Vibrant Logic

A genuine question for all the Internet logicians out there:

How can a Google search for
“nigerians china” generate 2,640,000 hits, when
“nigerians china prison” generates 16,000,000 hits?

(This news from Aljazeera about inter-cultural harmony in Goa was the trigger.)

To give the good people of Nigeria their due, some number of them are clearly quite happy to see the incarceration of their compatriots being out-sourced:

Akins (2013/9/19 at 11:40 am): If you can do the crime then you can do the time.
Please, leave them in China o, let them not come back here we have enough k’nappers and armed robbers and rapeees as it is, unless they wan begin sell peer wata.

kola amodu (2013/9/19 at 8:08 pm): Senate president should be ashame of himself for ever tried to ask for pardon from Chinse president to release this Nigerian criminals. I can now understand de reson why lots of criminals are roaming our street in Nigeria. I trust china govt will not listen to this asshole any way, cos those convicted criminals must pay for de crimes they committed against de peoples Republic of China.

Given the planetary vibrancy trends, there have to be some concerns about global prison capacity.

(Some back-story here, and don’t miss this comment thread.)

November 13, 2013admin 12 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

TAGGED WITH : ,

12 Responses to this entry

  • Diogenes Says:

    Good to see that the magical r-word is making a strong showing, as ever.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 13th, 2013 at 6:21 am Reply | Quote
  • Billy Chav Says:

    Could be a Boolean ‘or’ not ”and’ algorithm. But Google search is a bit opaque. It’ll show you pages that it guesses you’ll find useful rather than pages that match exactly your search terms. It’s actually kind of tricky to get it to return only pages matching all your search terms.

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 13th, 2013 at 6:33 am Reply | Quote
  • Orthodox Says:

    You need to do: china nigerians +prison. It gets 39 hits.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If I’m understanding Google grammar, the ‘+’ demands exact word order, so it becomes a request for specific phrases, rather than for a required topic.

    [Reply]

    Orthodox Reply:

    + means the term must be in the search results. The exact word order requires quotes around it. So + prisons means you want results for prisons, that also have nigerians and/or china in them.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If I’m taking this to suggest that without the ‘+’ the terms are additive (“a Boolean ‘or’ not ”and’ algorithm” to quote Billy Chav above), it seems totally incredible. To give just one concrete example, throwing in “drugs crime” (with no ‘+’s) reduces the hit count by c.80%. Check out the links provided by “nigerians china prison” — it’s clearly operating as a set-theoretic intersection. The alternative blatantly contradicts the ‘common sense’ of general Googling experience.

    Neener Reply:

    @nick

    There are a ton of little things that matter in the search. The official google power searching course here: http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/

    explains a few of them. As does this PDF: http://www.powersearchingwithgoogle.com/course/ps/assets/PowerSearchingQuickReference.pdf

    For instance, word order matters. Another — and probably the explanation of the difference between searches here — is that Google also searches for synonyms, if you don’t have quotes around search terms. Both Nigerians and China probably don’t have that many synonyms; while prison has a bunch. If you put quotes around each individual word for the second search (with the prison word) I get 472,000 results. While I get 3,020,000 results for the first search with quotes. (Note that search results also differ by location, so you may get slightly different results, but they should show that the prison quote search is slightly less than the other search).

    Posted on November 13th, 2013 at 7:05 am Reply | Quote
  • admin Says:

    Am I really the only person here who’s morally sick enough to find this Google result amusing?

    [Even cranking up the search to “nigerians china prison drugs crime” yields 3,300,000 hits. Vibrancy shatters set theory.]

    [Reply]

    spandrell Reply:

    Google search is actually moderated manually by an army of hired hands. I did it once, good money but horribly dull.

    You can guess what an army of leftists can do with your search results.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Seems more like an army of hyperbolic racists in this case. (What else to make of the Google report that there are more stories about Nigerian crime in China than stories about Nigerians in China?)

    [Reply]

    Crates Reply:

    “somalis prison uk” = 5,370,000 results
    “somalis uk” = 2,590,000 results

    When you look into the google, it looks back into you also.

    Michael Reply:

    steve sailors wondered how this works often

    [Reply]

    Posted on November 13th, 2013 at 7:49 am Reply | Quote

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