Author Topic: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?  (Read 3606 times)

Ziegejunge

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #30 on: January 31, 2017, 04:00:29 pm »
Your ideals don't impress Death.

MMIX

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2017, 04:28:14 pm »
Your ideals don't impress Death.
You're in the wrong thread
If the answer is Donald J Trump then it must have been a fucking stupid question.
Trump cultists; "and some, I assume, are good people"
Collusion??? ~ "If it truly was a nothingburger, theres nothing here, why not open the kimono?

MMIX

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2017, 04:32:00 pm »
Your ideals don't impress Death.
You're in the wrong thread
Your bleak statement is apt
If the answer is Donald J Trump then it must have been a fucking stupid question.
Trump cultists; "and some, I assume, are good people"
Collusion??? ~ "If it truly was a nothingburger, theres nothing here, why not open the kimono?

tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2017, 04:56:56 pm »
>> I apologize for derailing this, I didn't expect that to happen...

Trying to get back on course, an approach to the problem of these self-reinforcing echo chambers powered by customized search results. It's difficult to plot a trajectory to change the status quo here without understanding exactly what the algorithms do, how they track people, what weight is given to which metrics, etc.

Google (and I assume other search providers) do try to weight information by quality already, it's just that with the nascent AI that's in the production phase right now they can't be very efficient at gauging content on its own merits. They have to look at indicators of its quality like the amount of time a user spends on a search result, the number of time they come back to it, other clicks they make at the target domain, etc. They also track which other content sources are linked to and from the original, and weigh the quality metrics of those sources as a variable in their calculations.

The scale of the operation is staggering, which makes direct interference difficult. There are successful attempts at re-ranking Google results, but they are generally caught and their effects intentionally erased. Anything that changes rankings without being flagged as illegitimate would have to appear as an organic movement, and at that point the technical complexity probably outweighs the work required to just convince people to seek higher quality information.

I am disappointed with the Fake News thing, because you'd think that would be one effective way of getting people to pay attention to information quality. But instead, it was turned around in a matter of days and became just another epithet to throw at each other and discredit anything we disagree with. The tendency toward willful ignorance was basically untouched by the whole thing, and in fact it gained another tool to reinforce itself. So I guess what I'm saying is, I'm at a loss here.
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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #34 on: January 31, 2017, 05:37:45 pm »
In my opinion, there are two ways for this problem to be resolved. One is voluntarily on the part of Google, if they actually maintain any of the social benevolence they (pretend to?) espouse. The other is through legislation, which is a sketchy proposition under the current administration; I don't doubt that Trump would LOVE to place restrictions on information providers, but I suspect we can all agree that the limitations he would impose probably wouldn't favor unbiased access.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #35 on: January 31, 2017, 05:43:20 pm »
Your ideals don't impress Death.



Yeah, everybody dies. When do most of us learn that, around kindergarten? Preschool maybe? I think I have a particularly keen appreciation for that fundamental reality.

But the point of social reform of any kind is to make life nicer for people while they are still alive, so the inevitability of death is a non-sequitur and irrelevant to the discussion.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


P3nT4gR4m

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #36 on: January 31, 2017, 05:45:43 pm »
Google is fine, it's doing what it's designed to do and it gets better at it day on day. Users, on the other hand, are as wonky as they've always been. Fake news and polarised opinions aren't new. That's how it's always been. Difference is now it's dynamic and interactive. The internet gives more opportunity for dissenting opinions to your pet worldview to be encountered, not less. The other side of the coin = adherents to your pet worldview can group together much more easily and ramble on about how the world would be just fucking ticketty if they could convince everyone to "come here and listen to the poets of the cause wax lyrical".

You know me and ideologies - fuck the lot of them. Even the "good" ones. Same shit. Double edged sword. Only this time I fall on the - more harm than they're worth - side of the debate. It's the internet, you can disagree if you like and tell me why I'm the lowest form of scum. I call that net progress. Room for improvement? Sure. There's probably always gonna be room for improvement. All I'm saying is that if you want to stop people only reading things and discussing things with people that support their pet worldview, google is the least of your worries.

Anyway, you can rest assured google will be on it. Just like Facebook are on it with the fake news thing. It's easy to criticise those guys or those corporate behemoths for the bad things they've gotten up to but that's just one edge of the sword. We wouldn't be where we are right now without the efforts of them and others like them. The world is connected. We are connected to information and to each other in a way we've never been before as a species. The potential is off the charts but, as usual, we're hanging out in little enclaves and pointing fingers at those "inhuman -------'s who just need kicked in the teeth harder and they'll come around to our way of thinking".

If I was forced to choose between trusting Sergey and Larry and trusting the fucking united states government to bring us closer to resolving any issues relating to this topic or others like it? Come on. Srsly?  :lulz:
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MMIX

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #37 on: January 31, 2017, 06:06:08 pm »
I suspect it is kind of old-fashioned to say that the love of money is the root of all evil. However, if we are serious about trying to de-polarise society - and I would suggest that it is not merely opinions but society itself which is being polarised by the current madness - what we need to be looking at is the way that current media is monetised. I have no suggestions, but I am convinced that click-bait is potentially poisonous on all sorts of levels.

