Google is Manipulating You – Putting You in Their “Filter Bubble”
This blog, this video and the producer of the video, The fact of them now, bring up many issues, and more than whether or not Google search engine is biased and whether or not we’re being manipulated.
Let me see if I can address the issues that seem apparent to me just off the top of my head.
One. The thing that sticks out to me the most is that Jean-Francois Lyotard already told us this in his seminal essay the Postmodern Condition. And very short: the postmodern condition is where knowledge is determined by the experts. Of course he said a few things more than this but in very very very short term is this is really what he saying, significant to this post at least.
Let this sink in: for much of history humanity has thought it self as existing from some sort of open freedom, freedom, free thought, choice, free will, etc. And more recently, that we as intelligent creatures, intelligent human beings have a capacity to view things for what they are, and that we really just need to make a choice to investigate things to find out what bias is or what agenda might be inherent in any particular presentation. The postmodern condition is where that capacity or ability is commandeered, as part of a whole motion, such that this ability itself, the very idea of a sort of intelligent or free detachment from the object of our perception or conception, has already been determined by a certain set of people that we know, as an ideological disembodiment, as “the experts”. And his point in the essay is that this coincides with technology because human beings are, in our moments, a technological creature.
Now, when I hear anyone talk about postmodernism I think of Lyotard’s essay. I think of other authors to, postmodern original authors, but I do not really think about people who consider themselves “post modernist”, and when I hear other people critiquing postmodernism, most of the time from their critique I understand that they are talking about the subsequent category of authors that call themselves postmodernist. And so then I know right off the bat that the person who is staking their claim against postmodernism is really talking about something that I consider a somewhat superficial. Sure, what they have to say might be relevant in a kind of pop culture way of viewing academics and what academics do, so far as they have to be involved in making social commentary all the time, and indeed make money doing it.
So anyone who thinks they know what postmodernism through the authors Derrida, Deleuze, Guattari etc.. Really should read Lyotards essay, in my opinion, because really the essay gives everyone else teeth. I feel like the other authors talk about various aspects of this condition that Lactually defines. What he is saying in that essay basically encompasses the impetus for everyone else’s discussions. At least, as I say, that’s how I see it.
So once we understand what he saying is the postmodern condition then —
Two. What this video is saying is not new. In fact, we already knew that this is going on, and just because there is a computer program or the Internet that is making it more obvious to us does not mean that all the sudden we are being manipulated or being conned into thinking something. For the postmodern condition is that condition whereby what is considered knowledge is already determined for us through our humanity. And this is to say that what we think is free speech or freethinking, even to say intelligence, has already been determined by “the experts”.
Three. What does this mean? What does this mean that there is this person who is putting out this video to warn us about how biased Google search engine might be, as though this is something that’s coming up just in the past 10 years, say, or something that’s really becoming important just right now or in the past year because of technological capacity or ability. When we read the postmodern condition essay we should already understand technology as involved in this very human way of being to determine what knowledge is through expertise; because it’s manifesting in a particularly visible and tangible way actually shows of what the human being actually is as a universal object.
So again, what is the significance of the fact that this video has appeared right now, and really saying in the context of the post modern condition?
Just as a case in point for my post here:
Honestly, I have to ask myself while watching this video who is searching for that shit? Who is really caring whether or not googles or any search engine for that matter search engine is bias or not?
Of course, I think this is a little oblique of a question for most people, but it really goes to the fact that I don’t use Google very often to search for anything very important. And yet here is a blogger actually taking the time to produce this video to tell a bunch of people that what they think is an unbiased search engine is very biased and so people should be careful about being manipulated towards particular information.
So to my mind she is not talking about everyone, but she is only talking about a particular type of person.
And I have to go back to this question of knowledge being ordained by the experts.
The postmodern condition is something that is defined by Correlationalism, And you can Google that(lol) if you don’t know what it is or what it means because I’m voice dictating while I’m walking my dog so …
And this is to say that the condition is such that even “intelligence” is knowledge that is again defined by the experts, and if I haven’t been clear, what I’m saying is that this definition itself is biased￼. And involved of my point here is that the very idea of a free thought is already been determined through a biased created by expertise which is supposed to be unbiased but which really is not: The very idea of intelligence as some sort of grounding or ubiquitous aspect of being human in which freedom is likewise essentially grounded, is a manipulation.
Through this very simple analysis of the post modern condition with relevance to one of its products, the space apparent in between the truth of the matter and the real manifestation of the matter, points to a particular type of human being and not a whole category of universal species that we typically understand when we say or refer to “human being”.
Because again we have to ask what is the point of this video. I think there are two answers which really indicate again this ideological unity of the intelligent free human being:
The person who made this video obviously feels very concerned about people being manipulated against what would otherwise be free thought.
And, The point of the video is to elicit a reaction, to activate a legitimate fear, so to speak.
And I would say that these two things combine to form a certain concept of the human being that to such people that are alarmed or are supposed to be alarmed, create and antagonism with in humanity whereby if you are not alarmed then you are not ethical or not moral or are otherwise not intelligent.
And I don’t mean this in the sense of that we should not be worried about it, I mean this in the sense, in the same sense as climate change: we’ve known about this for a long time and in fact it is not something that creates a condition for us that we can make choices to not have occur. Indeed we should be concerned, but I would say in a manner that insights responsibility for what is actually occurring.
But the very fact of the video is an assumption that this kind of responsibility is not available to many if not most people. Apparently it’s not available to the person who made the video, but as well it’s not available to the people to whom the video is intended.
Now what does this mean in the context of a post modern world where everyone is supposed to have an equal and equitable voice?
In the words of Slavoj Zizek, It is a catastrophe.
So something to think about.