Searching for something on the internet

In a previous post in this series titled ‘Keeping up with research‘, we talked about how it’s becoming increasingly difficult for scientists to identify quality research work as the number of research papers increased in their field. I think this is not a discussion that pertains only to research, but hints at a more fundamental problem in parsing information on the internet.

 

  • Frustrating google results

    • This blog post (along with these Reddit and ycombinator threads) describes how google search result relevance has plummeted to the extent where users end up adding something like “site:reddit.com” to the search term to yield better results.

 

  • Normalization

    • Normalization refers to social processes through which ideas and actions come to be seen as ‘normal’ and become taken-for-granted or ‘natural’ in everyday life.
    • What’s more scarier than not getting relevant results? Search engines acting as a means to normalize thinking in society.
      • This thread dwells more into this idea.

 

  • Understanding the ‘internet brain’

    • This psychology today series on the ‘internet brain‘ explores how our brain responds to the stimulus from the internet. Although this does not solve any of the above issues directly, it might help us identify patterns leading to manipulation.

 

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