Mar 30, 2015

Google Autocomplete vs. Religion

I started off this day in a great mood. Even after I hit a big piece of concrete in the road and tore up the splash guard under my car, I just drove on into work and scheduled an appointment at the dealership to get it fixed this afternoon. While waiting for the car to be fixed, I had to endure a couple of hours of CNN posting non-stop doom and gloom. From the  German Wings pilot who flew into the Swiss Alps to the breaking news of two men dressed as women trying to breach the NSA and being shot to death. 

All the while I am thumbing my way through friends' Facebook posts and marveling at the state of the world through their eyes. That's when my mind started to wander and I began to wonder about Google and religion. A couple of years ago, I remember seeing a post that showed how typing into a Google search the phrase "I'm afraid of..." would be completed at that time by the autocomplete in Google with the phrase "Chinese people." I checked today and the top answer is "Americans." Thanks, David Bowie...and scary Americans. 

So I started typing in world religions and entertained myself with that until my car was ready. I stopped at 20, but obviously the list is not all-inclusive, nor is it static. The same list could turn up much different answers next week. The results found today are as follows:

1. Christians are..."annoying" (only answer)

2. Buddhists are.... (seriously, there was no suggestion, which may mean that Buddhists don't count. Weird.)

3. Jains are... "the richest" and "stupid"

4. Muslims are..."not terrorists" (only answer)

5. Hindus are... (no suggestions...just like the Buddhists)

6. Jews are... (no suggestions, but if you just type "Jews" the first suggestions is "for Jesus," which is a dirty rotten lie, leading one to ask, "WTF, Google?!?!")

7. Scientologists are... "insane," "idiots," "morons," and "crazy"

8. Jehovah Witnesses are..."a cult," "right," "wrong," and "weird"

9. Methodists are... "Baptists who can read," "weird," and "going to hell"

10. Mormons are...(no suggestions)

11. Quakers are... "awesome," "weird," and "a cult"

12. Atheists are... "wrong"

13. Agnostics are ..."cowards," "the smartest," "right," and "atheist"

14. Pagans are..."the reason for the season," "stupid," "evil," and "idiots"

15. Wiccans are..."evil," "retarded," idiots," and "satanists"

16. Baptists are..."not Presbyterian," "crazy," and "evil"

17. Presbyterians are..."wrong," "puritans and puritans are Calvinists," "the spirit of the Antichrist," and "baptists who can read"

18. Catholics are..."not Christians" (only answer, and I think they may disagree with this one, just sayin'.)

19. Shakers are..."celibate," "still around," and "Amish" 

20. Religion is..."the opiate of the masses," "bullshit," "fake," and "dying"

I had several thoughts (and laughs) while compiling this list. A few of my thoughts are as follows:

1. Who knew that Presbyterians were reviled enough (or in any way) that they would have such terrible results? Note to self: Look into Presbyterianism, this could be much more interesting than you might expect.

2. Pagans, who exist in infinitesimally lower numbers than Buddhists, are funny - "the reason for the season" and also, apparently thought about by Googlers a lot more than Buddhists.

3. The Church of Scientology is not as good at scrubbing the internet and all media of negative information about them. Perhaps laying off the lawsuits and easing up on the control issues might win you a few more converts, Scientology...probably not.

4. Wiccans rank right about even with Scientologists when comparing their Google autocomplete results. I don't think that is fair to Wiccans, but that is how the cookie crumbled today.  

5. Which is it, Methodists or Presbyterians who are "Baptists that can read?" 

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