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Bursting the Filter Bubble

Unknown Lamer posted about 5 months ago | from the everyone-else-is-wrong dept.

Social Networks 136

Jah-Wren Ryel writes with news that a few CS folks are working on a way to present opposing viewpoints without angering the reader. From the article: "Computer scientists have discovered a way to number-crunch an individual's own preferences to recommend content from others with opposing views. The goal? To burst the 'filter bubble' that surrounds us with people we like and content that we agree with. A recent example of the filter bubble at work: Two people who googled the term 'BP.' One received links to investment news about BP while the other received links to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, presumably as a result of some recommendation algorithm." From the paper's abstract: "We found that recommending topically relevant content from authors with opposite views in a baseline interface had a negative emotional effect. We saw that our organic visualization design reverts that effect. We also observed significant individual differences linked to evaluation of recommendations. Our results suggest that organic visualization may revert the negative effects of providing potentially sensitive content."

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Viewpoints? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45580783)

A recent example of the filter bubble at work: Two people who googled the term 'BP.' One received links to investment news about BP while the other received links to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill

Why does this imply anything about political or other opinions?
I would assume the first person reads investment news generally, and the other not so much.

Re: Viewpoints? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45580855)

I kinda agree with you. As an investment topic you'll necessarily be interested in the BP's exposure to its oil spill, so in this case both groups will be interested in the environmental damage. So I imagine the BP example is flawed.

Or maybe I have it backward?

Re: Viewpoints? (1)

master5o1 (1068594) | about 5 months ago | (#45581805)

One might be Greenpeace's response, the other an article about how the company's stock price is affected by the spill.

Re: Viewpoints? (3, Insightful)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 months ago | (#45583373)

The prudent investor would read both. The concerned environmentalist would read both. Filtering so that we don't offend? The offended should learn to read.

Reverts or Reverse ? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 5 months ago | (#45580857)

TFA used two "revert"s and I am wondering if the use of "revert"s is correct or should the word be "reverse", instead ?

Re:Reverts or Reverse ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581895)

I think it was meant to be "reverse". "Revert' makes little sense in context.

its more than just political sensitivity (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45580831)

i'm a generalist, i work in a few fields, including EE and CS - my colleague is pure CS

we're trying to have a conversation about a topic (distributed clocks) and based on our histories
we get entirely different search results, completely non-overlapping. his are general distributed
systems results and mine are narrowly turned to sensor networks

i had to ask him to make me a bibliography because I got sent into an entirely different
alleyway of the literature

thanks google

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (5, Informative)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 5 months ago | (#45580859)

Its even more problematic in areas like climate change where a large portion of the population appears unable to distinguish laymans commentary from actual research by climate scientists. If people spend a lot of time looking at conspiracy theory , creationist, or other similarly themed stuff on the net, google throws lots of denial sites at them, whereas people who have more analyical interests are more likely to get articles from science sites. The problem here is that folks with the conspiracy bent end up having no way to find information that might clear up their confusion if all they are getting is wattsup or alex jones or whatever. This just feeds the confirmation biases, and thats proving really harmful to science education right now.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (4)

Burz (138833) | about 5 months ago | (#45580929)

Most people don't buy into climate conspiracy theory. IMHO, this new method is more likely to be employed by paid Public Relations types to blunt pressure calling for social and ecological responsibility. If they can target unhinged conspiracies as "bubbles", they can preferentially target informed progressives (or any online community) to serve the interests of big business.

I wouldn't trust the advertising business to be even-handed with acquired psychological tools.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (4, Insightful)

Burz (138833) | about 5 months ago | (#45580957)

TFA could conceivably be titled, "How to turn up the Noise on reality-based social circles".

'Having trouble marketing in Facebook and Twitter audiences? Here's how to insinuate your ads into their conversations while keeping their protests down to a minimum...'

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 5 months ago | (#45581621)

TFA could conceivably be titled, "How to turn up the Noise on reality-based social circles".

Only if this specific algorithm were implemented anywhere besides this academic test.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (3, Insightful)

sribe (304414) | about 5 months ago | (#45580951)

The problem here is that folks with the conspiracy bent end up having no way to find information that might clear up their confusion if all they are getting is wattsup or alex jones or whatever.

Your point is well-reasoned. But, unfortunately, I think you are starting from a false premise because you simply do not understand how delusions work.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (0, Troll)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#45581167)

Its even more problematic in areas like climate change where a large portion of the population appears unable to distinguish laymans commentary from actual research by climate scientists.

Rhetorically, why is that a problem? Just because someone is technically a "layman" in the field doesn't mean that they are less knowledgeable than climate scientists. Recall the fallacy of appeal to authority.

And "climate change" is a broad label for a very specific theory, anthropogenic global warming. I always find it interesting how people complain about anti-intellectual issues with their opponents and then turn around and display the same sort of issues in their own words and thoughts.

Finally, a large part of the problem is that a group of high profile climate scientists have been notably less confident in their private correspondence than in their public statements. When the private message is different in a material way from the public message and that difference gets revealed, then it breeds distrust.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (4, Interesting)

Kell Bengal (711123) | about 5 months ago | (#45581295)

The problem here is one of correlation vs causation. Someone is not always right simply because they are the 'expert'; likewise, someone is not always wrong simply because they are a layperson. However, when it comes to knowing what you're talking about, there is a strong dependence on experience and familiarity with the subject matter. The vast majority of the time we might expect that an expert who devotes all of their efforts to studying a problem will have some advantage over those who engage with a topic briefly. That is why we value expertise in the first place. It does sometimes happen that experts get it wrong while laypeople get it right, but it's pretty unusual.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#45581415)

The problem here is one of correlation vs causation.

So why do the experts say different things in private than in public? What's so special about climatology that even rather small technical problems can't be discussed publicly?

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 5 months ago | (#45581435)

Examples that haven't been debunked? Obviously your google search results might be a tad different from mine, so URLs would help.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 months ago | (#45581971)

What's so special about climatology that even rather small technical problems can't be discussed publicly?

There's nothing special about climatology in that regards.
It's completely normal for people doing work to not want you to see their errors; only the successfully completed result.

The only thing special about climatology is the number of people (who are completely unable to form an educated opinion on the subject)
that grasp at any straw to support their preconceived ideas. This applies to both sides.

What doesn't apply to both sides is the concerted effort, by the same lobbyists and think tanks who shilled for Big Tobacco, to manufacture misinformation and bad science in order to cloud the debate.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#45583323)

The only thing special about climatology is the stakes

FTFY. Whether superstring theory ends up being a key part of a valid theory of everything is mostly irrelevant to us. As a result, any biases, shenanigans, etc aren't particularly important.

The theory of anthropogenic climate change has deep relevance to modern society because we might have to completely restructure our energy system. There are huge winners and huge losers should that happen. Trillions of dollars are at stake either way.

