We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
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Friday, March 15. 2013
As it stands, I can almost guarantee you this will be the only time you'll hear of it.
Enjoy the moment.
So to speak.
Now, I will admit that he's half-right:
The intake part of your breath is carbon neutral.
But the exhalation? As every good-thinking, earth-hugging person knows, your exhalation is a deadly planet-killing toxic gas, verified by the greatest and most impartial collection of scientists on the planet, the respected (some might even say revered) Environmental Protection Agency.
So, wishing to fortify my point with a link, I cruised over to Google and did a search for "your breath is a toxic gas epa".
I came up with zip.
In the first 20 hits, I didn't come up with one article mocking how the EPA had just turned breath into a toxic gas. It was nothing but how bad, bad, bad that evil CO2 is for all living creatures and how the EPA is the only thing standing between you and being boiled alive by an angry rising sea.
Thinking this a tad strange, I went over to Bing and tried the exact same search. In the first 10 hits:
The next 10 hits yielded another three articles along the same lines, which is about what I had originally expected. Given the formidable opposition, getting 3 out of 10 links is probably doing pretty good.
Okay, so what about Google? Would you like to guess how many articles Google displayed before linking to an article that even remotely criticized the EPA's ruling?
And he was only criticizing the EPA ruling because he believed Cap & Trade was the better way to go.
Okay, so when does the first article appear on Google that outright mocks the EPA's ruling?
At the default 10 links per page, that's twenty-three pages you'd have to look through to see the other side of the story. You're welcome to do these searches yourself. The Bing link is here and the identical Google search is here.
We are actually witnessing an historic event in the making. Never before in 20 years of online search engines has a company actually been accused of egregious political bias in their search results. As businesses, sure, they put their liberalism on rampant display, like the way Google won't honor our fallen veterans on Memorial Day with a custom banner but is happy to honor the birthday of some 17th century Italian painter no one's ever heard of, nor shall we overlook that Bing is run by MicroSoft, the 'MS' part of 'MSNBC'. But for the search results to be so sanitized and censored, as the above puts on vivid display, is something brand new.
I might also point out that if I had searched for "co2 toxic gas epa", I wouldn't have been surprised at the results. But using the word 'breath' was specifically tailoring the search for the desired result.
The two burning questions now are:
1. What other areas have they sanitized?
2. Just how many people use this thing, again?
The latter, of course, is what turns this into an ethical crime; a crime against the common ethos. Regardless of a company's politics — and that's assuming a business enterprise should even have a 'politics' — we still expect a product such as this to be a fair, impartial algorithmic look at what's out there. If they want to tweak the algorithm so it places articles that use the word "Democrat" more than the word "Republican" above articles that do the opposite, fine. All's fair in love, war and politics.
But this is far beyond a mere tweak. Google has knowingly violated the public trust.
Thoughts On A Sunday
The March weather is continuing its schizophrenic pattern, with days of well above freezing days followed by a batch of below freezing days, thrown in with snow that falls during both the above freezing and below freezing days. I...
Weblog: Weekend Pundit
Tracked: Mar 17, 23:09
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Google or Bing? Takes us back to the original template: Fork of Spoon?
Inquiring minds want to know (right buddy)?
But this is far beyond a mere tweak. Google has knowingly violated the public trust. Who owns Google now? Maybe the answer lies therein...probably an 0bammy supporter...
I've only used Bing a couple of times and certainly wasn't impressed enough to switch.
For the nonce, I'm going to continue using Google, but the next time I have a WTF? moment, like this morning, I'm heading directly for Bing to check out the dif. If it's as blatant as this morning was, I'll do a follow-up post.
Ah, you're just now noticing this? Many folks have already given up on Google and Bing, and use DuckDuckGo. At least for searching topics like this.
your breath is a toxic gas epa
Your breath is toxic - Item 2
Congressman Bill Shuster - Item 4
Your breath is toxic - Item 6
Part of this is not sinister in the "I planned to do this and implemented it" fashion. It has to do with how Google rates sites for you to view and how they are priortized. Now there is another kind of sinister in this, but not the one that is sometimes thought of. Some of this is unintended consequences of doing business a certain way.
For instance, in America, almost everything we buy is pre-marked with the price. We walk in, select an item, pay for it and leave. Except for cars. Now why is that? Most adults know to switch their "buy" gear when they walk into a used car lot.
What we don't know yet is how to switch our "search" gear when we walk into the Googleplex. We don't get it. But we will, eventually. Nothing is hidden that won't be revealed. Smart folks figure things out. The point to pay attention, sit up and listen, and don't assume. Be like the Bereans.
google search string: "human breath EPA"
9 of the first 10 were on topic
The two main factors Google prioritizes its results on are (1) how long the domain has been up, and (2) how many other sites link to it. The latter is a pretty good determination of how 'legitimate' the site is, since presumably lots of people wouldn't be linking to a site that was doing something nefarious.
