I had an order from a medical company to translate a text about a new treatment for a rare but extremely deadly disease. (I can’t be more specific because I signed a non-disclosure).

Of course, I Googled some terminology.

And now Google thinks I have this disease and has filled my screen with teary-eyed ads about the importance of getting psychological help and estate-planning advice with this diagnosis.

10 thoughts on “Misunderstood

  1. “I Googled some terminology”

    Something similar happened to me with an article on air pollution (the original translator backed out and I was supposed to clean up what was there and finish the rest). Part of the unfinished part was a table of dread diseases caused by air pollution and I looked up some terms on a work computer and freaked out a colleague who thought I must be really sick…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Взгляд на послевоенное устройство территории нынешней России
    (Статья Владимира Довданова, заместителя Председателя Конгресса ойрат-калмыцкого народа, в независимой газете “Элистинский Курьер”)



  3. I do that all the time at work. But then it’s a hospital, so I think the ad providers have just given up on the lot of us.


  4. Put an ad blocker/image blocker on your browser, and you’ll never see them.

    The creepiest one I’ve seen is that I get a regular alt-health newsletter in my email, part of which is a public Q&A podcast, which I usually follow the link to the transcript of (when it comes out), in case there’s anything interesting. One day, that transcript included a Q/A about male function problems. I have no interest in that topic, and skimmed over it to the next question about childhood nutrition or Type2 diabetes or something. The next day my husband who does not even use my computer, started getting an overwhelming number of ED ads… which he had been getting only in the usual numbers, until that point.

    Perhaps I was getting them, too, but… adblockers. They’re great. I have addons that block nearly all images (and video autoplay, and flashplayer…). I can still look at them, but it’s a two-step process, as I have to turn off two different blockers to get pics to load. It completely changes the internet experience. I see no pictures unless I ask to see them, and this eliminates most of the clickbait appeal. We process text and images very differently. Saves bandwidth, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Doesn’t help with the more subtle placements.

      The old place in Miami was near professional offices.

      Hitting the BBC from there was a surreal experience: advertisements for Maybach, relocation consultants in Dubai, aircraft rentals that are fully crewed (starting at $100k), interesting ways to claim professional training time in exotic locales, and so many DEA controlled substances of the pharma kind that there would eventually be a police raid or someone dropping by to give us our DEA number.

      But the search results in text also skewed toward the outer economic atmospheres as well.

      Seems the You Are Where You Live idea was being pushed beyond reasonable limits to create a posh little bubble of search results and lifestyle choices.

      This was becoming obnoxious enough for real work that the solution was a weekend project: pop up a little virtual private server running Linux and a bunch of VPN software, then route everything down that VPN pipe.

      Then the search results shifted from posh to programming, with the professional training junkets being in Las Vegas and involving some kind of IT training.

      After installing Tor and tweaking it a bit, along with installing uBlock Origin, the situation got a lot better.

      So now if ad blocking gets turned off, we get adverts for crypto firms and interesting places to deposit precious metals for use in conjunction with a debit card that acts like a credit card except that your credit is limited to how much in metals you have on deposit.

      But even if ad blocking stays turned on, there’s a lot of that particular view of the world in the search results.

      Maybe there’s a market for these people to push covert adverts to former rootless cosmopolitans who lean anarchist. 🙂


      1. Heh. I have been very frustrated with search results lately. There’s useful alt-health information that used to be easy to find, but which is now pretty much inaccessible to me unless I can remember what site I read it on previously, and go directly there. Do you happen to know which search engines are less censored? Anything I should know first if I want to try using Tor?


        1. Use “Tor Browser Alpha” on Android for a tolerable experience.

          Running it the way I’ve described is the least user friendly experience you could have: not only do you need Tor running as a Linux service, but you will benefit from having a front-end that filters Web traffic (such as Privoxy), and it has to talk to Tor via something called SOCKS.

          Then in order to get to talk to the Privoxy front-end, you will need to install a Web browser SOCKS proxy switcher so using it isn’t a huge pain, and then there’s all of the other stuff such as WebRTC, cookies, etc.

          Very, very not user friendly and extremely privacy error prone.

          And so try to go for a bundled experience such as “Tor Browser Bundle” on a non-phone OS or “Tor Browser Alpha”.


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