"The News You Want!" I'm told that quite a few influential right-wingers think the fix is somehow in for Huffington Post at Google—i.e. that HuffPo's high search rankings aren't the product of sophisticated, expensive SEO efforts but of some sort of direct algorithmic favoritism on the Google end of things. This is an old fear about Google. I know of zero evidence that supports it regarding Huffington. But it makes you wonder whether someone is going to succeed by embracing the sin with a search engine that explicitly returns only sources a liberal would want to hear (or that a conservative would want to hear). Call it Cocoogle ... Kosmix apparently tried that approach back in 2006 and seems to have abandoned it. But 2006 was before "We-Agree-With-You TV" replaced even phony debates on cable. You'd think political advertisers (and booksellers, among others) might welcome the ideological segregation ... P.S.: It would almost certainly be a bad thing. ... 1:06 p.m.
My ex-colleague Jack Shafer writes:
The rush to delete embarrassing, incriminating, or inconvenient Web pages in the wake of breaking news—such as the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others in Tucson, Ariz., today—makes no sense. ...
Well, it makes some sense to take down the killer's MySpace pages for the same reason it makes sense not to broadcast his videos on network TV, namely to deny him one possible reward—web "popularity"—for having committed a crime. I don't think there are many people who would actually kill for millions of web hits, but there aren't too many who would kill because they didn't like the answer a congressperson gave them at a meet-and-greet either. One is enough. ... P.S.: Even if (as Shafer notes) web pages are hard to completely erase from the Internet, it might be different, psychologically, if your pages have been erased and the remaining copies are under the control of third parties. ... 12:54 p.m.
A site called Ratio Finder uses GPS data from Foursquare check-ins to generate a map showing which restaurants have more men in them and which have more women in them. Combine this with the information on Facebook, Grindr, and Google, and soon you'll be able to pick your restaurant by flipping through naked pictures of everyone eating there. Or that's the direction we seem to be headed ... 1:17 p.m.
There You Have It: I'm told Berkeley economist Brad DeLong sent out the following to at least one reader who asked why DeLong didn't post a comment about immigration I submitted to his website. (Background here):
When Mickey stops trying to destroy the careers of twenty-something journalists, I'll talk to him...
Until then, I won't—and you shouldn't carry water for him either. He's not a good person.
P.S.: If I'm trying to destroy the careers of 20-something journalists like Ezra Klein, I don't seem to have been very effective. When I began destroying Klein's career he was a blogger at an obscure leftish web site. By the time I'm through destroying him he'll be host of Meet the Press ... [Note: I emailed DeLong for comment, just in case the above email is a hoax. I haven't heard back. I see no indicia of inauthenticity.] 1:14 p.m.