abigailnicole: (Default)
[personal profile] abigailnicole
so by the sheer amount of time I spend googling "Zenker's Diverticulum" and "innervation of parietal pleura" and related terms, Google MUST know that I'm in med school. And from all the "Asian Market Nicholasville Rd" searching I do, they also know I'm in Lexington.

So what I'm curious about is how sophisticated is Google's advertising robot? What are they going to start advertising to me? I'm assuming local things, right, so if they know I get knitting emails and am in Lexington they should send me ads for ReBelle or whatever. They certainly know I have a cat because I get vet ads. But what about socioeconomially? Are they trying to market me cheap stuff, because I'm still a student, or more expensive things, because they know I'm going to be a doctor someday?

I love to make jokes about robots running our lives, calling our mothers for us, brushing our teeth, driving our cars. (Smartphones usually equal robots in these jokes, unless I'm talking about my electric toothbrush.)  Google advertising algorithim robots, right? "how well do I match a sophisticated algorithim that predicts things about me based on keywords gathered from my email" becomes "how well do the robots know me" becomes "how predictable am I? what if I'm exactly what you expect me to be?" 

right? What if med school is--more than it is set up to educate or enlighten (which it does, but how well is still up in the air)--a system to produce and maintain smart and kind people? To reward them, to be the kind of fair where if you work hard you really do get ahead, to say "this is what we want our people to be like"? How much of our society is a system set up in this way? Because honestly I'm okay being part of a system that's designed to create and maintain smart and kind people--but I'm not sure if that's what we're doing, and I don't think there's room for everyone in the system we have. 

This new fascination with "What My Demograhpic Data Says About My Life" and "Just Who Is The Man, Anyway, and What Does He Want" just keeps going. First with the Dhalgren then with Google ads. Because I'm afraid. What if they're right? What if advertising robots really do know me better than I know myself? who am I and where do I fit into the expectations that are set up for me?
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Nicole

March 2013

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