"The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing."


Glenn Reynolds:

Barack Obama:
"Impossible to transcend."

Albert A. Gore, Jr.:
"An incontinent brute."

Rev. Jeremiah Wright:
"God damn the Gentleman Farmer."

Friends of GF's Sons:
"Is that really your dad?"

Kickball Girl:
"Keeping 'em alive until 7:45."

Hired Hand:
"I think . . . we forgot the pheasant."

I'm an
Alcoholic Yeti
in the
TTLB Ecosystem

Monday, December 28, 2009

"Why am I . . . "

We're hardly the first to notice some odd output from Google's "search suggestions." That's the creepy feature that finishes your search-terms for you when you begin to type an inquiry. The software consults Google's Great Database, and helps you out with suggestions of common searches based on what you've already entered. What we didn't know, however, is that (according to Google's Help page for "Query Suggestions,") the "suggestions" are not based solely on searches by anyone and everyone, but also "are drawn from searches you've done." This means that the suggestions are not merely a guide to the great composite persona of those drifting in cyberspace, but are more . . . personal.

We find this pretty scary. It means that -- to an undisclosed degree -- you're looking at what the Google AI has learned about you.

Ever willing to sacrifice our dignity and privacy for the amusement of our readers, we nevertheless felt a certain amount of anxiety as we typed into the Google search box "Why am I" and waited for the suggestions. They were:

. . . so tired

. . . always tired

. . . always cold

. . . tired all the time

. . . still single

. . . not losing weight

. . . here

. . . depressed

. . . so ugly

Which is really, really odd, because we're SO not depressed.


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