But Whose Truths?

Google modifies, tweaks, and just plain changes its search algorithm on a regular basis, most often to disrupt the effectiveness of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) efforts. Now, however, a Google research team is trying to change  the algorithm, to measure the “trustworthiness” of a page, rather than its reputation across the web.

The system – which is has not yet gone live – counts the number of “incorrect” facts within a page to determine its ranking in search results instead of its reputation or popularity, as measured by incoming links, across the web.

Google Cuff Censors
Google – The Internet’s Gatekeeper

This, of course, begs the questions of whose facts? Whose truths? Who will decide what is innacurate and, hence, to be downlisted and effectively censored by Google?

Google’s answers are that facts that the web unanimously agrees upon are considered to be a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that dissent from this consensus by containing contradictory information are to be bumped down the rankings, effectively censoring them by removing them from the bulk of the web’s users.

So, insofar as the internet’s greatest gatekeeper, Google is concerned, consensus reality will be the only reality. And, of course, Google will be the arbiter of that consensus.

I guess, if Google’s plan is allowed to be implemented, nobody will read where you wrote, “And yet it moves.

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Poor Fat People

Poor fat people – the War on Food is tied up with race-baiting and animal husbandry as applied to the poor, especially poor Blacks. Hilariously is predicated upon the postulate that America has achieved a society where the commonest dietary problem of the “poor” is that they are too fat.

OK, given the state of real poverty in the world, I’ll unashamedly cop to that as a postulate. Hellfire! America’s poor people are too fucking fat! Huzzah! Shout it out as a point of national pride.

Liberals, Progressives, and worthless political panderers such as Michelle Obama – ironically, of fat-assed fame – feel differently about the matter though, or say they claim.

Fat Black Fool Gorging On A Giant Burger
Somehow, Some Way, This is My Fault

Those sorts view poor fat people, who largely happen to be Black, as victims of some vast conspiracy made up of wealthier White people who, for some reason unknown to all, want the poor to be fat. This is especially true when they speak of fat Blacks.

Apparently, they want Americans to believe that responsible personal behaviors, self-restraint, and at least marginally decent eating habits are a “White Privilege.” Hence, we’re hit with lies about “food deserts” and calls for “Justice” of some sort – and prohibitions of various foods and drinks.

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Greek Mythology

All cultures and peoples have their myths and myth cycles. These myths are actually one of the identifying foundations of those separate cultures and peoples and, by and large, they are both good and necessary. Only upon rare occasions do these myths become damaging.

Sadly, in America, one of our myths has become damaging. It might even be lethal to our nation.

Greek Mythology
Greek Mythology – It Couldn’t Happen In America

“It can’t happen here,” is a pernicious belief based on a self-serving and self-deluding perversion of American Exceptionalism. It’s a potentially lethally harmful myth.

Not only can what is happening in Greece and Europe happen in America, it is already happening. We just haven’t hit the bottom … yet.

California and many other of the several States are, essentially, as bankrupt as Greece and are being propped up by the federal government, a government that is so deep in debt that it boggles the mind – and they want to keep borrowing more and fight against any reining in of their profligate spending!

What is the scariest is that one thing really can’t happen here in America. The European Union is predicted to collapse very soon but that can’t happen in America; we have laws against secession and breaking the union. As no federal government that I could imagine would reduce itself, any attempt by the states to break the union for their own survival would lead to civil war.

The upcoming 2102 elections may not be the watershed moment but, if we don’t move swiftly, strongly, and sternly towards fiscal responsibility in this election, we will bring that moment closer – assuming it’s not here or already past – and make correcting the problems that much harder.

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Voodoo Science

Space Shuttle LandingWednesday, July 20, 2011 Space Shuttle Atlantis will complete STS-135 and land for the final time, marking the end of NASA’s 30 year long Shuttle Program.

This the ending of a generation long era and is a bittersweet thing. Many people will miss both the Space Shuttle and America’s manned spaced program, which has probably ended as well.

Nostalgia aside, many people believe that we’ll miss America’s Space Program for a wide variety of tangible technological reasons, citing the plethora of technologies that they believe were either developed by NASA or at NASA’s request.

Perhaps happily, much of what they believe was done by or specifically for NASA wasn’t as the former chair of the Department of Physics at the University of Maryland and founder of Washington Office of the American Physical Society, Dr. Robert L. “Bob” Park has repeatedly stated.

Voodoo Science: The Road from Foolishness to Fraud: In 10 well-written essays suitable for a lay audience, Robert Park uses pathological science as a basis for far-reaching discussions on science, society, and the misinformation that reaches the public.

Dr. Park Touches upon everything from Deepak Chopra’s “quantum alternative to growing old,” and “free energy” machines, to the unwarranted hype surrounding the International Space Station.

Like some critics I disagree on some points with Dr. Park and think that he has underplayed the advances in science and technology came as derivatives of the Space Program. Voodoo Science is certainly worth reading however. It sets a framework from which the reader can move on to rationally approach scientific and technological advances as they truly are as opposed to how they are presented to the everyday layman.

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Who Checks The Checkers?

Fact Checking is a big thing in the internet age. It’s most often used to debunk various hoaxes and urban legends, much as Mythbusters does on television. That does present a problem though…

XKCD - Snopes
Hmmm….So Who Does Make Sure Snopes Isn’t Lying?

Now I’m sure the owners and operators of Snopes.com, David and Barbara Mikkelson, are completely ethical, honest, and professional…but how would I fact check that belief? 😆

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