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Google and the clockwork universe

May 03, 2005 ・ Blog

Google is updating its news searches to order news stories in terms of their “quality”, using stats like the number of staff on the publication, website traffic and story length.

News is at least meant to be more objective than most other forms of writing, but it remains absolutely subjective, and we should remember that. I suppose Google will be able to make the searches generally meaningful and practical, but do we really want everything we do ordered like that? What happens when we start assuming such subjective things as news stories are objective (like Daily Mail news stories…)? What if Google’s efficient clockwork achieves its apparent ambition of making us forget the web’s real identity as a glorious sprawl of mostly worthless and occasionally wonderful human endeavour?