I use Google for research and for entertainment. There are algorithms, I’m told, that rifle past searches and offer you choice selections in future searches and your news feed based on preferences you created by previous searches. I could have this wrong, but it seems to follow.
But the search results are so OFF, and so INSISTENT, and so UNCHANGING. It’s like being in a foreign country where some dutiful waiter keeps bringing you platter after platter of something you inquired about strictly from idle curiosity, no matter how often you ask for something else.
Picture yourself saying, “What in hell is haggis?” with a deeply felt HELL NO response. You then look up something delicious, such as murgh makhani, and the waiter says, “Did you mean haggis?” — You can say NO, and hit “search” again, but the Google waiter will still bring you a platter of stuff that is 40% haggis. Then you try searching for “butter chicken” instead of “murgh makhani” and it STILL sneaks a percentage of haggis in there. YOU LIKE…?
And for weeks your news feed will have what seem to be stalker-y adverts and pseudo-articles: “Canned Haggis Sale at Amazon”, “Get Haggis Delivered to Your Door for Burns Night”, “Low-Fat Vegan Gluten-Free Haggis Recipes”. Seriously.
The results were ghastliest when I was researching abnormal psych for my MSW — mostly necro-pr0n [sic] pseudojournalism for people who get sick jollies off ugly news articles, with a thick sediment of right wing accoutrements and fake-news outlets. What in hell is The Blaze doing in the sidebar of a bleeding heart left wing liberal progressive? Is this Franklin Mint statuette of an eagle wearing an American flag as a cape and using the flag stand as a spear a real thing, or strictly a parody? (Answer: both.)
At least there wasn’t a sidebar of special deals on mouth-sized individual duct tape dispensers or ergonomic daggers with fingerprint-resistant hilts. But it would not have surprised me to see them there.