So earlier today, I saw someone talking about cPTSD and how they wanted to own a domain. So, I went and looked and saw that “thisiscptsd.com” domain was available and bought it. No, I don’t plan on doing anything with the domain for 2022. I was just shocked that it was even available. Normally domain names that simple get taken up quick.
I then looked up cPTSD on DuckDuckGo. Most of the top results were articles giving the definition of cPTSD and describing symptoms. A few were blogs and research on cPTSD. Now why did I do that?
It was because of a person on LinkedIn named Ashani Mfuko that does work on anti-racism, typically targeted to white people. One day, she had a thought experiment on why you don’t hear about the white community versus the Black community. She had a post telling others to go look up both terms on their preferred search engine and jot down the first 15-20 search results and compare. That was eye opening, but the point me me saying this was not on the anti-racism itself. It’s on the way search engines shape our minds.
Most of the results were on definition and symptoms. Most of the articles to my knowledge were not written by those with cPTSD themselves. Additionally, the descriptions of symptoms were not very descriptive and were generally 1-2 sentences tops and does not fully capture the nuance of cPTSD. Why do I bring this up? Because this shapes how people think about cPTSD. It shapes why those with cPTSD frequently complain about PTSD groups not capturing the nuance of repeated events. It doesn’t capture the day to day living well.
So, this got me thinking: I saw a few results that did include blogs of those with cPTSD. What if things like that were the top result? What if the top results were humans capturing the full spectrum of cPTSD? What if instead of a dry and boring definition that feels stiff, we see results with color and flavor?
What if we made a search engine that valued humanity and connection instead of a false sense of neutrality? What if search engines were used to bring people together and to learn and grow?
I keep thinking about this in particular after seeing the ensuing meltdown that is Twitter and knowing Google’s numerous and lengthy record of discrimination and breaking multiple other laws. It’s no secret that most of the people who work on the most popular search engines are doing so under companies that are not ethical. It’s also no secret that these same companies love to extract your data unethically to use for marketing purposes.
It makes me wonder if these big tech companies implode, could we have better search engines take its place? Could we expand this further and think about the way humans interact with computers to make life easier? This is kinda why I want to get into ethical AI. I don’t want to keep seeing anything hurt people, including tech. I wanna use imaginations and creativity and all sorts of other stuff to make the world a better place. And I think if the tech companies start imploding that it can absolutely happen.
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