Our Google Brains

 

Define SheepleAre we Sheeple?

Do you ever think about how many Google Searches you do a day? In the last 28 days I have done at least 411 searches. I will probably search at least four more times before I complete this post.

Search Activity Last 28 Days

 

Now think about it. Every time you search, you usually never leave the first page of Google Search results. And Google sells AdWords to enable advertisers and businesses to pay to have their keywords show up higher in search. So this means chances are high, your top search results are “paid” results. This means they are not necessarily naturally occurring responses to what you are searching for. So does that mean that we may not be getting the most expert responses to our searches? Maybe and more often than not, yes.

Additionally from time to time I feel like a bottom feeder. Let me explain. Searching is like looking into a well for something. How often do we just take our buckets and fill then up, but we never return anything to the well? How often do we go out and post a blog post that explains a concept we know very well? Or do we just search and never comment or post? I feel a guilt and responsibility from time to time to post content to teach a new concept or to re-explain in a clearer way a concept someone perhaps has explained but it needed further clarification. Am I posting original content about WordPress, it is original in that I created it but more often than not, someone else has tried to explain an idea. When I search for it I am sometimes disappointed in the results and I feel it is required of me to post something or comment somewhere to clear up any confusion. When I am teaching often I will create videos that explain different ideas from installing Linux in a Virtual environment to installing WAMPServer or DesktopServer or installing LAMP stack from scratch, not because it hasn’t been done before but because I feel I am explaining one particular idea better than I have seen it else where.

But what if there is clearer content? And what if I can’t find it because it is buried on page two or three or even four of Google Search results? Also Google leans toward mobile sites over regular websites, it skews results based on keywords and metatags. It uses information it finds about how many times a page has been linked to in order to say “that” page must be an authority on something. Faster loading sites in Google’s mind are better sites so your blog post may be the best ever written on Quantum Physics but if your page loads so slow or isn’t optimized for mobile devices (where 60+ % of all searches occur nowadays), your page may never see the light of day.

And what if governments one day bought out search results? Could they sway the minds of the populace? Are we only as smart are our Google search? Is there actual knowledge you have in your head that is yours and yours alone? Did you search out and research and learn and verify the sources for the knowledge you have in your brain? Do you let Google remember everything for you? Do you read books on topics? Do you validate people who say they are authorities on topics you care about? Have we become “Google brained”?

Imagine a day where we no longer research anything. Imagine a world where all we know if what has been told to us by search engines because research is no longer taking place. People posting new, informative, well researched content becomes the minority and not the rule. And then suddenly there isn’t any new content. We will depend on news sites who have their own political leanings and they will direct us in the way to think perhaps.

Thankfully the World Weekly News doesn’t exist any more but what if a newspaper like that were the only source of information for people. The same thing can happen when we seek out only one source for any topic we want information about. Remember, everything we see or find could very well be “Photoshopped”. Think about it.

World Weekly News

 

 

 

The One Off Technology Podcast Episode Preview

The One Off Tech Podcast

I am in the process of creating a podcast which I will soon make available to others. I am working on the research and the episode topics for the show. It even has cover art and an intro.

 

Here is my planned episode list:

Podcast topics:

Episode 1

“Privacy, smivacy”

Encryption and Privacy

The Constitution on Privacy, Encrypting our phones and our hard drives, At Rest encryption. Back doors to encryption by NSA and FBI, Do we really need privacy or encryption? Does protecting the innocent also protect the criminals?

Episode 2

“Anonymous Browsing isn’t so Anonymous”

Methods for attempting to browse anonymously and why they don’t actually work. The Illusion of Anonymity. #PrivacyLost

Practicing Safe Browsing. The threat of malware and viruses and nefarious websites. How to try to spot the fake website? Tools and add ons to protect you while browsing the web. The death of antivirus. Two Factor authentication

Episode 3

“Rosie, how do I stop this crazy thing?”

Robots and Artificial Intelligence

I want a BB-8 for Christmas

The three laws of robotics,

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Three_Laws_of_Robotics

Is it important for Robots to have Ethics or Morals?

The Turing Test

The Turing test is a test of a machine’s ability to exhibit intelligent behavior equivalent to, or indistinguishable from, that of a human. Alan Turing proposed that a human evaluator would judge natural language conversations between a human and a machine that is designed to generate human-like responses. Blade Runner and Electric Sheep

The Future of the Human Race and our Robot Overlords

Episode 4

“All I needed to know in life I learned from ‘Call of Duty’”

Video Games and education

Video games as war simulators to prepare for Drone wars.

Minecraft and Lego Worlds to teach kids about imagination, building, and doing the impossible.

Episode 5

“I’ll have a Raspberry Pi to go please”

Raspberry Pi, Beagle, 3D Printing, and the age of the MakerBot culture

Reminds me of the Homebrew Computer Club

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homebrew_Computer_Club

and ham radio days of old back during the development of Altaris, Apple computers, etc.

Cool projects with small devices

Episode 6

“The New Age of Learning”

The popular concept that we can learn to do anything in this current age. Our Google brains say we don’t have to learn something until we need it. Can we learn anything? It has been said it takes 10,000 hours of practice to get good at something. Can we speed a week in a bootcamp environment and learn how to be programmers using the emersion method, where all we do is eat, sleep, and drink our new skill?

MOOC courses, free classes online, taking classes from different sites such as SitePoint, others to suddenly change careers to become a web or Java developer. The promises, the results, the failures, reality check.

Episode 7

“Look, my medical records on a barcode”

Electronic medical records, EHR/EMR systems, Affordable Care Act or ObamaCare. Will insurance companies use my info against me? What do hackers want with my health records? Hacking Medical Devices

Episode 8

“Do you know where I am? Ask my phone”

Mobile devices, mobile advertising, mobile search, Apple vs Android vs everything else. How did I live without this device? #PrivacyLost Find my phone, find me.

Episode 9

“How to become a Social Media Butterfly”

How to build your own brand and market it using social media

Episode 10

“Look Ma, I am on the podcast”

How to create your own podcast and how this one is made, piece by piece

Bonus Material: The outtakes and what didn’t make the show

What do you think? I would love to hear your opinion. I can be reached via Twitter at @aroyrichardson