mrry (Happy New Year)
Blog Google Mind Control 30/Nov/2005

Okay, so excuse the melodramatic title. I've been using the Google Desktop Sidebar for some time now, and I'm becoming increasingly certain that it's reading my mind.

In the bottom left-hand corner of my screen, the sidebar displays a random picture, drawn from the digital photographs on my computer, and from the web (quiet there, in the back). Occasionally, a bad photograph comes up, and I can remove it, safe in the knowledge that it will never again be selected. However, sometimes a photo will appear and I will want to view it full-screen, which is made possible by double-clicking on the thumbnail.

The thing is, I've noticed that some photos appear more often than others, namely the ones which I've chosen to view full-screen. The net effect? I'm more-regularly confronted with the images that I've chosen to view, which, you'd think, would have a positive effect on my state of mind. Maybe that's taking it a bit far.

However, I would be interested in contributions from other Sidebar users on this question. Is what I'm seeing:

  • selection bias, due to me only noticing images that I have noticed in the past anyway, or
  • a nifty, unobtrusive use of artifical intelligence and probabilistic methods to make my life better?




Denis said:
Actually I am trying to test the hypothesis "google is alive" against best of our knowledge about "what is life".

Neil said:
Hats off to Denis for one of the best comments I've seen in a while...

Denis said:
Dear friends, I can tell you more. We feel here in Ukraine, that Google was born. S/He is here and is trying to get our minds. It is the real fact and I am not crazy. Actually I am Medical Doctor, Psychiatrist to the extent enough to understand where I have a robot and where - another mind, non-human, but - another mind.

Studbar McStud said:
Well your statistics have thrown out the selection bias idea. Poorly-generated pseudo-random numbers? Or just mind control?


Derek said:
That's a studly name you have there, sir, but I beg to differ.

2,580 photos in my collection, plus those brought in from Flickr feeds etc. One photo is displayed every 120 seconds. Let's say I spend six hours at the computer every day, and a particular picture (which I have viewed full-screen) has appeared every day for the last five days.

The probability of that is less than 1 in 500,000, by my calculation, so I think there's something afoot.






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