The casual approach used in most of science just doesn't work in this situation.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581421)

When you really dig into the heart of this problem, IMHO it really comes down to the Scientists of the world being pretty dishonest in the first place. Although they're doing it with good intent, it's still wrong and it still causes a big part of the problem. The pattern goes like this: Scientists see a Big Problem for the World on the horizon in some of their data. They're not yet "standards of declaring new physics" sure of their conclusions, but the conclusions are so startling that they feel it's worth society expending effort to head off the possibility. Step two is when they say, "Well, most of the voting population isn't science-educated and/or doesn't understand probability and risk assessment, so they won't be able to rationally make the right call and join us in this effort, and we have to do something about that", and then they proceed to overstate their case and basically lie to everyone about the data and the probability of impact (not to mention the probability of the correctness of their assessments) in order to drum up support and dollars. Then when skeptics go on the attack, they find easy targets, because the case *was* overstated. Once you've started that cycle, there's no end to the debate over who's being dishonest about what.

Climate Change / AGW isn't the first time this has happened in Science, and it especially isn't the first time it's happened in earth/natural/climate -related sciences. Saving the whales (and every truly unimportant species of beetle), or the Global Cooling scare that preceded Global Warming are good examples. The public has been lead down the wrong path by the nose by natural scientists many times before, with big headlines in the pop science mags over the past several decades. They know what it looks like, and they're tired of it. AGW-response is as big a business as oil now. Think of all the dollars going into "renewables" and government offices and programs to oversee them and such. Most of those dollars are a complete waste unless they're pushing towards solutions like Space-based solar or Nuclear Fusion, because anything short of those requires we kill off most of the human population first to drop our energy requirements down to an acceptable level for the petty darling renewables of the green movements.

Back on point: this is obviously a list compiled by an AGW-denier, so take it with all the salt you want, but read the quotes and datelines. They *are* real, and they do make a point: http://www.examiner.com/article/arctic-ocean-warming-icebergs-growing-scarce-washington-post-reports

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

kiddygrinder (605598) | about 5 months ago | (#45581593)

this is the most annoying part of the AGW movement, moving to smarter sources of energy has a lot of benefits over just burning oil because "everything is probably fine". i foresee electric cars for example becoming the norm simply because there is a lot more room for improvement in the tech that will make them more efficient and powerful than fuel burners, and this is the easiest way to move forward for deniers and true believers alike.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#45581749)

I'll just note that burning liquid hydrocarbons is a pretty smart means of powering a car. You don't have to store oxidizers (it uses air). You don't have to store the resulting reaction products (they go out the tailpipe).

And whether gasoline, diesel, or other, similar fuels, they're easy to handle and fairly safe liquids. That leads to the remarkably high energy density of hydrocarbon fuels and success of the respective power systems (such as the diesel and internal combustion engines).

i foresee electric cars for example becoming the norm simply because there is a lot more room for improvement in the tech that will make them more efficient and powerful than fuel burners

While that would be nice, where's the improvement coming from? The mass limits are fairly hard because increasing energy density of your energy storage system is risky no matter how you do it. And most such systems are limited by the chemical energy content of the energy storage system (even mechanical storage like flywheels or compressed air tanks).

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582215)

"And whether gasoline, diesel, or other, similar fuels, they're easy to handle and fairly safe liquids.", I thought they where flammable and there where strict rules around petrol stations (eg there has to be enough space for a petrol tanker to go straight out at least its own distance).

"increasing energy density of your energy storage system is risky no matter how you do it" yea, you can end up with highly flammable liquids ;)

As well as increasing energy/mass storage ratio there are also other areas that could be improved (eg super magnets in motors)

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (3, Insightful)

the_B0fh (208483) | about 5 months ago | (#45581429)

Apparently you are confident that you are reading their private correspondence correctly.

Why do you think you are?

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (0)

RocketRabbit (830691) | about 5 months ago | (#45581941)

It's pretty clear that the Mann crew plotted to deny access to their data, assassinate the reputations of scientists, and redefine the meaning of peer review by insinuating their cronies into positions of power in academic journals, as well as having pet journalists who they could use to spread their lies.

Climatology, and AGW in particular, suffered an enormous blow thanks to the CRU and while you can deny it, and pretend Climategate wasn't the final nail in its coffin, the truth is that the world no longer believes in "climate change" enough to allow it to be the excuse for massive social engineering any more. Not least because none of the proposed solutions would do much good regarding the climate, and are just basic Commie bullshit warmed over with a green camouflage suit.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (1)

khallow (566160) | about 5 months ago | (#45583111)

Well, there is the recent hack [climateaudit.org] of a "secret" Skeptical Science (a blog forum where some climatologists went to complain and scheme against their perceived enemies. Sure, it's entirely human to do stuff like that, but when stuff like that becomes public, it sends a mixed message to people that were counting on researchers to maintain some degree of impartiality.

The TL;DR summary of the linked article is climate skeptic/denialist Steve McIntyre rhetorically follows one relatively rational participant around and pokes in the data dump from this hack to see what bad, immature, and probably ego-building things people had to say about a certain Steve McIntyre. He also drifts past a few of the mini-scandal dramas of the time (like the reviewer who suggests changes to a paper and then turns around and criticizes the paper as being flawed on the basis of those changes he had suggested, triggering a near epic rant [climateaudit.org] (choice bits got edited by McIntyre) from the paper's author).

Point is that here's a group of scientists supposedly impartially observing the harm of climate change, but it turns out that they felt the need to have a secret club. And once they do have this club, they spend their time scheming, name calling and fantasizing about ways to undermine their critics - as well as some members engaging in some high school level shenanigans.

And then there's the private concerns that only seem to make their way into the public when someone dumps someone's private records on the internet.

Mannâ(TM)s science is mostly good and I certainly think that his papers have discussed most of the caveats. However his reconstruction failed certain statistics (canâ(TM)t remember if it was r2 or RE) and even his newest reconstruction doesnâ(TM)t validate past 1400 if you donâ(TM)t include disputed series (which I have no idea why heâ(TM)s including them at all). Lets make this clear. There is a hockey stick shape in the data, but the original hockey stick still used the wrong methods and these methods were defended over and over despite being wrong. Just because a better analysis (Wahl and Amman 2007) using the same data shows very little difference doesnâ(TM)t change the fact that the technique was wrong. PCA isnâ(TM)t the best choice anyways⦠but thatâ(TM)s irrelevant.

Similar things were seen in the emails and code from the "Climategate" leak.

There are privately spoken material misgivings about research here that don't find their way into the research or discussion of the research. There are privately spoken biases which are hidden from the public. Now, maybe the level of illegally created public exposure is unfair to climate research, but it is turning up a lot of unscientific bias for a particular interpretation of modern climate.

And I haven't even touched upon what I think is the real problem - who funds climate research and the huge bias towards climate change advocacy that funding creates.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (3, Insightful)

cyborg_zx (893396) | about 5 months ago | (#45581791)

Just because someone is technically a "layman" in the field doesn't mean that they are less knowledgeable than climate scientists.

