FB: “Let’s see, accept the word of the most trusted authority I can find or keep Googling around until I find a source that tells me what I want to hear… well, which one’s EASIER? Unrelated: I should eat more cookies today.” — Your Subconscious

One of my more unpopular opinions is that search engines need to err less on the side of “service” and more on the side of utilitarianism (doing the most good for the most people). Google and its struggling imitators follow the culture when they could have the power to shape it. A flat-earther can find stuff that’ll validate their belief system easily, and so can a “Trump won in 2020” brainwash victim. And yes, there are a lot of problems with the idea of search engines deciding they know what’s best for society, but to throw up their hands and not even try is not a very responsible use of their immense power.

It’s interesting that no winter elves take a Google-like approach to dealing with Best and tell him, “Oh, yeah, your tomb is gonna cover twelve acres. I’m the real oracle, everyone else here’s a fraud, thanks for persisting until you found me.” I think they know, though, that in the long run, a Best with his delusions reinforced would be even more insufferable than this version is.