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Aug 19, 2012

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Stewart -- you write in your usual trenchant manner. I have a slightly different memory, though, of the start of Gmail (and I haven't double-checked the research). I believe Google made a series of promises after the initial controversy, including that individual humans would not read the emails. That way, it was only machine algorithms that would go through our personal emails.

If this memory is correct, then the privacy kerfuffle may well have played a constructive role -- getting the features and protections to be better than they otherwise would have been.

David Brin writes about the public interest groups as similar to T cells, which spot problems in the body politic and try to fix the problems before they get toxic. That may well have happened with Gmail.

Peter,
I haven't gone back to check either, but knowing Google, whose employees would probably have algorithms choose their mates and name their children if they could, having algorithms do all the mail screening was almost certainly part of the plan from the start.

I sort of like David Brin's analogy. Because what we're suffering from today is the equivalent of an autoimmune disease epidemic. And people keep prescribing T-cell boosters to help us get healthy.

Stewart

good post!wow!I sort of like David Brin's analogy. Because what we're suffering from today is the equivalent of an autoimmune disease epidemic. And people keep prescribing T-cell boosters to help us get healthy.

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