I'm pretty sure that's what it means unless there's some ordination process to enter the Church of Climatology I don't know about.

Recall the fallacy of appeal to authority.

*False* authourity. Any old random scientist wouldn't be good enough. Appealing to a relevant expert is not a fallacy.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582225)

"I'm pretty sure that's what it means unless there's some ordination process to enter the Church of Climatology I don't know about." Its called graduation. They get to have funny robes and everything

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 5 months ago | (#45582749)

Recall the fallacy of appeal to authority.

An appeal to authority is not fallacious if:
- The authority being cited is operating within their area of expertise.
- The authority is well-qualified to answer the question.

An appeal to authority is strongest if the authority's response to the question is the same as other authorities have to the same question e.g. a physicist explaining why the sky is blue (well-understood at this point) is a stronger argument than a physicist explaining why string theory is true (possibly right, but possibly wrong).

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

Ubi_NL (313657) | about 5 months ago | (#45582061)

Just because someone is technically a "layman" in the field doesn't mean that they are less knowledgeable than climate scientists.

No but it correlates very strongly

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

ralphbecket (225429) | about 5 months ago | (#45581335)

Erm, if you're only exposed to "concensus" views and around the edges you get sympathetic nutcases like Lewandowsky claiming anyone who disagrees is a fantasist with a mental problem (oh, the sweet irony), aren't you in exactly the position you are concerned about?

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581809)

The flip side of that coin is that this bubble reverser, if put to use by Google, would give me page after page of creationist drivel whenever I would want to look up something about biology, rendering the service useless to me.

(Note: having read TFA I know it wasn't about search results per se and that it isn't immediately clear how to apply the findings to search. But it's fun to speculate.)

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

kermidge (2221646) | about 5 months ago | (#45582173)

Yeah, that's why I suggest making it a button to click, to see what one might be missing from within one's own de facto silo (no matter how diligent one might be in seeking diverging views, it's also something we can easily not do well.) As for probs with source, good data, all that, we already have that problem. Gimme a button, lemme see what I might not, otherwise. In the end I'll choose what to read. Having more from which to choose seems a good thing, albeit requiring me to make more decisions - but that's already part of the normal day's load in skimming the news and tech sites.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581265)

Stop using Google.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | about 5 months ago | (#45582119)

Wrong answer. The right answer is: use Google, and Bing, and DDG, and as many other search engines are you can. All have their biases, and with all their results combined, you're probably closer to getting a somewhat balanced view of reality than either choosing or shunning a single one of them.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

esldude (1157749) | about 5 months ago | (#45581613)

Yeah, realized this problem a few months back. I and a friend while on the phone typed absolutely identical search terms in. We got entirely different results. Often even highly different numbers of results. Like I returned 81,000 search results once and he got over a 400,000 for the same term. What we also found was if we kept typing in the same search terms somewhere around a dozen or more times we then started getting the same results. Sort of odd behavior. I thought. This using google of course. Since then I keep a couple other search engines handy that are anonymous, one basically does a google search for you, but without your history attached. And sometimes when unable to find what I wish, this alternate search engines can be more relevant in what I get back on searches.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581619)

Did you skip all of the language and writing classes in your courses? Because I think we learned about basic things like capital letters and punctuation in first grade. Or maybe I'm just not as hip and edgy as a typical college twat.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (4, Informative)

SnowZero (92219) | about 5 months ago | (#45581999)

It is exceedingly unlikely that the results don't overlap after the first few, but if you can produce a copy of the two sets of results, I will forward them to someone on the Google Search team for debugging.

People hugely overestimate the effect of personalization -- it is a ranking tweak not a complete change to the search engine. It does not make economic sense to have personalized whole-web indexes.

Btw, if you don't like personalization ever, it is pretty easy to turn off:
    https://support.google.com/accounts/answer/54048?hl=en [google.com]
Just remove web history and uncheck private results.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

Gr8Apes (679165) | about 5 months ago | (#45582435)

Based on what's being responded to this post, it doesn't seem an isolated case. Granted, there's no proof, but given what we've all seen, it appears to be at least somewhat true.

The simple solution is simply using a "trash" browser instance that you can completely clear all cookies and local data from, you can avoid the personalization almost entirely, at least for a short while.

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582193)

I've had exactly the same problem. I work primarily in machine learning (SVMs to be exact) and whenever I try to google technical stuff outside of that narrow little band I feel like I'm stuck in an echo chamber. There are tactics to escape like logging in to my GFs webmail and then googling, but that's hardly an elegant of efficient solution.

My dearest google: love the tailored results most of the time, but could we have a "search without assumptions" options?

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (2)

aaaaaaargh! (1150173) | about 5 months ago | (#45582315)

Does Google adapt based on IP even if you never log into their "services"? I never log in and don't see any results tailored to me, but now I'm wondering whether that's actually true.

Regarding the paper: Don't bother reading it, it's superficial CS stuff with no proper background theory, they don't even model preferences right. :-(

Re:its more than just political sensitivity (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | about 5 months ago | (#45583445)

One should be very concerned when person A gets one set of results, and person B gets another set of results; both using the same search criteria.

I never thought that Myopia was communicable.

Critical thinking (5, Insightful)

nickmalthus (972450) | about 5 months ago | (#45580835)

"I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others." - Socrates

It is good to see someone researching ways to combat group think with technology.

Re:Critical thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45580839)

Maybe you should consider that "group think" could be a good thing...

Taking another bold step ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45580969)

... and "group think" becomes "hive think"

Re:Critical thinking (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 5 months ago | (#45581243)

How so? Because we all agree that something is right, up to the point that we don't really care whether it's right at all as long as we agree on it?

That's called "religion".

horsedrinkwater (4, Insightful)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#45580971)

I'm with you in wanting to combat "groupthink" but I don't think the technology in TFA will do it

First, who 'scores' the viewpoints? how is one organization weighted against another? ex: Fox News should be in the tabloid/nonsense news category but because Fox is kind of 'grandfathered' in as the 4th national network they are considered 'mainstream'

does this mean a person who goes to motherjones.com alot would get Fox News in this system? who determines that?

i would consider Fox News a 'lower' viewpoint...different sure, but not in any value added way....ignorance isn't an "opposing viewpoint"

2nd, is this going to be an "add-on"? Is the goal to get Google, etc to use it by default?

because people would ignore this tech for the same reason they don't bother seeking out differing viewpoints!!!

unless you force it on them the people who need it won't do it!!!

3rd, if forced upon them, people will inevitably train themselves to ignore the 'suggested alternate viewpoint' box just like they train themselves to ignore Google.com's "sponsored results" or tune out a commercial

To me, this is an example of why academics fail in public policy. They look at a problem and see human opposition as something uncategorizable so instead of understanding that **the problem isn't that people don't get opposing viewpoints...the problem is they willfully choose not to listen**

as they say, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't force them to drink"

this is like holding the horse's face in a water fountain

Re:horsedrinkwater (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581071)

Foxnews is lowbrow or at least overly repetative at times, but I wouldn't call it any "lower" of a viewpoint in the sense that they don't do anything that the other news agencies don't do themselves. Though I am seeing a shift out there where the heavy left biased agencies are starting to ease up and try to release more neutral toned stories to try to get some of the audience that Fox has scooped away from them.

