Friday, April 28, 2006


Monday the 24th, as I mentioned, was Armenia's genocide memorial day. I meant to note that the 25th is Holocaust memorial day in Israel, but I've been remiss...

On an ostensibly different topic-- do you do image searches? Not too long ago none of the major search engines had this function, but now Google and Yahoo! have this feature. Even Lycos and AltaVista, for the eight or nine people still using them, will do image searches. Now, also apropo of my discussing the revised previous post, I thought I'd share these interesting searches with you:

the 1st set of five is the top five images for "holocaust" via Google image search with the unfiltered, "safe search off" setting. There are three settings, the middle, "moderate safe search" being the default. When I ran that, I got the same top five results. But this is what I got with the third, "strict filtering" setting:

a symbol(!), the Mogen David, doesn't make the cut, neither does the iconic photo of the Dachau prisoners staring at the photographer, while the images of bodies stacked like cordwood appears twice.

I am not criticizing, just observing. I know that the search engine people, at Google and elsewhere are under enormous social and political pressures that tug at them hither and yon, and to some extent these decisions are essentially made by machines. Nevertheless, I wondered why the star and a picture that humanizes the victims of the deathcamps, shows us their faces, were discarded by the setting for good boys and girls, while the image of bodies piled up was o.k. Both searches are from Thursday night, 27 April '06, between 11pm and 1am.