How Math and Language Relate–or Don’t

Google is rapidly becoming the Catholic Church–and Grand Inquisitor–of all things ‘Net-based.

Now, what exactly in reality does Google do?  It sends out crawlers, spiders, bots–whatever you wish to call them–to rate Web sites and their content/acceptability based on mathematical algorithms.  Hmmm….

How do math equations rate language and value to users?  That’s a good question, and spammers have been dreaming up ways to cheat the algorithms since they were first employed in search engines more than a decade ago.

That being said, there is something inherently weird about using non-humans to rate human word usage and intent.  In a search sense, there is no alternative to these algorithms, and the results generally work.  But “generally work” is not the same as “always work” or “work perfectly.”

I worry about the future of searching and filtering the Internet, which basically comes down to censorship based on spider-mathematical logic, which follows Googlian standards.  Google is certainly an investor’s current best friend, but I’m not so sure it’s any friend to free speech.

Google, as I mentioned, may be the Grand Inquisitor of the Internet.  We need to revisit that 1984 Apple Super Bowl ad blasting IBM as Big Brother.  We now do have a Big Brother, and we should be afraid.  Bureaucrats, Google or algorithms, they are not friends of openness, free markets and free speech.

One thought on “How Math and Language Relate–or Don’t

  1. Sam says:

    Here here. Good point my friend, and well put as well. Although I think Google are coming up with some really good and novel uses of the current net technologies, I don’t think I trust them as far as I could throw the Googleplex. Which isn’t that far.

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