The trick is to teach people how to detect bias and look for the real information behind the bias. Of course a few years back a conservation agency came to the conclusion it was easier to breed stupid fish for restocking programs than to teach fishermen to be smarter. I'm thinking news in politics aren't that much different.

CNN starting decline, Fox News there already (2)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#45581119)

but I wouldn't call it any "lower" of a viewpoint in the sense that they don't do anything that the other news agencies don't do themselves

it is lower...it started that way and sunk ever since

Fox News is about population control, not informing decision makers in an entertaining way as the 4th Estate in a Social Democracy

you're giving them way too much credit

Now, if you said that CNN is getting so bad it has **devolved** into being almost as ignorant as Fox News I would agree...

but there's a key difference! Both Fox and CNN are below standard...the standard hasn't shifted...quality news will always have essential characteristics (which Fox & increasingly CNN dont exhibit)...no...Fox and CNN have gotten worse!!!!

Real Population Control is YOU and friends. (-1, Offtopic)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#45581337)

Fox News is about population control

It's funny you should mention that, when the major news outlets are all pulling for Obama and hiding things that would effect Democratic elections. Rather than passing along the truth about what Obamacare would do to people's existing insurance plans, that information was buried during the presidential election and the media called Romney a liar for telling us exactly what would happen.

Similarly during the recent government shutdown - the whole reason the Democrats pushed a shutdown upon us (Republicans having passed multiple spending bills in the house which the Democrats would not sign) was that Republicans wanted a one-year delay in the start of Obamacare - which we know now WAS NOT READY FOR LAUNCH, and is still not working fully (nor will it be for some time with crucial backend systems not even built yet!). Yet the press pretended that delaying Obamacare made no sense, when just weeks later we saw quite the opposite was true.

So don't talk to use about Fox and population control, when all of the media who agrees with you ideologically has been furiously pulling strings for well over a decade. You are just mad because someone else is trying to cut your strings...

Re:Real Population Control is YOU and friends. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582035)

It's funny you should mention that, when the major news outlets are all pulling for Obama and hiding things that would effect Democratic elections.

Hate to break it to you, but Democratic elections were already effected hundreds of years ago.

sometimes true, but I for one enjoy REASONED oppos (2)

raymorris (2726007) | about 5 months ago | (#45581153)

I'm sure that sometimes people choose not to read opposing viewpoints. On the other hand, I very much enjoy the opposing viewpoint when it's presented in the style I prefer - with logic, fact based, and backed up with details like relevant numbers. Very often, it's not so much the opposing conclusion that turns me off, but the illogical, purely emotional and often sarcastic presentation.

In the post I'm replying to, for example, I enjoyed the second part, discussing possible reasons, but wouldn't have clicked to read the first part, the pointless Fox News rant. For the same reason, I don't listen to Rush Limbaugh - his name-calling silliness doesn't interest me.

Since you mentioned Fox News, I'll use them as an example. The one show I used to enjoy on Fox was Hannity and Coombes (sp?) precisely because they presented both sides and both were generally calm and logical. Both Hannity, the conservative, and Coombes, the liberal, would at times say things like "good point", or "I hadn't thought of it that way". Some people do enjoy hearing an opposing view; most don't like being made fun of and called "idiots", which is what happens all to often in political discourse. Occasionally I listen to Alan's radio show and I enjoy it, though I rarely agree with him. The one thing that bugs me is that he often yells over people and cuts them off when he sees that they have proven him wrong. He didn't do that on TV, not that I noticed.

Mainstream is MAIN STREAM (1, Troll)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#45581309)

Fox News should be in the tabloid/nonsense news category but because Fox is kind of 'grandfathered' in as the 4th national network they are considered 'mainstream'

No, it's mainstream because more people watch it for news than anything.

You may disagree with the ideological bent but you seem to be confusing heavily partisan shows that are on Fox News channel, with the actual news coverage - of which there is a lot.

Fox news covered all of the major news stories as well as any other channel - like trains going off rails, or the Boston Marathon attack.

Meanwhile you appear to give other mainstream outlets with a clear bent the other way a free pass, just because they are inside your preferred bubble.

As for calling them ignorant, people like you think automatically anything you disagree with is based in ignorance - when in fact it's simply a set of choices made from a different point of view that are every bit as rational and informed as the things you prefer.

Your post shows what a dramatic need there is for a way to alternative viewpoints to truly low information self-selecting news consumers such as yourself, like dropping crucial supplies to Berlin via airlift...

nonsense (1)

globaljustin (574257) | about 5 months ago | (#45581383)

n/t

Definition (1)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 5 months ago | (#45581443)

How is mainstream, by definition, not the most popular and heavily watched news channels? That is what the "main" group of news watchers are watching - so how can it not be Mainstream?

What is nonsense is ignoring the definition of a word because it results in something you disagree with.

Re:horsedrinkwater (0)

Subnuke (3419799) | about 5 months ago | (#45581981)

Reading this forum... best part of all this is that there is one obvious "right" alternative viewpoint, and an "ignorant" viewpoint (Fox news as in the case of the above). So apparently it's okay to foist Liberal / Socialist viewpoints on the ignorant Conservatives (and God forbid, Christians!). But the Liberals and Socialists can maintain their confirmation biases, because they are .... "right" (pun intended)

Re:Critical thinking (2)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 5 months ago | (#45581031)

Don't confuse group think and tribalism.
The main difference is that group think is a problem for leaders, while tribalism is what motivates all the followers.

You can't combat tribalism nearly so easily as group think,
since the group identification is more than just a matter of facts.
Otherwise, the Red Sox wouldn't have any fans.

Re:Critical thinking (3, Insightful)

smpoole7 (1467717) | about 5 months ago | (#45581275)

> "I know you won't believe me, but the highest form of Human Excellence is to question oneself and others." - Socrates

> It is good to see someone researching ways to combat group think with technology.

But that always, always starts with the guy in the mirror. First, get your own mind right (as Socrates says).

Next, most people listen to those friends whom they respect. You can challenge them to examine alternative points of view. The only thing I would ask (of everyone) is that you respect people who look at things as honestly as they know how, but reach a different conclusion from you. That's part of the human condition. The name-calling and "group think," as you call it, stops when we decide that it will stop.

I lean conservative/libertarian in philosophy, but I avoid polemics from all sides. My morning ritual nowadays consists of first checking the weather (because of my job), then heading to Real Clear Politics (www.realclearpolitics.com) to get a diversity of opinion, from Ezra Klein and Robert Kuttner to George Will and Mark Steyn. I also love a good (read: FRIENDLY) debate. If I see name-calling on either side, I lose interest in a hurry.

