Vertical Search, Knowledge & The Way People Think

Have you heard the term, “vertical search”? If not, you can expect to hear a lot about it over the coming months.

These days it seems people can’t agree on what certain words or phrases mean. If you’re interested, here are two articles which explain what “vertical search” is. They don’t exactly agree!

Why Vertical Search Is Threatening Google’s Reign

The Rise Of Vertical Search

I read about this first, from a third source which I can’t find at the moment. It defined “vertical search” along the lines of AI. Search results would be influenced by your search history…ugh.

Anyway, this got me thinking. I feel that some people have “vertical knowledge”.  That is, they know a lot about a certain thing but very little or perhaps, nothing, outside their area of operation. “AO” as my retired military husband would say. Let me give you an example.

I had a client who claimed she knew herself very well.   She had a stellium in Scorpio. I suspected there was a lot more for her to discover but that’s beside the point I want to make.

The consultation was about relating to other people.  “Let’s say you’re right,” I said. “You know everything there is to know about yourself, but how is that going to help you connect with another person? That’s a whole new area!”

I pictured a tower, long and tall and narrow.  That’s fine, but it stands alone. And this works for an inanimate object, but what if you’re human?

I then considered a group of people I know; groups like this are everywhere. These are like-minded people who unfailingly reassure and reinforce each other. They come to believe that they, in this this circle of friends or other group, have it all figured out. They are always, always, always right.

This seems like “vertical knowledge” to me. These people have no earthly idea what the person next to them is thinking or feelings. The stranger’s thoughts and feelings have been assigned to them but the BORG that is this the small group.

This is an insanely limiting way to life.  Jupiter is what’s lacking here. Broaden your view. Open your mind to the possibility there may other horizons…

Well, in fact their are other horizons! This can’t be denied. Take a moment today to look around. There are so many people and so many things in so many directions. Could you benefit by considering that even if you’re extraordinarily knowledgeable, there are an endless number of things that escape you.

The building can’t relate to the park, three blocks away. But as people, we can move around and see what’s up, down the street or across the country.

Back to “vertical search”, it concerns me some. I can see how “specialized” can easily become “sheltered”.  The machine thinks that you searched for this so you want to see “this other thing“.

Well, no. I want to see the whole menu and make a selection, based on a number of variables.

What do you think of all this?  How did you feel, reading it?


30 thoughts on “Vertical Search, Knowledge & The Way People Think”

  1. Yep, I see this too.

    This is why I listen to both a progressive radio station and a conservative one on Sirius XM. Local radio is ALL conservative talk radio, ALL the time. No voices from the opposite represented because, well, there are no liberals in the South, right? I’m not one, I just have a good dose of Libra and Jupiter in my chart.

    1. I usually listen to and read conservative sites because my state is saturated with more liberal views. But I also vet what I read and hear on the sites I like because you have to. The headlines are not always the whole story.

  2. When I read the words, my first thought was – this is good: I am a person who wants vertical knowledge, like for example I look up DIABETES because I want to know more about the illness, why some people get it and others don’t, what went wrong, what is it doing to your body, how it’s connected to other illnesses, the remedies, etc.

    I don’t particularly want to know, at least not at the moment, which famous actor, singer, writer is suffering from this illness or such things (although I am an air sun sign and have Jupiter in Gemini so this sort of (distracting) information always sticks to me).

    That’s how I saw the meaning in the first two seconds, but I see your point of view.
    I think it’s important that you can choose what you need – sometimes it’s one type of information, sometimes it’s the other.

    1. Thanks for the great example. I see your point of view as well.

      Problem arises when what you are given to define or explain “diabetes” is what? The government version. The PTB version?

      It’s like going to the library to study something and being presented with ONE book. You’re going to learn a lot more if there is a selection…

      Take astrology. When I decided to take this up as a vocation, I ready virtually every book in print (or out of print)! I ordered books via the inter-library loan system, so rare, I had to read them on the premises. I could not take them from the building.

      Via this process, I absorbed a vast array and quantity of literature. It eventually gelled inside me and here I am today.

      Compare that to, “Google says, Mars in Aries…”

      The definition may be accurate but it may NOT be accurate. I prefer the old way. Search a phrase like that and there are pages of relevant results. You had the option to branch out.

      I’ve compared this to chewing food. I want to CHEW my food. I don’t want it served to me, pre-chewed, no matter how convenient this might be.

      You have to work to learn. Handing a person the answer may do them more harm than you.

      Now we’re going to have self-driving cars so we can sit on our asses and look at our phones? I’m really not a cow. I do not need to be transported like cattle.

      I don’t want AI to sift information for me because it will be superficial; generic and such. Think, “no child left behind”. Everything has to be dumb. You’re going to have one hell of a time learning anything real or having a real conversation. People will sound like this: “Tweet!”
      “Tweet, tweet!”

