but Climate Change results have been tampered with in a glaringly obvious manner”
You say this over and over, but never give an actual worked demonstration. Let’s see it! I gave my own example here, responding to something that was claimed to show tampering.

But it comes back to the old – one man’s tampering a is another’s guidance. Search is all about organising output in a way that users want. And people like what Google produces. That is why Google is at the top. Your complaints just sound like Yogi Berra – no-one eats there because it is too crowded. The fact is that if you don’t like the way Google orders things, you just have to find another engine that does. And if you can’t find one, you have to make one.

Pompous Git

Nick, It’s been a while since I commented here, but something has definitely changed. I’m agreeing with you! Whoda thunkit?

Jacob Frank

Dude srsly?????

HotScot

Kip

I just did a search on “failed climate predictions”.

Pages and pages on every article you can think of on the subject, some specifically mentioning WUWT.

I’m sorry, but for many reasons other than this, I think you’re barking up the wrong tree.

It’s simply not in Google’s interests to get involved in censoring any but the most offensive of sites, even then, offensive is a matter of culture. And I’m sure they know that.

Investors in Google are not interested in political imperatives, it restricts their route to profit. Advertisers are not interested in political bias, they sell to anyone. If Google sided with socialism as is frequently maintained, they would likely alienate the vast majority of their devoutly Capitalist investors.

Is there a clandestine management group at the top of Google with a socialist imperative? Hardly likely as Google is well invested in Capitalism and knows what side it’s bread is buttered on. Drive a socialist agenda and Google risks being nationalised, or banned altogether as a subversive influence were socialism to swamp us.

Are they squeaky clean? Of course not. What organisation is?

Gunga Din

Is there a clandestine management group at the top of Google with a socialist imperative? Hardly likely as Google is well invested in Capitalism and knows what side it’s bread is buttered on. Drive a socialist agenda and Google risks being nationalised, or banned altogether as a subversive influence were socialism to swamp us.

Money is a shadow, a shadow of power. Power, authority over others is the goal, whatever it is labeled.

Knowledge is power. Information is power. The secreting or hoarding of knowledge or information may be an act of tyranny camouflaged as humility. Robin Morgan

Enter burning books or hiding them and Google.

HotScot

Gunga Din

Power is a route to money. Money itself isn’t the problem.

Hard work is a route to money also, but it’s a long way around. Power is frequently perceived as the shortcut but brings with it many more problems than money itself.

A little story from my past. I worked in communities that included the inherited wealthy, the working wealthy, the working middle and lower class, and the inherited poor.

The most agreeable of those to deal with was the inherited wealthy, who had never known a moment in their lives when they couldn’t afford something, and would never be in that position in their lifetime because they had money, were used to it, and valued what it could do for them and others. They were also thrifty to the point of misery.

The other, equally agreeable folk were the inherited poor. They struggled from day to day to feed themselves. They barely knew what money was and freely admitted that had they any, they would probably just spend it. They never had money, nor was there a prospect of them getting any, and they were resigned to that.

The problem people were us lot in between. Money grabbing spendthrifts who used money to exhibit social standing, with houses and cars on credit, clothes on the never never and holidays in exotic rabbit hutch resorts that were as cheap as the chips they served. Aggressive, rude, defensive and thoroughly unpleasant people.

Money is meaningless unless it provokes a positive virtue, and that can be with, or without money. The inherited poor would surrender their last penny to help someone in need, a family member, a friend, a work colleague. Which is probably why they had no money.

The inherited wealthy would find a means of helping people on a larger scale, perhaps not risking their own money, but instead establishing a charity, or organising a fund of some description, even a church fete. They usually contributed handsomely.

The inherited wealthy frequently had power they never overtly wielded and, almost unwittingly, and unbidden, engendered respect. The inherited poor had nothing but self-respect.

So from my perspective, money isn’t the problem, the desire for money is the problem. The shortcut to money, being power, is more of a problem.

Trump has more money than he can ever spend. So why would he take a job that pays a lousy wage and causes him more problems than he ever had building hotels?

I would suggest that it’s his desire to do something for his community. He is, perhaps, the most peaceful POTUS ever, because he would rather see people wealthy through hard work than by killing people. I may live to eat my words, but so far he’s done pretty well.

Roger Knights

“It’s simply not in Google’s interests to get involved in censoring any but the most offensive of sites, even then, offensive is a matter of culture. And I’m sure they know that. Investors in Google are not interested in political imperatives, ….”

That focus is too narrow. Google and social media sites are under strong pressure from “the good and the great” among European politicians like Merkel to make it harder for nonconforming, populist-type sites to spread what they regard as misinformation and mistrust. Fines are openly threatened, and laws have been passed in Germany making sites liable for what appears on them or even (I’m unsure) what they link to. It is in google’s interest not to be liable, not to have governments angry at them, and not to anger the “clerisy” of mainstream opinion leaders.

