The Google: Dribs and Drabs of Information Suggest a Frisky Outfit

October 10, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_t[1]Note: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I have been catching up since I returned from a law enforcement conference. One of the items in my “read” file concerned Google’s alleged demonstrations of the firm’s cleverness. Clever is often valued more than intelligence in some organization  in my experience. I picked up on an item describing the system and method for tweaking a Google query to enhance the results with some special content.

 How Google Alters Search Queries to Get at Your Wallet” appeared on October 2, 2023. By October 6, 2023, the article was disappeared. I want to point out for you open source intelligence professionals, the original article remains online.


Two serious and bright knowledge workers look confused when asked about alleged cleverness. One says, “I don’t understand. We are here to help you.” Thanks, Microsoft Bing. Highly original art and diverse too.

Nope. I won’t reveal where or provide a link to it. I read it and formulated three notions in my dinobaby brain:

  1. The author is making darned certain that he/she/it will not be hired by the Google.
  2. The system and method described in the write up is little more than a variation on themes which thread through a number of Google patent documents. I demonstrated in my monograph Google Version 2.0: The Calculating Predator that clever methods work for profiling users and building comprehensive data sets about products.
  3. The idea of editorial curation is alive, just not particularly effective at the “begging for dollars” outfit doing business as Wired Magazine.

Those are my opinions, and I urge you to formulate your own.

I noted several interesting comments on Hacker News about this publish and disappear event. Let me highlight several. You can find the posts at this link, but keep in mind, these also can vaporize without warning. Isn’t being a sysadmin fun?

  1. judge2020: “It’s obvious that they design for you to click ads, but it was fairly rocky suggesting that the backend reaches out to the ad system. This wouldn’t just destroy results, but also run afoul of FCC Ad disclosure requirements….”
  2. techdragon: “I notice it seems like Google had gotten more and more willing to assume unrelated words/concepts are sufficiently interchangeable that it can happily return both in a search query for either … and I’ll be honest here… single behavior is the number one reason I’m on the edge of leaving google search forever…”
  3. TourcanLoucan: “Increasingly the Internet is not for us, it is certainly not by us, it is simply where you go when you are bored, the only remaining third place that people reliably have access to, and in true free market fashion, it is wall-to-wall exploitation.”

I want to point out that online services operate like droplets of mercury. They merge and one has a giant blob of potentially lethal mercury. Is Google a blob of mercury? The disappearing content is interesting as are the comments about the incident. But some kids play with mercury; others use it in industrial processes; and some consume it (willingly or unwillingly) like sailors of yore with a certain disease. They did not know. You know or could know.

Stephen E Arnold, October 10, 2023


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