Friday, May 24, 2013


The Google guys watch over us, like loving parents, helping us, anticipating our needs with algorithms.

I figured algorithms were complicated math  but my dictionary says
"Procedure for solving a mathematical problem (as of finding the  greatest common divisor) in a finite number of steps that frequently  involves repetition of an operation;  broadly: a step-by-step  procedure for solving a problem or accomplishing some end especially by a  computer."

For instance, if you're struggling with your weight, you can try self-tracking devices that record your calories in and calories out. Or if you're plagued by crime, predictive policing can prevent crime before it happens. For any topic that concerns you, Silicon Valley claims there are technological (algorithmic) solutions.

"Want to be fitter, happier, more productive?"  -- technology critic Evgeny Morozov points out HOW,  in his new book, "To Save Everything, Click Here: The Folly of Technological Solutionism,"  It's a book that explains how tech giants like Google and Facebook will help you.

Why does this make me very uncomfortable? Because already, too much of my life, my time, my energy, is involved with technology, not my own feelings or instincts.

Algorithms are a prison,
Bunch of blocks in a box
That locks out what's free,
Confines me and thee
And keeps us from fun
In the sun. 

Yep--Google-Yahoo-Bing info
Cram-jams us head-to-toe!

Where do we go
To know what we already know?
The auspicious wise guys
In this video -- oh woe!
They're not telling lies
But holy cow, wow!
I'm JUDICIOUSLY suspicious. 


Maureen Jacobs said...

Leave it to the "experts" to confuse us even more. Using a computer since 1980, I am familiar with many things "techie'.

Regardless of the algorithm used, I find the magic much more appealing. Hopefully the announcement of this "magic" will help others understand the ins and outs of search engines. For me, it's like Christmas morning when I key I something and see what pops up. Lol

Carola said...

I think the Google search is fantastic, and keeps getting better. I have started asking computer support questions in Google instead of the Help for a particular kind of software, because Google can navigate the Help documentation faster than I can. And I ask Google ALL kinds of questions: How to fix this, How to do that, What are criticisms of a particular book, etc. All that said, I try to protect myself from Google's data collection mania--I don't use their email, I don't sign on to a google account; I try to stay anonymous.

Linda Phillips said...

Carola said it all for me!

vocal witness said...

Hi Em: I avoid using Google as much as possible. Dogpile, Ixquick & Gibiru are my favorites - meta, PRIVATE search engines. I set Ixquick as my home page & I am more than satisfied each & every time I use it. =D
Blessings !!!

guswrite said...

Thought Algo********* was a beer or some strong drink, babe. Too technoical 4 me. :)!!