But have a friendly discussion with your friends. The old saying goes, "don't discuss politics or religion," but I say the opposite. If you show them respect, they'll learn to respect you, and in turn, they'll learn to respect opposing points of view. You might even learn a few things.

I certainly have. :)

Wanglish (2)

oldhack (1037484) | about 5 months ago | (#45580875)

We found that recommending topically relevant content from authors with opposite views in a baseline interface had a negative emotional effect. We saw that our organic visualization design reverts that effect. We also observed significant individual differences linked to evaluation of recommendations. Our results suggest that organic visualization may revert the negative effects of providing potentially sensitive content.

Reads like somebody trying to write in English, and utterly failing.

Re:Wanglish (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45580955)

More like an average thesis. Long sentences, lots of important sounding semi-technical words, double and triple negatives to make anyone's head spin, and nobody will risk their sanity in order to question the paper's validity.

Re:Wanglish (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45580961)

We found that recommending topically relevant content from authors with opposite views in a baseline interface had a negative emotional effect. We saw that our organic visualization design reverts that effect. We also observed significant individual differences linked to evaluation of recommendations. Our results suggest that organic visualization may revert the negative effects of providing potentially sensitive content.

Reads like somebody trying to write in English, and utterly failing.

Sounds like the sort who want to find only what they've already found.

Re:Wanglish (1)

Arker (91948) | about 5 months ago | (#45581083)

I couldnt say it fails to be English. However after perusing every link I am left without any information about what this 'organic visualization' thing actually is, and how it's supposed to work.

Leaving me only to comment more generally that it is not the search engines job to read the users mind, and shouldnt be, if only because it is impossible to do that with any amount of computing power. It's one of those disastrously attractive ideas that may take us another decade to finally start getting over.

Re: "Organic visualization" (3, Interesting)

Animats (122034) | about 5 months ago | (#45581209)

The "organic visualization" thing and its jargon are described in this thesis [benfry.com] done at the MIT Media Lab. This is what happens when postmodernists try to improve on Tufte. [edwardtufte.com] Some of it is pretentious bullshit. But there may be the genesis of some new phone apps in there.

Here's a good, but unrelated, example of "organic visualization": BitListen [bitlisten.com] This is a little HTML5/JavaScript page which depicts transactions on the Bitcoin block chain. An older example is Muckety [muckety.com]. This can be done well, but most attempts in this direction are duds.

Here is what Slashdot is filtering (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45580911)

Rob "CmdrTaco" Malda is a 29-year old white male with a stocky build and a goatee. He responded to my ad to be interviewed for this article wearing only leather pants, leather boots and a leather vest. I could see that both of his nipples were pierced with large-gauge silver rings.

Questioner: I hope you won't be offended if I ask you to prove to me that you're a nullo. Just so that my readers will know that this isn't a fake.

CmdrTaco: Sure, no problem. (stands and unbuckles pants and drops them to his ankles, revealing a smooth, shaven crotch with only a thin scar to show where his genitals once were).

Q: Thank you. That's a remarkable sight.

(laughs and pulls pants back up). Most people think so.

Q: What made you decide to become a nullo?

(pauses). Well, it really wasn't entirely my decision.

Q: Excuse me?

The idea wasn't mine. It was my lover's idea.

Q: Please explain what you mean.

Okay, it's a long story. You have to understand my relationship with Hemos before you'll know what happened.

Q: We have plenty of time. Please go on.

Both of us were into the leather lifestyle when we met through a personal ad. Hemos's ad was very specific: he was looking for someone to completely dominate and modify to his pleasure. In other word, a slave.

The ad intrigued me. I had been in a number of B&D scenes and also some S&M, but I found them unsatisfying because they were all temporary. After the fun was over, everybody went on with life as usual.

I was looking for a complete life change. I wanted to meet someone who would be part of my life forever. Someone who would control me and change me at his whim.

Q: In other words, you're a true masochist.

Oh yes, no doubt about that. I've always been totally passive in my sexual relationships.

Anyway, we met and there was instant chemistry. Hemos is about my age and is a complete loser. Our personalities meshed totally. He's very dominant.

I went back to his place after drinks and had the best sex of my life. That's when I knew I was going to be with Hemos for a long, long time.

Q: What sort of things did you two do?

It was very heavy right away. He restrained me and whipped me for quite awhile. He put clamps on my nipples and a ball gag in my mouth. And he hung a ball bag on my sack with some very heavy weights. That bag really bounced around when Hemos fucked me from behind.

Q: Ouch.

(laughs) Yeah, no kidding. At first I didn't think I could take the pain, but Hemos worked me through it and after awhile I was flying. I was sorry when it was over.

Hemos enjoyed it as much as I did. Afterwards he talked about what kind of a commitment I'd have to make if I wanted to stay with him.

Q: What did he say exactly?

Well, besides agreeing to be his slave in every way, I'd have to be ready to be modified. To have my body modified.

Q: Did he explain what he meant by that?

Not specifically, but I got the general idea. I guessed that something like castration might be part of it.

Q: How did that make you feel?

(laughs) I think it would make any guy a little hesitant.

Q: But it didn't stop you from agreeing to Hemos's terms?

No it didn't. I was totally hooked on this man. I knew that I was willing to pay any price to be with him.

Anyway, a few days later I moved in with Hemos. He gave me the rules right away: I'd have to be naked at all times while we were indoors, except for a leather dog collar that I could never take off. I had to keep my balls shaved. And I had to wear a butt plug except when I needed to take a shit or when we were having sex.

I had to sleep on the floor next to his bed. I ate all my food on the floor, too.

The next day he took me to a piercing parlor where he had my nipples done, and a Prince Albert put into the head of my cock.

Q: Heavy stuff.

Yeah, and it got heavier. He used me as a toilet, pissing in my mouth. I had to lick his asshole clean after he took a shit, too. It was all part of a process to break down any sense of individuality I had. After awhile, I wouldn't hesitate to do anything he asked.

Q: Did the sex get rougher?

Oh God, yeah. He started fisting me every time we had sex. But he really started concentrating on my cock and balls, working them over for hours at a time.

He put pins into the head of my cock and into my sack. He attached clothespins up and down my cock and around my sack. The pain was pretty bad. He had to gag me to keep me from screaming.

Q: When did the idea of nullification come up?

Well, it wasn't nullification at first. He started talking about how I needed to make a greater commitment to him, to do something to show that I was dedicated to him for life.

When I asked him what he meant, he said that he wanted to take my balls.

Q: How did you respond?

Not very well at first. I told him that I liked being a man and didn't want to become a eunuch. But he kept at me, and wore me down. He reminded me that I agreed to be modified according to his wishes, and this is what he wanted for me. Anything less would show that I wasn't really committed to the relationship. And besides, I was a total bottom and didn't really need my balls.

It took about a week before I agreed to be castrated. But I wasn't happy about it, believe me.

Q: How did he castrate you?

Hemos had a friend, Zonk, who was into the eunuch scene. One night he came over with his bag of toys, and Hemos told me that this was it. I was gonna lose my nuts then and there.

