User:ThomasW/Notes SocityoftheQueryReader

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Society of the Query Reader

Search engines are not neutral: Googlization is real, and it is a problem: ‘For the last decade we have systematically outsourced our sense of judgment to this one company, we’ve let this company decide for us what’s important and what’s true for a large number of questions in our lives.’9 page 13

Teachers refer to Google as an educational tool without having control over the information their students find and use. page 13


Kylie Jarret If Google really is a database of our intentions for action or engagement in life, then access to that information breaches long held assumptions about the private possession of our own thoughts and desires. But it is not only privacy that is at stake in the possession of intention by commercial search sites such as Google. page18

There is a disconnect between our actions, their effects, and our desires. What animates behavior is not necessarily co-extensive with its manifestation, shaped as the latter is by intervening social, cultural, and technological factors. The underlying drives, the rich tapestry of cognitions, experiences, embodied desires that shape any person’s goals, cannot be read directly off externalized activity. Google, therefore, can read and capture the extensive output of my search terms, but this is merely the mapping of my behavior rather than real insight into its motivational logic. My purpose may have been to search for ‘abortion’,but what animated that search was not contained in the term itself. Google was committing the intentional fallacy in assuming it could read my intentional logic from my output or in ascribing motivation to the range of behavioral traces I leave across my search activity, Gmail, Google+ profile, or YouTube viewing. page 21

When I enter ‘i’ it is assumed to mean ‘Irish Times’ and not the ‘Irish Independent’, ‘izakaya’, ‘iPhone’, or ‘igloo’, based on the intentions Google has associated with my profile and with similar users in my geographic and demographic areas. In these mechanisms, the intentions ascribed to me are fed back to me, working to inform my ongoing search articulations. A feedback loop emerges in which presumptions about activity, based on Google’s assumptions about users’ intentions, go on to inform a user’s experience of, although not necessarily engagement with, the web. page 23

Dialectic of Google, Andrea Miconi

Google has been achieving dominance over its competitors through a twostep process. At a first level, quality arguably played a part: Google is considered to provide more complete and spam-free results than its competitors, and people prefer it over other search engines because of its accuracy and overall quality.21 What is more, the fact that Google is set as a default home page in some popular browsers has probably contributed to its universal adoption, or at it least to the consolidation of its leadership. For these reasons, it is actually difficult to distinguish between technical and social factors when it comes to analyzing their consequences on daily life practices. A social pattern, wrote Pierre Bourdieu, is basically a form of ‘habitus’ page 34,35


as Rachael – Blade Runner’s most controversial replicant – famously said: I am not in the business; I am the business. page 37

Frictionless Sharing: The Rise of Automatic Criticism - Vito Capanelli

more to be added (28.03.15)