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Re: <nettime> "Google distorts reality"
John Hopkins on Thu, 27 Dec 2007 19:31:05 +0100 (CET)


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Re: <nettime> "Google distorts reality"


Hmmm, another study, but there shouldn't be any gasps of surprise -- 
except maybe from those who are just now waking up...

To the authors of this report:

>Most material written today was in some way based on Google and

huh?  where is the hard evidence of this reality?  sounds like this 
statement is reflecting only part of reality...

>Wikipedia - and if those did not reflect reality, a distortion was
>possible, the researchers said, recalling biased contributions
>frequently placed on Wikipedia.

but since when is a mediated view of the world, in ANY form, not 
reflecting some aspect of this 'reality?'  and since when is any 
mediated view of the world NOT distorting this elusive 'reality'? 
and since when does a large subsidiary unit of the techno-social 
system NOT exert its distortions across the full extent of its reach 
into that system?  substitute IBM, Microsoft, CIA, MI5, VISA, T-COM, 
The Chinese Communist Party, etc, etc for Google, the text would read 
largely the same...

Yes, the alarm can be continuously sounded, but will this study 
change the behavior of that system?

Will it change the behavior of people on this list?

As Geert asks -- what do alternative behaviors looks like?

A primary alternative in response to this universal tendency of the 
techno-social system to exert its preferences on human participants 
in that system is to circumvent the prescribed pathways that are 
offered by the system and instead open more direct pathways between 
individual Others in the system.

Books for students to read would include Sun Tzu, Tacitus, and 
Machiavelli with a sprinkle of TAZ...  The blogosphere has much 
verbiage, but not so many meaty and principled tools by which to 
understand this system...

This is the general case, but a specific example would be: When 
wondering about something, ask the people immediately around you, if 
there is no satisfactory answer, be content with the fact that 
reality is indeterminate and that anyone suggesting that it isn't is 
full of bunk.  period.

Or instead of spending (life)time surfing via Google for the answer, 
spend some (life)time staring out the window synthesizing one's own 
answer based on all internal experience.  Besides, do we NEED all 
this socio-cultural baggage interfaced via Google to SURVIVE?  I 
think not...

jh


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