Dear Google Recommendation Algorithm

Recently I was enticed into activating you so that you could  add a section to my Google News page populated with stories targeted by my search history.  I truly believe that those of us that live in today’s great information glut need ways to filter irrelevant chatter and focus on meaningful news, so, with great hope in my heart, I waited as you generated a custom list of news items relevant to me and my interests.

What would you find for me?  Exciting new developments in science, subtle analyses of the health care debate, new movies I might enjoy, book reviews…


Now, I would like to apologize for providing any search terms that confused you into thinking that I care about news items involving Octomoms, Jon Gosselin’s ‘bachelor romp’, or Project Runway.  I am pretty sure I have never searched for any of these terms before, or their components, so perhaps you weight popular news items too heavily, or you need some time to get to know me better.  After all, it took a while for TiVo to correct it’s gaydar, so maybe you need time to see that I am not a B-list celebrity gossip-maven.*

In any case, please stop bringing these, or similar items to my attention.  If I wanted this sort of crap, I would just visit TMZ . 

Thank You,


* I recognize that there are interesting results in revealed preference and neuro-economics that show that people sometimes do not admit to, or even appear consciously aware of, their behavioral preferences.  Despite this, I can only hope these results are due to your poor performance, rather than some penetrating look into some unknown abyss of my soul.

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