Monday, January 13, 2014

What a Comment on our Society

I did a screen capture yesterday morning of my Bing homepage.

As usual, the photograph is stunning. Capturing an owl in flight, and starring directly into the camera; incredible.

But not as incredible as the line of text across the bottom of the screen.

These are the current 'hot' search terms. Isn't it nice to know that with everything going on in the world, in this country and in Washington DC. the biggest concern on everyone's minds is David Cassidy's second DUI? Or that some actress may be anorexic? Amanda Knox? Do we really care what happens to Amanda Knox?

Bing has a whole list of the top 20 search terms (With Pictures!!!) that will scroll across the bottom of the screen. I took a look at the whole thing. Even the Chris Christie bridge debacle, the hot topic among the media darlings, is no where to be found.

There were reports from last year of Google 'scrubbing' certain terms and search results of any reference to Daniel Snowden, so that he would not appear as one of the hot topics from 2013 as far as the Google search engine goes.

Here is my problem: aren't these search engines supposed to deal in information? Maybe it is just me who thinks they should be dealing in UNBIASED information.

Can we assume, for the sake of discussion, that you are on the board of directors of a corporation. You and the board are responsible for staffing a manufacturing plant, and already have a team in place, but are considering making changes. You hire a head-hunting organization to report on the fitness of the current staff and the applicants, and believe their report to be the truth.

After decisions are made and the staff are in place, you discover that certain members of the current staff and some of the applicants had conspired with the organization you hired to falsify some of the data you had used in your hiring decisions. These falsifications varied from ignoring some minor infractions of company policy to the commission of felonies that were not reported against some of the employees/applicants. Personal habits and family misadventures of some applicants were given prominent spots in the reports, while in other cases this derogatory information was completely ignored.

Would you feel betrayed? Both by the organization you hired and the people who had conspired with them? People who were now your contract employees?

You know where I am going with this, don't you?

In a few months- May and November to be exact- we will be hiring new staff to serve us our employees in Washington. To use their talents to best serve us. And they will be under contract for 2 or 6 years.

We need valid, unbiased information to choose which employee to hire. Where will we get this information?

Isn't it strange that in the era we are calling The Information Age we are having all kinds of trouble with our information?

Since we seem almost unable to control our personal information, and because of the failure of people we have relied on to supply us with correct information, perhaps (especially since 2008), we should call this The Disinformation Age.

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