Also Pent fr serious? Google is great but the people suck, WTF?
Look, like Nigel said
 
Quote
the point of social reform of any kind is to make life nicer for people while they are still alive
You might want to take those nihilistic blinkers off so you can see who is coming for you. Being a cynical shit is not going to help anyone get through the future intact.
If the answer is Donald J Trump then it must have been a fucking stupid question.
Trump cultists; "and some, I assume, are good people"
Collusion??? ~ "If it truly was a nothingburger, theres nothing here, why not open the kimono?

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #38 on: January 31, 2017, 06:19:06 pm »
You might want to take those nihilistic blinkers off


You really don't know P3nt that well, I can see.

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #39 on: January 31, 2017, 06:25:55 pm »
Google is fine, it's doing what it's designed to do and it gets better at it day on day. Users, on the other hand, are as wonky as they've always been. Fake news and polarised opinions aren't new. That's how it's always been. Difference is now it's dynamic and interactive. The internet gives more opportunity for dissenting opinions to your pet worldview to be encountered, not less. The other side of the coin = adherents to your pet worldview can group together much more easily and ramble on about how the world would be just fucking ticketty if they could convince everyone to "come here and listen to the poets of the cause wax lyrical".

You know me and ideologies - fuck the lot of them. Even the "good" ones. Same shit. Double edged sword. Only this time I fall on the - more harm than they're worth - side of the debate. It's the internet, you can disagree if you like and tell me why I'm the lowest form of scum. I call that net progress. Room for improvement? Sure. There's probably always gonna be room for improvement. All I'm saying is that if you want to stop people only reading things and discussing things with people that support their pet worldview, google is the least of your worries.

Anyway, you can rest assured google will be on it. Just like Facebook are on it with the fake news thing. It's easy to criticise those guys or those corporate behemoths for the bad things they've gotten up to but that's just one edge of the sword. We wouldn't be where we are right now without the efforts of them and others like them. The world is connected. We are connected to information and to each other in a way we've never been before as a species. The potential is off the charts but, as usual, we're hanging out in little enclaves and pointing fingers at those "inhuman -------'s who just need kicked in the teeth harder and they'll come around to our way of thinking".

If I was forced to choose between trusting Sergey and Larry and trusting the fucking united states government to bring us closer to resolving any issues relating to this topic or others like it? Come on. Srsly?  :lulz:

You could have replaced this entire wall of text with this:

Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #40 on: January 31, 2017, 06:28:04 pm »
I'm not sure why you can't grasp the idea that targeted censorship is a very very big deal, but there you have it.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


tyrannosaurus vex

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #41 on: January 31, 2017, 06:52:40 pm »
The thing is, without a concerted effort from Google to invent a technology that really doesn't yet exist specifically to undermine their profit model directly, or dangerous thought-policing counter-censorship legislation, the only way to effect the system as it is now is to impersonate something. Either impersonate users so Google changes its rankings, or impersonate content so Google delivers your information to people who think they're getting something else.

Either way, it's unlikely to gain any momentum at all without a genuine viral movement that convinces people who aren't in on the plan to participate unwittingly. And once you get to that point, you're really talking about changing minds anyway so you're left with the same problem you started with.
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MMIX

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #42 on: January 31, 2017, 07:22:06 pm »
You might want to take those nihilistic blinkers off


You really don't know P3nt that well, I can see.

I don't know him at all, actually, but I do have 10 odd years of experience reading his stuff though.
If the answer is Donald J Trump then it must have been a fucking stupid question.
Trump cultists; "and some, I assume, are good people"
Collusion??? ~ "If it truly was a nothingburger, theres nothing here, why not open the kimono?

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #43 on: January 31, 2017, 08:44:02 pm »
The thing is, without a concerted effort from Google to invent a technology that really doesn't yet exist specifically to undermine their profit model directly, or dangerous thought-policing counter-censorship legislation, the only way to effect the system as it is now is to impersonate something. Either impersonate users so Google changes its rankings, or impersonate content so Google delivers your information to people who think they're getting something else.

Either way, it's unlikely to gain any momentum at all without a genuine viral movement that convinces people who aren't in on the plan to participate unwittingly. And once you get to that point, you're really talking about changing minds anyway so you're left with the same problem you started with.

Google doesn't need to make a new product, they need to roll back a feature. In order to convince them to roll back a feature that I assume is profitable for them, there are multiple potential approaches. One approach is the social pressure approach; if enough people are talking about it, they may decide that it will benefit them to publicly make an announcement that they are discontinuing (or making optional) their targeted search results. Another approach is the economic pressure model; again, this requires publicity, only the idea is to convince them that they will lose more profit from users switching search engines than they are gaining from targeted results. This approach can only work if a lot of people are talking about it AND other search engines that don't customize search results per user are seeking to exploit the public buzz.

The legislation option is also worth considering, but it would have to be a bipartisan bill that was very carefully worded to avoid creating avenues of abuse.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.


Mesozoic Mister Nigel

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Re: Are customized search results polarizing opinions?
« Reply #44 on: January 31, 2017, 08:45:27 pm »
The core idea that I think needs to be spread around is that targeted results = targeted censorship.
Im guessing it was January 2007, a meeting in Bethesda, we got a bag of bees and just started smashing them on the desk, Charles Wick said. It was very complicated.