      Sorry. I’m not buyin’ it. Right now I am looking for substance. Just a few people in my life who can converse, freely. I want to be able to tell a joke or share an observation which may not have anything to do with what was assigned by the media for all of us to focus on for the day.

      1. ‘Tis truth.

        I’ve been finding it difficult to get relevant results in Google, for these reasons. Increasingly more so with time.

  3. Synchonicity moment. 🙂 When I asked if I could, please, attend an info session on diabetes – that was so I could broaden my knowledge. (My intuition had whispered that a diabetic might be in my future close aquaintances.) The nurse who said yes was tickled to have a nondiabetic keen to understand more, in her class. That puzzled me, until I realized that my participation made a wider scope for the questions & discussion (unverticalling).

    PS I had to look up AO, and so for anyone else unfamiliar with the term: in military shorthand it means area of operations.

    1. Argh. I meant to say, “a nondiabetic who wasn’t acquainted with a diabetic at the time.” E.g., I wasn’t there to ask how to get someone to change their eating habits.

  4. I feel frightened they are going to limit our choices and limit our minds. I also feel angry and like too many people are asleep at the wheel.

  5. Blame it also partly on the rise of promoting narcissistic-like behavior. Once your ego is the only subject on your mind, f**k everything else.

  6. This has been happening for some time now.
    Very much related to group-think, mob mentality, or MY TEAM VS YOUR TEAM mentality. It’s pretty gross. These echo chambers are having massive effect on our world today.

    I hope that those who have a narrow view start to question it at some point. Comfort is only comfortable for so long. You gotta change positions in bed, but then the bed becomes worn down, and a new one needs purchasing.

  7. Jordan Peterson has a personality test i took a while back. One of the factors is openness, which is basically what youre talking about. And i scored high in that arena.

    Ultimately though, you only have your own experience to go by. Even if you ask the person next to you how they feel, and assuming theyre even being genuine, its filtered through our own perception.

    Now, i think thats where openness comes in. Some people that you liken to the vertical search are going to perceive whats being communicated through a very tight and specific filter. I see people do this with politics. Everything comes back to the point of view of politics. Any topic can be used to bolster their ideas that are already in place.

    Then there are those who have many different filters. The person with the limited political lens, will only see this topic through that lens. The person with many lenses is going to see it from a lot of different angles, including emotional and energetic. Not just the ideas of emotions and energy, but literally look at how it makes them feel on those levels.

    What im saying is that it doesn’t necessarily matter how much youre exposed to because finally, any exposure will be filtered through the lenses of perception. Thats where the confinement or freedom lies. In our own minds.

    As far as the vertical search type people. Well, they identify very strongly with their point of view and their beliefs, not understanding that those things are very changeable and dont define us (except in terms of society). Trying on a new idea is very scary for them because they are so strongly identified with their set of ideas, that it seems like death to that part of themselves.

    Its nothing new either. Theres the eternal battle thats been going on for eons on the battlefield of the human mind.

  8. Oh, Elsa! This concept can be taken to so many levels; to how we are raising our children, how we are desensitized by electronic devices,society and the media. I realized several years ago that when a person goes outside in nature these days; they rarely “see”. Such a simple thing, right? But in order to really see, you need to feel and really see. I believe you know exactly what I mean. It’s so sad.

    1. Yes…I am a gardener. It keeps in touch with life. There’s just nothing like pushing a seed in the ground, seeing it come to life and eventually produce fruit…enough for us and plenty for the neighbors.

      I was going to mention this but opted not to. One of the things I like about social media…well I take pictures of my trees and what not as they come into bloom. My garden as it progresses. In fact, we have a Gardening thread in the forum, every year.

      It’s to remind people of the miracles that surround us.

      I had hundreds of pears on one pear three, two years in a row. Last year I had a few dozen. Isn’t that just the way it goes in life?

      Google / sterile /AI / soulless entities can’t compete with true life experience.

      My son was an insanely addicted gamer. He’s got a (live) girlfriend now and guess what? GAME OVER, lol.

      They’re planning their future life and family now. You’ve got to find a way to keep it real.

      1. I knew you loved to garden but, I didn’t know your son was getting married! How wonderful! Congratulations!!!! You and your family are embarking on a new journey in life! God Bless!

        1. Oh! Sorry about that. He is not getting married, as in officially engaged. He’s just in love and the two of them do plan to stay together. For example, at the moment they’re considering moving to California after they graduate.

  9. This reminds me of the saying: “Jack of all, master of none”, the opposite to the vertical search. To me, I like a good variety of both, specialized as well as jack of all. A good mix grants a variety that suits more than one or the other only.