Q: Did you think of resisting?

I did for a minute, but deep down I knew there was no way. I just didn't want to lose Hemos. I'd rather lose my balls.

Zonk restrained me on the living room floor while Hemos videotaped us. He used an elastrator to put a band around my sack.

Q: That must have really hurt.

Hell yeah. It's liked getting kicked in the balls over and over again. I screamed for him to cut the band off, but he just kept on going, putting more bands on me. I had four bands around my sack when he finished.

I was rolling around on the floor screaming, while Hemos just videotaped me. Eventually, my sack got numb and the pain subsided. I looked between my legs and could see my sack was a dark purple. I knew my balls were dying inside.

Hemos and his friend left the room and turned out the light. I lay there for hours, crying because I was turning into a eunuch and there wasn't anything I could do about it.

Q: What happened then?

Eventually I fell asleep from exhaustion. Then the light switched on and I could see Hemos's friend kneeling between my legs, touching my sack. I heard him tell Hemos that my balls were dead.

Q: How did Hemos react?

Very pleased. He bent down and felt around my sack. He said that it felt cold.

Zonk told me that I needed to keep the bands on. He said that eventually my balls and sack would dry up and fall off. I just nodded. What else could I do at that point?

Q: Did it happen just like Zonk said?

Yeah, a week or so later my package just fell off. Hemos put it in a jar of alcohol to preserve it. It's on the table next to his bed.

Q: How did things go after that?

Hemos was really loving to me. He kept saying how proud he was of me, how grateful that I had made the commitment to him. He even let me sleep in his bed.

Q: What about the sex?

We waited awhile after my castration, and then took it easy until I was completely healed. At first I was able to get hard, but as the weeks went by my erections began to disappear.

That pleased Hemos. He liked fucking me and feeling my limp cock. It made his dominance over me even greater.

Q: When did he start talking about making you a nullo?

A couple of months after he took my nuts. Our sex had gotten to be just as rough as before the castration. He really got off on torturing my cock. Then he started saying stuff like, "Why do you even need this anymore?"

That freaked me out. I always thought that he might someday take my balls, but I never imagined that he'd go all the way. I told him that I wanted to keep my dick.

Q: How did he react to that?

At first he didn't say much. But he kept pushing. Hemos said I would look so nice being smooth between my legs. He said my dick was small and never got hard anymore, so what was the point of having it.

But I still resisted. I wanted to keep my cock. I felt like I wouldn't be a man anymore without it.

Q: So how did he get you to agree?

He didn't. He took it against my will.

Q: How did that happen?

We were having sex in the basement, and I was tied up and bent over this wooden bench as he fucked me. Then I heard the doorbell ring. Hemos answered it, and he brought this guy into the room.

At first I couldn't see anything because of the way I was tied. But then I felt these hands lift me up and put me on my back. And I could see it was Zonk, the guy who took my nuts.

Q: How did you react?

I started screaming and crying, but the guy just gagged me. The two of them dragged me to the other side of the room where they tied me spread eagled on the floor.

Zonk snaked a catheter up my dick, and gave me a shot to numb my crotch. I was grateful for that, at least. I remember how bad it hurt to lose my balls.

Q: What was Hemos doing at this time?

He was kneeling next to me talking quietly. He said I'd be happy that they were doing this. That it would make our relationship better. That kind of calmed me down. I thought, "Well, maybe it won't be so bad."

Q: How long did the penectomy take?

It took awhile. Some of the penis is inside the body, so he had to dig inside to get all of it. There was a lot of stitching up and stuff. He put my cock in the same jar with my balls. You can even see the Prince Albert sticking out of the head.

Then they made me a new pisshole. It's between my asshole and where my sack used to be. So now I have to squat to piss.

Q: What has life been like since you were nullified?

After I got over the surgery and my anger, things got better. When I healed up, I began to like my smooth look. Hemos brought friends over and they all admired it, saying how pretty I looked. It made me feel good that Hemos was proud of me.

Q: Do you have any sexual feeling anymore?

Yes, my prostate still responds when Hemos fucks me or uses the buttplug. And my nipples are quite sensitive. If Hemos plays with them while fucking me, I have a kind of orgasm. It's hard to describe, but it's definitely an orgasm.

Sometimes Hemos says he's gonna have my prostate and nipples removed, but he's just kidding around. He's happy with what he's done to me.

Q: So are you glad Hemos had you nullified?

Well, I wouldn't say I'm glad. If I could, I'd like to have my cock and balls back. But I know that I'm a nullo forever. So I'm making the best of it.

Hemos and I are very happy. I know that he'll take care of me and we'll be together always. I guess losing my manhood was worth it to make that happen for us.

Interesting and useful for Slashdot (4, Interesting)

mattr (78516) | about 5 months ago | (#45580923)

I only skimmed the paper briefly but it is interesting in that:
- User clicks a wordcloud keyword/hashtag that draws lines from it to multiple florets (individual nacelle-like microflowers in a sunflower head), each of which represents a tweet in recent portion of a feed.
- Repudiates the idea of filtering to meet viewer expectations so everyone can see the same content.
- A cuteness factor (or what they say is "organic" being like a flower) apparently reduces gut reaction to tweets you do not agree with
- Viewer is able to actively pick tweets to read. Presumably as the sunflower head image is mathematically generated and each floret's color could be tweaked to match a positive/negative sentiment score, allowing the user to pick only items that agree/disagree with them but to do so consciously.

This last point would seem to be ideal and I'd like to see slashdot include something more than the slider ("read only above this score"), particularly for a topic that has over say 500 or 800 replies. How about a data visualization that shows all the posts/threads for an article and lets the user select based on where in this chart a post is? At the very list, something 2-dimensional not 1-dimensional.

But this is just as bad.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45580941)

because it is still committing the same, fundamental flaw - it is biasing the search results based on its perception of the user's disposition. This makes it USELESS as a research tool. A proper research tool would simply find ALL material relevant to the topic of interest in order to present an UNBIASED selection of information to work from.

This is the difference between a research/scientific driven model and a marketing/agenda-driven model. marketing/agenda - bad, research/scientific - good...

How about... (3, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45580945)

We quit this crap of trying to target things to audiences and get back to the good old days of yore when we went out and found things to fascinate, inform and enrich ourselves rather than suffering pigeon-holing. Honestly, I think farcebook, amazon and others have it completely wrong. I'm bored by the same ol - same ol. I'm an explorer and love to wander and see new things. Keep showing me what i've already seen or already bought and I'm losing attention.

Re:How about... (3, Insightful)

JanneM (7445) | about 5 months ago | (#45581037)

What "good old days" where those? When you read the newspaper that conformed to your political viewpoint; the weekly magazine that covered any world events only as far as it affected you and others like you; watched only the TV shows that reinforced what you thought you already knew and believed?

Re:How about... (4, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45581101)

What "good old days" where those? When you read the newspaper that conformed to your political viewpoint; the weekly magazine that covered any world events only as far as it affected you and others like you; watched only the TV shows that reinforced what you thought you already knew and believed?

