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A Dangerous Direction in Search

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Graham Slee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: A Dangerous Direction in Search
    Posted: 24 Jul 2016 at 6:56am
http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20140708-when-crowd-wisdom-goes-wrong

To deliver a "great" user experience todays search engines use "crowd wisdom".

It has a gigantic flaw! By following what's hot it removes vast amounts of information thus preventing this and future generations discovering the information they will require sooner or later.

I am not going off on an extensive study to prove what I say. As a researcher as in research and development of analogue audio circuitry I know a lot of information has been lost - stuff I remember reading about less than 30 years ago - textbook knowledge.

I will only offer one example: Nyquist's power amplifier theorem.

You will not find anything about this because Nyquist's sampling theorem, or any sub-set of the same, is what the search engines are programmed to return.

You will probably find the Proprius power amplifier page which has an exact match phrase, but because of a thing called semantics (another crazy direction in search) this will appear lower in the search results.

However, that page does not explain what Nyquist's power amplifier theorem states.

I doubt if any of the tech giants like Google will listen and do anything about this soon (or ever).

There are only two things to stop you being a success in life and they're both called Google - Notions are not solutions!
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Razamanaz View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Razamanaz Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 Jun 2017 at 12:14pm
Graham,
I realize your post is a year old but I saw it now for the first time and this is something I find very interesting.
The article points out a few examples that clearly demonstrate the "dangers" of the internet. And your own example is another good one. It is easy to imagine that this phenomenon can have an effect on public opinion in political questions etc.
But there is one more thing that the article does not mention, which adds to the whole thing.
These days, many of us are constantly logged in to Google (through our Android devices or the Chrome browser on our computers). This means that Google is constantly picking up information about our personal preferences (search and browsing history) and, as if our own confirmation bias is not bad enough, it "helps" us by serving up search results that it thinks we will like (as opposed to what we will need). This means, in practice, that Google knows which media outlets you usually look at, what search phrases you have used in the past and what search hits you have chosen to click on (whether it's about science, music, news or anything else) and will try to please you by showing similar search results first.
This is supposed to be considered a service, but what it might actually do is narrow our view of whatever we're looking for further and further the more we search for it by handing us the opinions we probably agree with, rather than showing us the stuff we might not agree with or perhaps that we aren't even aware of.
Of course, if I'm looking for an item I'm hoping to purchase from an online store, it can be a good thing that Google hands me the web shops I'm familiar with because I know them and (hopefully) trust them. But if I'm looking to educate myself on a topic that is new to me, there is clearly a risk that I will not be given the whole picture.

*Edit: Added a comma where I had forgotten to put one in.


Edited by Razamanaz - 19 Jun 2017 at 12:17pm
Simon

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Oh, but it gets you right down to your soul"

(Push The Sky Away, Nick Cave)
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Graham Slee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2017 at 12:42am
Just to point out that in conducting my research I often become anonymous to Google by a number of techniques. This being what's needed to put Google off the scent and mostly it works at removing Google's idea of my personal preferences.

Even so I have yet to find Nyquist's power amplifier theorem anywhere online. Perhaps it has never made it onto the Internet? I find that very hard to believe. I am a suspicious type I suppose, but I do know that pages and sites which are very rarely visited are dropped from Google's index on cost grounds.

Google has become the defacto search engine. They wanted to be king of the net and have done it. But being king comes with responsibilities. Instead it has become a form of censor and some of the information it drops never to be found again might one day make a profound negative difference to this world.

History of any kind has some importance. It serves as a reference which tells us how we got to a particular point (the only way to dig a tunnel in fact). There has been enough "book burning" without Google unwittingly joining in.

 
There are only two things to stop you being a success in life and they're both called Google - Notions are not solutions!
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Graham Slee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2017 at 9:32am
A note is in order here. I know there is maximum power transfer theorem, but I read the book many years ago which contained a lengthy chapter on Nyquist's power amplifier theorem. This is not a case of a forgetful old man thinking he's read something which never existed, it did, but to many it could look that way, and that's where it becomes dangerous.
There are only two things to stop you being a success in life and they're both called Google - Notions are not solutions!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote marshmid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2017 at 4:02pm
Have you tried the ixquick.com search engine?

They claim to be "the world's most private search engine". They claim to present all the results from google not just the ones they  (google) want you to see. "Some call this personalization, we call it censorship".

So they, at least, are aware of the dangers you highlighted. 

I tried searching for 'Nyquist maximum power transfer theorem' using ixquick and got results but was not qualified to tell if they found anything relevant for you.
Marsh
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Graham Slee View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Graham Slee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2017 at 4:27pm
Thanks Marsh, but the search term was "Nyquist's power amplifier theorem". Your suggestion brought up the Nyquist stability test which applies to power amplifiers as well as any stable amplifier, but I think it would also show on Google. The info I was after regarded the sizing of output devices in which it is suggested that the devices in a push pull circuit need only be rated at 20% of the designed output power, which is plausible, and is exactly what many 60's and 70's amp designers did, and they worked until the load conditions went outside the theory...
There are only two things to stop you being a success in life and they're both called Google - Notions are not solutions!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ServerBaboon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 Jun 2017 at 11:54pm
Steve

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Various bits of GSP Kit ..well two so far, unless you count the cables that is.
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