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Google shows you what you want to see

Humans are looking for confirmation of their beliefs rather than the truth. Imagine website A which gives the confirmation of what people already believe and website B which gives people an accurate picture of reality.

When a person visits website A, they will have their belief confirmed, and thus have website A make them happy and they will believe website A gave them the truth since the answer A gave was their prior belief. While website B, which give them the "objective" truth, will cause contradictions in the same person's mind, since it goes against what they currently believe. Website B will make people uncomfortable.

So in the end website A will be the more popular website, and a Google will be born. Of course often times people's beliefs are correct and thus website A will often give the truth. Website A will have to give the truth for things that are very easily verifiable, otherwise people will start to distrust website A's authenticity.

Google will help you answer most of your questions, but in so many cases it is completely worthless and in some it is downright misleading. Searcher beware.

I do think there is a great startup available, which is a company that indexes the web like google and creates a powerful version of grep that prioritizes webpages that have a high page rank similarly to Google's.

One Response to “Google shows you what you want to see”

  1. [...] to questions that require thinking are difficult/impossible to find through search engines. Google confirms what you already believe. This isn't restricted to politics. Google gives results that contain the wrong answer to basic [...]

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