No.

The internet before all this tracking of metrics and trying to anticipate what I'd like to see more of. I don't know what I want to see next, but I generally don't revisit the same old thing. After I bought a new camera is not the time to keep showing me camera stuff. When I looked up something on ebay to see what I might get for it, they keep trying to interest me in it over a year later - I don't buy everything I look at and there's no "I'm just trying to get an estimate of what I might get from a suck^H^H^H^Hbuyer so piss off and don't try to waggle it under my eyes for the next twelve bloody months" tick-box.

Just anecdotal, but the things facebook seems to track and then keep showing me have about 95% odds of not being of interest at all, the remaining 5% I wouldn't click on a link on there anyway or it's only tangentially relevant to something I was posting about.

After a while I just tune stuff out.

Re:How about... (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 5 months ago | (#45581255)

At some point price customisation or "dynamic" pricing must have become very useful and widespread.
http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/24/ramasastry.website.prices/ [cnn.com]
Your search habits fed back into a price just for 'you' at that moment on a sales site.

Re:How about... (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 5 months ago | (#45583185)

At some point price customisation or "dynamic" pricing must have become very useful and widespread.

http://edition.cnn.com/2005/LAW/06/24/ramasastry.website.prices/ [cnn.com]

Your search habits fed back into a price just for 'you' at that moment on a sales site.

Alas, that was what I was interested in yesterday or at some time in the past. It's like being in a discussion with someone who keeps bringing up a point that you thought was resolved a while ago, but they think needs more exposure. Imagine how you'd enjoy such a discussion.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581363)

I like to read the news through Tor: it keeps the filtering down. You also get random local news from somewhere, which can be an interesting look into what its like around the world.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581599)

We quit this crap of trying to target things to audiences and get back to the good old days of yore when we went out and found things to fascinate, inform and enrich ourselves rather than suffering pigeon-holing. Honestly, I think farcebook, amazon and others have it completely wrong. I'm bored by the same ol - same ol. I'm an explorer and love to wander and see new things. Keep showing me what i've already seen or already bought and I'm losing attention.

I run into this problem with eBay. The search results lousy. They don't even have a clue on what to display. Instead, they'll spam the results with a long list of the same thing previously purchased (or obscurely related), hopeful that I'll want to buy the same thing over and over, again and again. eBay isn't the only one with the idiotic hive mind, it's just one of the more pathetic.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581639)

Stop that; come return to life in the TV and phone addict generation where every local news source is identical to the next, and both information and advertising comes at us in waves of 2-second sound clips repeated multiple times verbatim throughout the hour.

Re:How about... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581787)

Did you know you can just turn off the special filtering Google does?

Just enable "Verbatim" in your search results. It gets rids of handy features like spelling corrections, unfortunately.

new tool for control of the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581045)

How great is it that someone is coming up with ways to sculpt the opinion of those who will not be swayed?

In a perfect world such a thing would be used to bring enlightenment to the ignorant... I fear it will be used to expose the educated (intellectuals are dangerous) to 'the controversy' (whatever it may be) until they become as confused and stupid as the rest.

Good idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581053)

Let's "burst the 'filter bubble' that surrounds us with people we like and content that we agree with." To paraphrase Shakespeare, "First thing we do, let's kill all the Karma."

Until then, though, I shall continue to post all such thoughts as...

your friend,

Anonymous Coward

Push vs Pull (4, Insightful)

quantaman (517394) | about 5 months ago | (#45581065)

If you search for X, and get confronted with an adversarial opinion, the contrary information is being pushed at you which is threatening and probably responsible for the negative emotional reaction.

If you search for X, see where the adversarial opinions are, but don't actually have to see them when you want to, that's more a pull mechanism and you feel much less threatened as a result.

From what I can tell glancing at the paper their system is very much a pull mechanism which probably lowers the negative response.

I just goggled "BP" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581069)

and all I got was the nearest gas station.

Tangential (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581171)

Surely you want all views not just opposing views. Some of the most influential things are the off topic items, well off-topic to you, but on-topic to the poster.

Wait what? (3, Funny)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 5 months ago | (#45581175)

Two people who googled the term 'BP.' One received links to investment news about BP while the other received links to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, presumably as a result of some recommendation algorithm.

So I tried this, I wanted to see if the Internet thought I was a democrat or a republican but it just came up with a bunch of links to "Big Penises" I was outraged, and after 15 to 30 min or so of confirming the content I switched search engines. The algorithms are clearly out of control!

Re:Wait what? (1)

David_Hart (1184661) | about 5 months ago | (#45581413)

Two people who googled the term 'BP.' One received links to investment news about BP while the other received links to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, presumably as a result of some recommendation algorithm.

So I tried this, I wanted to see if the Internet thought I was a democrat or a republican but it just came up with a bunch of links to "Big Penises" I was outraged, and after 15 to 30 min or so of confirming the content I switched search engines. The algorithms are clearly out of control!

I just tried this and got... financial news, info about the oil spill on both sides of the coin (i.e. How BP got screwed, What BP doesn't want you to know), and local gas stations. I guess this means that I'm interested in the stock market (which I am, though I don't own BP stock), I'm open to understanding the facts on both sides (i.e. a balanced viewpoint), and I recently searched for gas stations (which I did, but for the local Shell stations not BP).

Re:Wait what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582377)

Or you disabled google storing your search history, so they can't create custom search results.

Bias filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581177)

I know this is going in the complete opposite direction of the spirt of the article, but I'd rather see more options for filtering. I would like to be able to click on something and have it go away FOREVER or at least not show up for at least 6 months..

There are certain people and stories that just don't deserve more than 5 minutes of coverage. Certain politicians, nearly all actors that speak out politically, and what ever thing that happened 2000miles away that might (never) impact me.

My short list of people and stories that I could live without:

Anything from any personality that visits a 3rd world shit hole dictatorship and blathers on about how it's really "not that bad" and how the dictor and they are BFFs

Sean Penn, Oprah, Al Sharpten, Nancy Pelosi, Dianne Feinstein, Jessi Jackson, Harry Reid, Boehner, McCain, Al Gore, The Clintons.

Any politians that uses the pronoun "I" more than twice in a speach.

Any story that get's bent about how the US was founded on "Christian values"

Anyone upset about how they are trying to "destroy Christmas"

Any article that begins with "X things that you should know about Y"

Anything from a politician that has been out of office for more than 10 years

Anything from a politician that has been in public office for more than 10 years

Anything about gay marriage (honnestly I could give an F--- less, let them be misserable just like everyone else, now shut up about it already!)

All news that references anything within 30 days of a tragedy more than, when did it happen, how it happened, and who it happened too. Everytime the news get's the numbers wrong by more than 10% they get a month long ban.

