Re: WEB: Yahoo/Firefly Website recommendation service

Alexander Chislenko (
Thu, 12 Dec 1996 17:12:18 -0500

At 10:58 PM 12/9/96 -0800, Chris Hind wrote:
>Aha! I told you loss of privacy is inevitable! Cameras in public places,
>search tools based on collective intelligence creating databases of
>concentrated information on a user allowing the creation of a highly
>accurate psychological profile. This technology is good but we must make a
>few sacrifices.

Currently in our system your intelligence is merged with others' to help
everybody find what they want, but nobody can find anything about your
interests unless you explicitly declare them public (we have a separate
privacy tag for each rating - not to mention that you choose any alias
and there is no way you or your e-mail address can be found by the alias
- again, unless you want them to).

Definitely, you could be asked for personal information, and then it could
be sold or published. But you wouldn't use such a service, would you?

> I've signed up. Check it out yerself. It'll have news
>stories, webpages, ads, etc aimed directly at you eventually and
>information will be so much that your looking for and interested in it will
>be irresistable to take your eyes off the webpage for fear of missing
>something. The ultimate web addiction! I'll love watching it happen! All
>they need to do is how to add a plugin or activex program into your browser
>so that it will track webpages you view and increase the database info to
>allow the searchtool to pull up more interesting information.

There are some schemes for implicit collection of user preferences, and
they seem promising. Grouplens is working on some, too.

Content so-good-its-addictive does not mean violation of privacy though.
It means that an important part of intelligence that you rely on personally
is now residing on the Net, and it's better than most others - unless your
life is already so good, it's addictive.

It looks more like the continuing partial uploading of your personality
architecture into the Net, liberation of intelligence from meat, and growing
integration of global intelligence (Ideally, I would like to see the result
of this process as a flexibly integrated system with strong local protection).

I love watching it happen, too.

Alexander Chislenko <>
Firefly Network, Inc.: <> 617-234-5452