One of my colleagues at work, who is one of the small handful foolish enough to follow my blog, came up to me the other day in the kitchenette and made two remarks related to my Easter Halloween post. The first being
“I think the rabbit would win. Have you not seen The Holy Grail?”
It was obvious that he had not seen Howard the Duck, Darkwing Duck or Duckula but I did not feel that this was the time or place to begin a disagreement of such gravity and importance. I nodded and smiled but then he followed up with another interesting remark.
“I tried the same search items as your post but I did not get the same results as you.”
“Duck season!” “Rabbit Season!” “Duck season!” “Rabbit Season!” “Duck ..” Yeah, yeah the readers get it by now.
This reminded me of a video I had watched a little while ago and I recommended that he watch it to explain why this would be the case.
For those who can not spare the 9min 5sec from their busy schedules to watch the video let me briefly summarize. It discusses the practice of large organizations such as Facebook and Google filtering or tailoring the information presented to users based on variables such as location, previous browsing history, age bracket and many other facets via complex algorithmic engines which are designed to present a personal view of the internet for you. For example if you were a medical researcher spending a lot of time browsing sites related to the condition known as Diprosopus, which is when two faces are present on a single cranium more commonly referred to as two-faced, you may find the side bar of your Facebook page littered with information on Republican candidate Herman Cain. Or if you most recently posted a review of Stephen Hawking’s “A Brief History Of Time” you may find yourself presented with multiple links to articles relating to the longevity of the Kardashian marriage.
“Capitan Obama to you baldy. I need two Google puppeteers to rock this s@#t! Without me you would not have even been considered to appear in Ape’s Google image search results.”
I will not comment on whether or not I believe this is a good practice because firstly, the duck vs rabbit debate is much more important and should be settled first, and secondly I can not be bothered. I will leave it up to you to argue with your work colleagues, partner or friends on the implications of this customization of information by these corporate giants. What I will say is that as individuals we are probably not as aware as we should be of the digital sensory depravation chambers we unwittingly place ourselves in. We press our faces up against the small rectangular glowing portal hoping to catch a glimpse of life outside our own such as another cute animal who has gained a level of proficiency with a musical instrument or perhaps another video of a gentlemen being struck humorously in the giblets.
Man, I can see all the way to the end of the Internet from here.
Last week a 520 day study simulating a journey to Mars concluded with international scientists calling it a success. The article detailed the various aspects of the experiment which help to provide a realistic experience of actually traveling the long distance to Mars. They were deprived of natural light within a small confined space with communications to the outside world being via the Internet. The following is an excerpt from the article.
“During the experiment, the crew communicated with the organisers and their families via the internet, which was delayed and occasionally disrupted to imitate the effects of space travel.”
What version of the outside world was presented to these isolated individuals when they were locked away? Did anyone get even remotely tempted to filter or tailor the information in such a way as to give the impression that the world had been overtaken by a group of highly intelligent piano savvy cats? Probably not but opportunity missed.
Product Warning : Pauly Shore movies can cause a slow and painful death.
I initially thought that this was a monumental achievement in human endurance and was impressed that all had emerged reasonably sane with not a single person deciding to eat another of their fellow test subjects during the 520 day period. Then I imagined what a day in the life of one of these individuals would be like. Small room, dark with just Internet access to the outside world. They sound like bloggers in my opinion and the conditions are just a more intense and lengthy version of the virtual sensory depravation chambers we are already willingly residing in for long periods of time as we immerse ourselves in our digital communities. Of course the simulation was a success. Humanity has been conditioning itself to be physically disconnected from the outside world for many years with many people’s greatest fear being the loss of Internet connectivity and we are accustomed to allowing others present a version of the outside world tailored for us even if we are not aware that it is a filtered truth.
Why so much content Ape? Is this really you? Surely the crap in this post must be arriving soon?
I figured after such an absurd and random post last week I would make some attempt at balance. For those that actually miss the randomness and absurdity rest assured that next week will be back to normal.