The point, then, would be that Watts Up With That has probably been around a lot longer than some of those 228 sites that came before it, and I imagine every anti-AGW advocate on the planet links to it, so it would seem that there was some other force at play.
As a small side note, I did some more AGW searching on Google and my feeling is that it's the "epa" in the search that starts skewering things. Maybe it was an undisclosed part of the recently-settled suit from the DoJ over its Street View mishaps?
"Oh, and don't say anything bad about the EPA."
Well, the second one was on ozone and the fourth was on formaldehyde, but I take your point. I particularly liked this one:
EPA Appeals to Public to Stop Breathing So Much
WASHINGTON, D.C.- A new study by the EPA has found that human breathing is one of the largest emitters of the deadly gas known as CO2. After the burning of fossil fuels and the Kyoto Treaty, breathing is now the leading cause of climate change on the planet.
In response to the study, EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson made a plea to the public this afternoon asking for all Americans to limit their oral carbon faceprint as much as possible.
"Not only do you suck out precious oxygen each time you inhale" said Johnson, "Everytime you open your mouth to exhale, somewhere, someplace, a polar bear drowns."
The poor li'l fellers never had a chance. :(
Po' ol' Nanook is really taking a kicking today. I can't believe there isn't a major soft drink company willing to help out.
Google: Anyone surprised that they violate their "Don't Be Evil" mantra?
To the rest of you -- Nanook Of The Frozen Hinterland is referring to us discussing Coca-Cola's role in AGW via email this morning. The Gar (not to be confused with the fish of the same name) linked me to an interesting article.
As it turns out, polar bears are carnivorous, and view humans as delightful afternoon snacks. As such, rather than fight off this voracious animal -- as they do in every other part of the world -- the World Wildlife Fund (those responsible for starting the "Himalayan glaciers are melting" story that the U.N. bought) and Coca-Cola have combined forces to protect the delightful afternoon snacks humans from this ravaging menace. All they have to do to stay safe is store everything in big metal containers, always keep their doors locked, and surround themselves with electric fencing.
And they have the WWF and Coca-Cola to thank for this new-found freedom.
Google has been doing this since Eric Schmidt took over as CEO. He's a nanny just like Bloomberg - he wants all your information, but all his information has been sanitized from Google.
Funny how that works.
However, according to Google, they have nothing but the best interests of the people they serve at heart.
Just like liberals. However, in this case, you didn't use the correct search criteria.
CO2+human breath - top 30 searches.
This truly falls into the "I thought I'd heard everything before...but...I guess not".
"Everytime you open your mouth to exhale, somewhere, someplace, a polar bear drowns."
Anyone come to mind whom U think might believe this "tripe"?
I wanted to include "epa" in the search because that's what I was proving to He Who Shall Not Be Named. Do that, and the results change dramatically, although not as much as using the word "your", apparently.
Ixquick is a search engine which claims it is the world's most private search engine.
Damn interesting, Doc. I'm going to do as you suggested above, keep half an eye on things. If suddenly something seems 'off', I'll give Bing a visit and report back.
"...to thank for this new-found freedom."
Now that was funny.
Doc, I had a similar experience about a year ago. I don't remember what the hell I was searching for, but I do remember "epa" was involved. And I had the same lack of results, wondering "Hey, where are OUR articles?" This kinda confirms that something more than an algorithm is at play.
I also had a similar experience, maybe six months ago, but I didn't pursue it with Bing. Don't remember what it was for, but I do remember distinctly thinking "Dis ain't right".
Doc, just forget about research on exhaling. Get yourself a bunch of houseplants (I believe it's boatplants in your case), add some outdoor greenery where you can, and live guilt free. Don't forget to breathe on them every day.
More to the point of your article: one of my brother's partners in publishing has a side job (and makes big money) pushing clients' sites to the top of the list on Google, Bing, etc. She did it for one of my clients, a start-up, so I know whatever she does works. I never asked if she could deep-six competitors, but that seems an option.
Mayhap we should tell (not suggest) these nannies that they should shoot themselves (for their own good) so as to properly sympathize with those who actually have been shot. Feel their pain, exactamente!
Or, go play with polar bears.
I use ixquick.com for most searches just to keep the Gs from following me. Sometimes I revert due to few links found though....
If you think Google has a bias of some kind, try searching Snopes for anything critical of our present leader:
i.e. obama chicago bath house
I'm thinking Snopes do not use Google.
Seems to me that recent google searches tend to turn up less relevant material than they used to, even on neutral topics. Maybe they have hit that point in software development where things start to get worse instead of better. It isn't that uncommon a trajectory.