HotScot

Roger Knights

Google and the rest are conforming to the laws of the countries they operate in. That’s not political.

And quite rightly, they are under pressure to stop violent fascist adherents like ‘the far right’ (which has nothing to do with the far right. I’m far right politically but I don’t identify with swastika’s, uniforms, masks and mob violence, that’s fascism) and ISIS.

I mentioned the following example before: I struggled to find any reference to atmospheric water vapour when I was first interested in climate change. I couldn’t find any reference to it on any reputable site when I queried the composition of earth’s atmosphere. That had nothing to do with Google, it was entirely absent from almost every website either by their unwitting neglect, or willful exclusion.

Nor do I believe the ‘Google algorithm’ is a single entity. It must conform to every law, in every country, in every language it straddles. The task of implementing all those variations must be mammoth. Are all these manifestations of the algorithm being constantly tweaked? I suspect so. Is error involved, or even individual bias included somewhere along the line I also suspect so.

And the search landscape is constantly shifting with minute by minute global events. Do a search for the Boxing Day Tsunami on the Christmas Day before, and you would have found nothing. 24 hours later every search engine across the planet was swamped (no pun intended) with every reference imaginable. The Brexit referendum momentarily changed the dynamic, as did Trump’s election, nothing is sacred in the world of search, nor do I believe it’s controllable because no one can anticipate global events. Trump might do something tomorrow that endears him to the entire western world. If Google favours the anti-Trump sentiment as exists now, how would they explain that to their newly converted Trump supporters? The fact is, no one knows what’s in the future so second guessing it is a fool’s errand, especially when investors demand an explanation.

And as I said elsewhere, investors have an inherent distrust of political and social interference, it dilutes their profits. They don’t care who buys their products. Alienate the right by favouring left-wing rhetoric and Google cuts its advertisers market by 50%. A crude description but I think you’ll get my drift.

If investors and advertisers start to look for alternative opportunities because Google is reducing their market by internal political bias, that gives someone the opportunity to set up their own search engine and erode Googles market. That’s similar to what Google did to Yahoo although I don’t recall there being a political element involved. Google just presented a more attractive commercial opportunity to investors and advertisers.

Jacob Frank

Blow yourself giggles bot

Gunga Din

I use Norton Safe Search. Their focus is to flag sites with known or questionable security issues.
I don’t know what “main-line” engine they bounce off of and then filter.
I just opened a new tab and searched for “WUWT” and the first page was all links/sublinks to this site.
Of course, my history may have something to do with that. I am careful to clean up what’s stored on my PC but I don’t know how to clean what’s been stored elsewhere. ie “the cloud”.

PS I wonder if Mann’s and Hillary’s emails are floating around out there. 8 -)

Johann Wundersamer

Goood Mooorning Vietnaaam

Michael Damiani

I use “https://duckduckgo.com/” as a browser. It does not track u with cookies. It also does not have any political affiliations to the MSM or elitist establishments of the western world.

Doug Huffman

DuckDuckGo for a general purpose search engine. Look to your professional group for specialized SE.
Eschew Alphabet and all things G00gle as you can. ProtonMail.ch!

Charles Nelson

When I got my new phone and did a search for WUWT…instead of the page itself an ad came up describing WUWT as a site promoting Climate Denial’!
So no bias there.

Johann Wundersamer

Wow, Kip Hansen.

big performance.

John F. Hultquist

Just now I searched with ‘ glaciers advance retreat ‘
DuckDuckGo had as #1 an ad to buy a glacier from zoro dot com.
Then a BBC article of the topic.
Next was “Why do they move?” via NSIDC

With Google, the first link was “Why do they move?” via NSIDC
Next was also a NSIDC link.
Third was academic — Geophysical Journal International — with nearly an exact match to my search string.

Google did not have an ad, or the BBC link.
Had I actually been looking for information, I would have selected the “Why do they move” link from either of the searches.

So, in this case, Google seems to give a better or appropriate result.
Now, I think I’ll go to ‘zoro’ and buy a glacier! Cheers.

Percy Jackson

Kip,
Your entire article is based around a fallacy that there is an “unbiased and objective” search algorithm.
All algorithms are based on human judgement and as such all are biased towards what the person who writes them thinks is the optimal solution. Searching for abortion on google returns in excess of 150 million results. The number of different ways of ranking them is then (150×10^6)! which is a number with almost 40 million zeros. Now unless you are going to return a random ranking of all 150 million websites you are going to have to use your judgement to decide which ones of those sites are most relevant. And almost certainly the most relevant site for you is not going to be the most relevant site for me and similarly someone living elsewhere in the world will have a different preference.