  10. Great post and comments. I agree that it is to do with Jupiter, the degree of openness and that information/experiences are filtered through our own perceptions. Ask yourself what is my relationship to learning? Can new information that has a ring of truth and meaning for me, actually go as far as to change my perception and shift my world view/s? A good example is overseas travel. In a foreign country where my own cultural values, language, history and behavoir has little currency. One has to leave everything you know behind in order to connect with people and understand their perspective so you can live and get by. The level of learning is enormous.
    The problem with being Right, is new information is always coming in (my north node in 3rd house)so what feels right today will shift tomorrow. This shows my willingness to learn.
    Anyhoo, maybe commenters can post alternative search engines they use other than google and test the same keywords in multiple search engines to see (I hope) the difference in results. xxx

  11. The “machine” seems to be working under a syllogism which would be an “Unacceptable please revise, edit, and resubmit” in my class.
    It is a flawed cognitive process.
    Aries Rising

  12. yes, I can see this is going on. There are a lot of cliques around and I don’t fit into anyone of them because I love to be a part of them all (venus in aquarius)I have tried and I’ve been hounded out, or attracted and then discarded, ignored, categorized, stigmatized. I am the different one (foreigner, child with Down syndrome who is recovering from leukhemia) I try to be a part of everyone’s group because I care and I offer whatever is needed that I can give with no expectation. I am a trained professional I have different experience but I insist on freedom and there is the clash. I tried to be part of a group under their rules but the goodwill energy dried up when I was told where to go etc. If vertical knowledge aims to cage you in to manipulate or control I think it ceases to exist and can in fact become toxic. Jupiter is about expansion but is also about the freedom to expand outside of the box. That’s my experience, but then I have jupiter conjunct uranus in 5th house libra square sun. i just don’t seem to fit into square objects.

  13. What do you think of all this?
    It’s a great subject. Sometimes I think some people aren’t aware as to hjow far this can screw up a lot of things. Everything is made to go the way of simplified and easy, which gradually reduces everything, in form and content. Andlots of young people don’t even know anything else exists. (Don’t even want or need to know)
    How did you feel, reading it?
    I’m a sort of pessimist. I think people will get dumber and dumber, with possible more narrow-mindedness, which can lead to possible more black and white thinking, with more intolerance/hate/agressiveness.
    The less choices you have, the more extreme you might become. (could lead to desperation)
    I don’t know if all this has evolved with intent, or if it’s natural entropy. I mean, did they invent the big G to screw the world?

  14. Maybe AI will back fire and we will all get so frustrated with lack of interesting finds (redundant and perpetuating a verticle search result), we will start going back to the Library!…ha ha. I have been meaning to go get some books at our local one and in the past always had fun discovering un expected subjects or books that were completely off the verticle search chart, just by walking the aisles and reading the spines of books on my way to another section. At any rate we need to stay aware of how this is affecting our minds. I have also been frustrated and bored quite frankly with the internet as of late.

  15. And a great film to see about where this can all lead, in general, “Idiocracy”. It gets a bit silly but the indicators are all there.

  16. Just thinking about this too, even our emotions and thoughts, who we are, are being hijacked by a new language. It’s like before anything can be digested, felt or questionned there is a new lable for things, like on dating apps I read about phrases are being created to explain what is going on. For example: ghosting, caspering, etc. On line and app dating is sort of new so it is confusing I’m sure but on top of it we are being inducted into its world and language before we can make out for ourselves what might be being communicated to us like we need to be spoon fed everything. Here is the article:

    AI will just keep getting more and more sophistocated with Flying taxis, self driving cars, sex robots and robots that do our bidding…all AI related. Is it really bettering our world? I know it is turning it upside down.

  17. It seems like a self-indulgent ego luxury. The person doesn’t have to grow mentally or spiritually. I’m not sure how I feel about it other than I’m glad it’s not me.

  18. i have a hard imagining how this _won’t_ introduce a huge amount of self reinforcing social bias in the online experience. this is why i use a privacy preserving search engine that saves no history… every time i use it i’m a new person. so to speak. but there’s so many different other ways this sort of machine bias could distort our realities to degrees that, frankly, i find terrifying (and this is my field of specialization.)

  19. As I noted above, I’ve seen this happening but I saw it again this morning when I was searching for information on a particular group, a .org, and one which has a very strong agenda nowadays. I searched online for information about the group and lo and behold, it was a one-note song, search page after search page about this group. Not one link from any other news org or group with an alternate story about the group.

    Hey, I can learn all about the wonder things about this group on Google. But really? Is an activist group always lollipops and sunshine with everyone on the face of the earth? ?

    Color me stupid, but I think not….
    Color me highly suspicious…well, I don’t really care. I’ve been called worse things but people who are going to believe they know all about me based on one thing I’ve done.

    Yeah. Google is evil.

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