FWIW, here is one estimate regarding the amount of anthropogenic CO2 production and the amount of CO2 produced by breathing: 4 tons p/c/year of CO2 produced by anthropogenic [industrial] processes, compared to 0.5 ton p/c/year produced by breathing. According to the calculation, the amount of CO2 produced by breathing is about 12% of the CO2 produced by man-made industrial processes.
I used IXQUICK search engine :"how many tons of co2 does the average human produce in a year."
That's an interesting observation, because a myth-busting place, like a search engine, is supposed to be completely apolitical.
I think all we're ultimately proving here is that people will be people. :/
Didn't think so.
+co2 +breath +epa
first hit is EPA Declares Human Breath (CO2) a Pollutant - The New American.
The + means 'must be in the result'.
I'm not seeing a conspiracy here, just another clueless user.
It's not just Google. I had a recent interesting experience on Facebook. A pastor friend of mine had written an article on his blog on folks who had changed their homosexual orientation and were now straight. He had then posted a link to his article on Facebook. I semi-joshingly sent him a Facebook email saying that he was touching The Third Rail, and I would hate to see what sort of comments he would get at his blogsite. It was perfectly G-rated, no bad words or anything derogatory or anti-gay. The sort of G-rated email you would send to your friend who is a pastor.
After I sent the email, I later found that it had been deleted by Facebook for having "inappropriate content." So just the subject, the assertion that someone can voluntarily change their sexual orientation, is apparently controversial enough that it sets alarm bells off and will get you deleted on Facebook. You wonder who is looking at all this stuff and making these decisions.
"Seems to me that recent google searches tend to turn up less relevant material than they used to, even on neutral topics". Could that be because there is more irrelevant material out there every day? Unlike this wonderful site that we are reading right now.
I don't know Doc - I used CO2+human breath+epa as search criteria and got very similar results. human breath+epa delivered exactly what you wanted in the top twenty searches.
You missed the entire point. This isn't an evaluation of how the techno-savvy user does it, but the common slob. Nor does your + theory hold up in the light of twenty-three pages.
These days I use yandex.ru when I doubt google and that's most of the time.
It's automatic. Same thing happens on Twitter now. You can argue it with Facebook and get it restored, but it takes a while.
OK, to summarize: we have Ixquick, DuckDuckGo and yandex as alternative search engines. BD, this site has evolved from...to....
I notice Lycos and Alta Vista are missing from your list, but, well, can't have everything. :)
I've bookmarked the three sites and will hit them the next time I have a 'tough' search. When it comes to the "best" search engine, there's more to it than just hits, there's also heuristics; the ability for it to guess exactly what you're looking for. Since I work with WordPress a lot, I'm constantly searching for some WordPress plugin, but I'm usually constrained by not having any exact keywords, so I end up with 14 million hits no matter what words I enter. The next time I hit such an impasse, I'll try the above three and will write up a post if any of them come up with anything exceptional.
I've been using Bing for years, but I'll give Ixquick, DuckDuckGo, and yandex a try.
I'm impressed. A multi-linguist 2 boot !!
Gar (not the fish)...
I've thought for awhile search results from google were oddly lacking comprehensiveness. Interesting to read here the blatant lack.
I was looking for something awhile back, not in Obama favorish, and was somewhat amazed there was nothing related to the search except praise heaped on Obama. So I searched for other search engines, and tried those. Remember it's a big world out there. I was amazed at all the links showing up.
And you wonder what google's doing with their, what would you call it, restructuring of their products? Granted, I'm a little tech challenged, but there seems to be a decided lack of flexibility and choice.
I work "with" Google regularly. We use some of their systems, and sometimes they provide us a revenue source. But more often than not the checks go in their direction.
I've worked with them before, at other companies, too. They are abusive - but in a very nice way. They are like the older uncle who tries to play stupid but you know he knows more than he's letting on.
Then, when you get on a topic where their employees really are out of their element, they simply try to change the topic.
When you're in negotiations with them on contracts, they are aggressive and pushy. It's their way or the highway, for the most part. They are touchy about mutual indemnification when you use their products. No idea why, it's pretty standard. They absolutely WILL NOT take responsibility for the likelihood their products might infringe on certain industry guidelines, that's your problem. You want to use their stuff, figure it out yourself.
"Don't be Evil" is their motto. I always ask if they are trying to draw attention away from what they really are? I mean, none of us want to be evil. So why do they have to say it?
Unfortunately, they are so large, they are hard to avoid.
I suggest we take them to court to have them change their logo to "We're Not Evil -- Honest!".
"Don't be Evil" -? Whoa --that should be, "Don't do Evil".
Of the former, just look at the premise --the premise is, 'you' are the alpha and omega of judgment, and you can (and have) ruled out the jurisdiction of any party of any second part.
A doctrine that can place 'acts' outside the liturgy can possess human nature --expressing infinite and universal license --occult power.
The nazi ethos.
Please. You are a most reliable source for the s**t I can't or don't have time to work out on my own.