Saturday, September 25

What Kansas is, according to Google and KU professor

Attempting to persuade readers of the decline of Kansas under the policies of Governor Sam Brownback, Kansas University political science professor Burdett Loomis wrote this in an editorial titled Burdett Loomis: Brownback’s goals are costing Kansans:

“It’s no wonder that when I entered ‘Kansas is …’ into the Google search engine, the two most common suggested phrases were: ‘Kansas is going bye-bye’ and ‘Kansas is the worst state in the nation.'”

For one thing, Google searches, even the suggested phrases provided by Google’s Autocomplete, are potentially customized for each user, as described on this Google page. Loomis might be seeing results based on his past search history, not what the rest of the world sees.

Second: “Kansas is going bye-bye” is a quote from the movie The Matrix. It’s used along with “Dorothy” as a Wizard of Oz reference. It doesn’t have anything to do with public policy.