Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Google so creepy.

All of a sudden today, when I type "quote Tesla" into google on my phone - about half the time it will give me Nikola Tesla quotes. Which is super weird because before today if I typed in "quote Tesla" - 100% of the time it would take me to the stock quote. I mean, it's literally never done that before.

Which is probably why everyone is so fucking crazy right now. Google manipulates us in really creepy ways.


  1. I guess I like to see with my own eyes they way they manipulate people. You can read tons of stories, but when you see it - it's just so creepy.

  2. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, April 26, 2019 1:34:00 AM

    "I guess I like to see with my own eyes ..."

    I prefer what I can test to what I can see, there's even a Latin phrase for that which escapes me (mostly because I never studied Latin properly except to cope with legal contracts).

    I suppose if I ever decide to start an IBC, I should hire some "carnie trash" or "street magician" to be on the board, mostly so we can de-bullshit most of the clever-but-not-too-clever magic tricks.

    Because even experts at pulling the wool over other people's eyes can have the wool pulled over their own eyes.

    Also, how does DuckDuckGo actually make money?

    I suspect there are some clever magic tricks in the results.

  3. Exactly.

    Love Penn and teller. Absolutely hate magic and puppets. Loved their Bullshit series though.

  4. Capital of Texas RefugeeFriday, April 26, 2019 6:33:00 PM

    Yes, but there's a Big Magic Trick going on that most people don't see because they don't actually have to think in these terms ...

    It works like this: there's a thing that will start a mini-revolution and make all sorts of things possible ... if only there were enough data sampled to brute force a way around the fact that the thing is actually bone-headed stupid by design.

    So in order to make your thing "smart" you have to implement what is essentially a mass surveillance system or at least the kind of highly detailed and specialized map project that formerly only military planners and perhaps geologists wanted to have.

    In lieu of that, you implement a few heuristics that you can code into something that is actually reasonable to embed in some larger thing where you would ideally want your better and improved "smart" thing. These heuristics break all the time, but people put up with this anyway because the not-quite-so-smart thing was never intended to be a complete solution.

    This stop-gap thing is a magic trick, but so is the "smart" better thing which of course is always just around the corner as a "technological inevitability" ...

    People fall for this shit all the time.

    It's even easier to fall for it because of a confidence trick that tells you that these systems are "engineered" instead of being brute-forced into existence with layers of stop-gappery, bulk data analysis, and insane levels of just-in-case "precautionary principle" to make all of the lawyers happy.

    Designated "spokes-people" for the engineers go on record to say things with utmost sincerity and believability that the engineers would never say themselves.

    In the case of Google, they pretend they have some advanced knowledge of things when what they've done is that they've implemented a Robocop 2-styled list of insane demands on their large-scale data trawling that amounts to being incapable of maintaining the illusion of being good at searching for the same things from day to day.

    There's a huge part of the Internet that is essentially not indexable for the purposes of the average Internet user, and that's an even bigger problem for all of the non-average Internet users.

    DuckDuckGo "solves" this problem by making that a feature and not a bug.

    A case in point -- search for this on DuckDuckGo: "viollet-le-duc notre dame plans".

    I get one set of ornate drawings, which today we'd term a detailed illustration rather than architectural plans, that's actually useful. (Yes, I know that's the style of the time -- I have in front of me something titled "Recueil et Parallèle, des Édifices de Tout Genre, Anciens et Modernes" by J.N.L. Durand, an architecture professor at the Polytechnique, from roughly the same period, and it's a very short book on architectural types in the same style.)

    Beyond that, I get an actual construction photo or two from the 1850s, plus a conspiracy theory or two, plus a few relatively obscure academic pieces from more than a century later, plus an absolute shed load of noise and news articles about how awful the burning of the Cathedral of Notre Dame was and how there was this guy named Eugène Viollet-le-Duc who was involved in the last major reconstruction.

    It's all magic tricks, and they're all faking it, in other words.

    This is also why everyone seems incurably stupid: when confronted with a lack of knowledge, people resort to pulling out their phones and consuming vast amounts of data smog which they repeat back with utmost sincerity.

    There's an episode of "The Prisoner" that's a lot like this if you're curious.

  5. I get what you are saying. The older I get the more I realize everyone is faking it. Growing up in The Valley lots of things are only temporarily real. So I like to look at people in the eye when they are lying to me and try to figure out if they are just lying to me - or are they lying to themselves too.

    I don't really feel like Google should tailor search to individuals because it makes everyones reality different. It's hard enough to get people to accept reality as it is. I mean, who the elf really wants to see real reality. If you can just form a realty bubble why wouldn't you?

    My search only gives the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

  6. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, April 27, 2019 5:06:00 AM

    "If you can just form a realty bubble why wouldn't you?"

    You'd live on Солярис?

    Enjoy the film: Part 1 and Part 2.

  7. Both vids unavailable. Just watched City40 on Netflix though.

  8. Capital of Texas RefugeeSaturday, April 27, 2019 7:52:00 PM

    Once more Google censorship operates in a feedback loop, to nobody's surprise ...

    Извините, русский чувак, для получения вы заметили в ЗОНА. :<

    Tarkovsky's "Stalker" ("Сталкер") is an even better movie if you like deeply psychological sci-fi (or "high-radiation arthouse" films).

    There's a Blu-Ray of it now that fixes some transfer problems from one of the originals that involved weird blue backgrounds during black-and-white scenes, but otherwise there's little difference between it and the older DVD (if you can find it) aside from cost and video resolution.

  9. Yeah. I'd give that a try. Even though it's made before the year 2000. Very few movies get an exception to my movie rule. Low def and all. ;) They all have to be in the Brazil/Bladerunner vein. I can rent it from Amazon. Maybe I will get to it next weekend.