Conspiracy Theory Letdowns

I have Google Now enabled on my phone. It's a system that, in a perfect world, scans your Gmail and web searches and supplies timely relevant information. For example, it shows the traffic on your route to work in the morning and lets you know if there's a gate change for your flight. What really happens in real life is that your wife forwards you her flight information and Google Now displays her flight so you go to the wrong gate, and it warns you to leave four hours early since for reasons unknown it assumes you're walking to the airport. Why? Who knows, maybe it has access to your banking information, too. Today at work I couldn't remember how many was in a "score," as in "Four score and seven years ago..." so I Googled "score." A half-hour later I checked Google Now and it had walking directions to the strip club Scores on my phone. I was looking at the walk pondering how close the place was to my office, and I began wondering if the NSA algorithms that search our inboxes for terrorism clues are any better than Google Now. Based on my few interactions with governmental machines (USPS self-serve machine and every government website ever), I'm going to guess not.

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