Any politician that tries to make political hay from above mentioned tragedy get's an automatic life time ban

Anything to do with public figures bad behaivor, unless it is really, really funny

Any story that runs on how the poor are getting "poorer". It's like being wet, how much wetter can you get once you've already jumped into a lake? Once you are poor, it's not possible to get any more poorer, because then it would be a story about people dying, which at least in the 1st world, you don't hear about anymore (but somehow they are always getting poorer).

So sure it might cause a little more bias, but it would help shape the news a bit by taking away the agenda from the news agencies and giving it back to the people.

Re:Bias filter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581425)

What's "get's" a contraction of? "Gets us?"

Blank Slate (1)

godel_56 (1287256) | about 5 months ago | (#45581207)

Wiping all your cookies and history in your browser might help a bit, but probably not if you're using Chrome or logged into Google.

Also, the Startpage search engine claims to use Google, but anonymously.

Does not address the real problem (2)

YoungManKlaus (2773165) | about 5 months ago | (#45581863)

Using a tool means that you are already aware of the problem. Lets suffice to say: most people are not, and also may even feel content in their bubble. And that's the real problem.

Opposing or similar views? (1)

bluegutang (2814641) | about 5 months ago | (#45581919)

So this algorithm can figure out what your political viewpoint is, as well as the viewpoint of a news article.

This could be used to show you articles which contradict your viewpoint - or articles which reinforce your viewpoint.

I think the latter is more likely in practice. It's more profitable.

Bubbles are great (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45581967)

It keeps me safe within my queer bubbles, where the cisheteropatrhiarchy can be ignored and shunned for the oppressive structure that it is, and I can avoid reading the crap that fills the society that surrounds me. It's a great break from the world, because the bubble bursts as soon as I go outside into society, and its structures push against my very existence.

The mainstream is so vast however, that it does get through the filter sadly.

Exaggerated? (1)

Chrisq (894406) | about 5 months ago | (#45581985)

I tried various searches in a normal browser window and an incognito window. There was really very little difference. Searching for "Laptop" swapped the order of amazon and curries. Searching for Islam had three appeasement sites at the top in my search and five in the incognito search. Searching for "BP" was exactly the same.

political blogs/sites do the opposite for $ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582161)

have you ever noticed that all the political websites almost never allow mixing and matching of political talking points from the other side?

You cannot post on a liberal website/forum about being against immigration.

You cannot post on a conservative website/forum about being for universal healthcare.

These sites do not allow mixing of ideologies.

Why?

For money.

They get more viewers and donations and sales when the dominant political talking points being espoused on the site are "pure".

The owners of these sites do this for money.

This is rich... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582179)

Slashdot featuring an article about how to get people to hear OPPOSING points of view, when your very 'mod' system means that people who dare to question Jewish hegemony are modded down (i.e. silenced, to many) and eventually BANNED, i.e. completely silenced. What a joke.
Most people are idiots who don't even know why they believe what they claim to believe, and they certainly don't want to DEBATE anything they claim to believe. Right there is the first indication that they don't have any faith in their own convictions.

Left wingers, for example, spend much of their time trying to SILENCE dissent, rather than trying to DEBATE those who disagree with them.

Indoctrination displaces education:

http://www.akdart.com/edu31.html

Read that, and get back to me. Most people can't even THINK about the most basic concepts, they just fall back on whatever the media has told them, and that is their 'opinion'. This is easily proved by merely QUESTIONING them, or disagreeing with something they say. Watch how they react. They aren't interested in new facts which you might bring to the subject, because those would prove them wrong. They aren't interested in discussion. They get angry, defensive, start verbally attacking you, then try to silence you, or run away from the discussion. This, unfortunately, is how MOST people operate. For MOST people, thinking is a hardship. For me, it is my greatest pleasure. If you don't LOVE thinking, then you are one of the sheeple, and you are one of the fools who are going to get us all killed. It's as simple as that.

Time after time I've tried to debate people about their left wing political view, every time they get angry, defensive, refuse to debate, and/or run away, every single time. That right there tells you that even THEY think they are wrong - which is literally astounding. They put forward a political view, THEIR political party, or their policies, are in power/in action, and yet THEY think they are wrong, and won't debate!

It's like a man running around saying 'The moon is made of cheese, and you MUST agree with me, otherwise I'll get you sacked from your job or put in prison' (which is how Left wingers operate), and then refusing to discuss it with anybody, instead resorting to the usual terrorism of getting you sacked from your job for being a 'heretic', accusing you of being 'full of hate', etc.

I hear the opposing view all the time, it's called the controlled media. MOST people don't agree with it, so most people hear the opposing view ALL the time, every time they read a paper or turn on a T.V.

How existent is this "bubble"? (4, Insightful)

supercrisp (936036) | about 5 months ago | (#45582419)

I keep reading about this bubble, but I don't experience in my daily life. I am by political inclination pretty far to the left, but I run into plenty of right-wing opinions, from the libertarians on Slashdot to the Tea Party people on Facebook. I interact with moderate Republicans at work and extreme (God needs to cleanse this nation! Gold Standard!) Republicans in my neighborhood. I have no sense that there's a bubble. I sometimes wish there was a bubble that could filter out all the idiots. Some of the best days of my life were spent hanging out with people of varied and conflicting views who were all intelligent and capable of mutual respect and civility. I'd love a bubble like that. But, again, I don't see any damn bubble in my daily life. Why's it getting broadcast so much? Cui bono?

VERY Pervasive! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45583357)

The bubble is extraordinarily pervasive and it is VERY difficult to break out of without a geographic change(Proxy/VPN).

Try your search with the following URLs and see what you get:
www.google.com [google.com]
www.google.co.uk [google.co.uk]
www.bing.com [bing.com]
www.duckduckgo.com [duckduckgo.com]

I never log in to Google, always clear cookies and cache and generally try to avoid being tracked. I know that it's pointless because they still use geolocation, IP address, and browser signatures to track me. But I still try to avoid the bubble. Searching for BP gives me company/stock/investment information only! On all of the above search engines. But, searching BP from my hippie sister-in-law's house(on my own device) gives me a first page full of oil spill links.

It's REALLY startling when I travel overseas. Working remotely, I try searching for my "usual stuff", that's always right there at the top of the page. But, at the Caribbean resort, all I get is links to Philippine and Malay centric stuff and not at all what I'm looking for. It has been literally impossible for me to Google certain things that I normally do back home, even with very explicit search terms including location. It's been very annoying sometimes, but it drives home that I'm inside a bubble. It is not at all unlike being inside the Matrix and unable to wake up. You're not even aware that you're inside the bubble/Matrix.

I want a stronger filter bubble (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 months ago | (#45582595)

There are some people with blogs and some journalists, who consistently write crap. I want those filtered to the bottom of the news pages. If a friend of mine thinks a website is bullshit, then I don't want to see it on the first page of my google search results. I don't want to see marketing junk, reviews written by shills or poorly made viral videos. Let's be honest, the problem with the web is not that you get too much information that agrees with your opinion, but that you get mediocre results, when everybody and his brother can post his unqualified opinion online.

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