Keith Sanborn on Mon, 24 Sep 2007 00:38:16 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> search engines on the move

While there is some truth in your observations, I think you are the
victim of your own bad balance of irony.

>Unrelatedl, I recently made a few hours worth of survey of
>alternatives to google (I looked at about dozen, colleced from "X top
>non-google search engines" around the 'net.)
>There are really none.
>The only real problem with google is monopoly, and the only resulting
>real fear is that google may be biasing search results. I couldn't
>care less about parasitical ad or SEO industry, I'm interested only
>in search results.
>What do alternatives do to alleviate this fear?

The problem is that these two are intimately related. Why bias
searches? Because Google is paid to do so. Advertising is only the
outward sign of economic grace. Aggressively ignoring the link between
google and its advertisers doesn't get you any closer to understanding
Google's biases. Search engines and their engineers do have values;
often those which prioritize their own self-aggrandizement even over

>Nothing, except to clutter the interface with dotcommish
>this-is-how-CEO-thinks-web-page-should-look clutter. The implied
>intent is, I guess, that explicit advertizing means no hidden
>advertizing via biasing. The problem is, there is no way to easily
>find if the search results are also biased or not.
>All of them have commercial backing, so I simply don't see a business
>model without either selling eyeballs or biasing search results or
>The rest of claims, like heavy graphics, yet another AI interface
>etc. are simply silly. I compared them with google's advanced search
>(the only one I ever use) and there is no comparison. Of course, some
>retards may do better with specialized "AI" engine tuned to finding
>viagra, but since when is it ethical to help retards remain in the
>gene pool?

I guess this is meant to be funny; it isn't. It is precisely this sort
of genetic metaphor which creates the logical gene pool engineering of

>The solution is, naturally, a cooperative distributed P2P-based
>open source search engine, without central server, where each user
>contributes to both spidering and querying of the index. No single
>choke point. Unfortunately, such engine does not exist. It is a
>multimillion development and maintenance effort.
>Pro bono non-commercial efforts should go towards this goal, and not
>trying to out-interface google. Be realistic - if you figer out a
>better interface via noncommercial effort, google will eventually
>adopt it.

Odd, you end up at P2P again. Self-selecting intellectual "peer"
groups; in this context it sounds less like autonomous swarms and more
like intellectual eugenics.

Keith Sanborn

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