Hence all rankings are biased and subjective. Google is not tampering with its algorithm it is changing it – something which it has a first amendment right to do so since code is protected as free speech according to US courts. Ultimately google is optimising its rankings to maximise its revenue. So if you take you and enough of your friends take your business elsewhere google will respond by changing its algorithm. Or you are free to write your own search engine and crawl the web for links you think are good.

Johann Wundersamer

Percy, you didn’t listen.

SED and AWK are not interested at all in the texts thei’re processing.

Because they’re TEXT PROCESSING MACHINES.

Percy Jackson

Johann,
SED and AWK are programming languages. SED needs a script to do anything.
You cannot feed a list of websites into either SED or AWK and get anything out.
You can give both of them a script and then they will transform the list into a
different one but the script is the algorithm and that will contain the biases of
programmer.

Pompous Git

“all rankings are biased and subjective”

Couldn’t have said it better myself. Even if computers really were intelligent as some seem to believe, the underlying algorithms would still contain inherent bias. The alternative is to present results unranked, that is as a randomised list. “Random ranking” is self-conbtradictory. Good luck attracting users to a search engine that randomises the results.

u.k.(us)

When I do a Google search I usually get the answer I expected.
Spell check can return interesting results.

Mardler

Google is a private company owned by ultra leftists (ironic, huh?) peddling their marxist world view.

They own it and won’t change.

What is needed is an alternative that makes a BIG play of being completely unbiased.

It won’t happen.

Percy Jackson

Mardler
What is “unbiased”? A typical search on google would probably return over a million hits. You have to have some criteria to rank them which reveals your bias. There is no objective way to rank webpages.

mikesmith

+Percy, I believe you are wrong. Up through 2008, google was an excellent search engine that did not make it hard to find “politically incorrect” results. After 2008, that began changing rapidly.

AWG

I’ve long ago decided to collude with the Russians and prefer Yandex.com for my non-software-engineering search needs.

Goldrider

I’m using StartPage.com, basically the Euro-version of DuckDuckGo. It operates off Chrome, and you’re right, first 3 pages nothing but alarmist crap after top 2 hits–first was Wal Mart and the next some financial company, both paid listings. But you know what? VERY soon it isn’t even going to matter; check out this Gallup poll wherein “global warming” or “climate change” didn’t even make the top 36 of people’s concerns:

http://www.climatedepot.com/2018/07/21/new-gallup-poll-americans-do-not-even-mention-global-warming-as-a-problem-36-problems-cited-but-not-climate/

Linked from Drudge to Climate Depot, this afternoon.

mikesmith

+goldrider, it still matters very much for those of us who are trying to find actual and factual INFORMATION on the subject–AND on other subjects. AGW is far from the only topic that google distorts its search results for.

CommieBob (9.34am):
****
“The linked reddit article contains a comment that says when you google american inventors, you get a bunch of African American inventors nobody has ever heard about.”
****

comment image
(a really obvious example of Google’s political decisions at work)

****
HotScot
“Like most great inventors, Alexander Graham Bell was a Scot. His skin colour is less important as I believe we all evolved from the same stock. I also understand location influenced skin colour more than genes.” (12.24pm)
[…]
“I’m pretty certain it’s shareholders are Capitalists, through and through. Capitalist investors are
inherently wary of getting involved with political movements, they inevitably fail.” (1.20pm)
[…]
Investors in Google are not interested in political imperatives, it restricts their route to profit. Advertisers are not interested in political bias, they sell to anyone. If Google sided with socialism as is frequently maintained, they would likely alienate the vast majority of their devoutly Capitalist investors.” (1.50pm)
****

I actually coined the phrase “Google it” and made it currency at the turn of the century when the new search engine still had a link to the beta version on the front page.

Johann Wundersamer

There’s 2 text processing machines.

Sole based on unix. two.

1 awk

2 sed – the Stream lined EDitor.

No forseeable life without 1, 2

TRM

Fight back by loading the extension from adnauseam.io that “clicks ads so you don’t have to”. It is an ad blocker but it fills their databases with garbage. It is an approach so threatening to Goolag’s business model that they banned it from the Chrome store.

Be the “GI in GIGO”!!!

Ian Macdonald

I find that search engines are becoming progressively less accurate or useful. Numerous times I find that the first hit is completely unrelated to the subject I want, and contains NONE of the keywords I’d entered. – and that’s even true of a search of the page source.

ozspeaksup

i used it on my first pc a longtime ago2000’s
its been removed along with all the other common engines on every pc i use since then
ixquicks good
brave seems to be popular
duckduckgo is decent
wont touch any m/soft bings chromes whatever either
really nice program from ABINE stops tracking when you browse n removes most ads n muck, called Blur.