Welcome to the home of Noah Brier. I'm the co-founder of Variance and general internet tinkerer. Most of my writing these days is happening over at Why is this interesting?, a daily email full of interesting stuff. This site has been around since 2004. Feel free to get in touch. Good places to get started are my Framework of the Day posts or my favorite books and podcasts. Get in touch.

You can subscribe to this site via RSS (the humanity!) or .

Google and Theory of Mind

Anil Dash wrote a great piece on the problems Google faces. He has articulated many of the ideas I’ve been trying to express, explaining the potential issues as an issue with Google’s lack of understanding of how other’s view it (which he expresses through theory of mind, which happens to be one of my favorite psychological theories).

In one example, Anil explains that “Connecting PageRank to economic systems such as AdWords and AdSense corrupted the meaning and value of links by turning them into an economic exchange.” As Clay pointed out in the comments a few days ago, Google also realized this problem when they were doing their thesis, noting, “advertising income often provides an incentive to provide poor quality search results.” Anyway, go read Anil’s whole piece, it’s quite good.

December 18, 2007