Internet Knows What You're Going to Do Before You Do It (And Not Just the Downloading Porn Part)

In a column today which is completely not a puff for John Battelle even though the success or failure of his new web company will determine how much longer Pinch can keep his cousin from the corner office, The Times' David Leonhardt looks at Battelle's concept of "the database of intentions":

The collective history of Web searches, he wrote on his blog in late 2003, was "a place holder for the intentions of humankind — a massive database of desires, needs, wants, and likes that can be discovered, subpoenaed, archived, tracked, and exploited to all sorts of ends."

It's an interesting idea, the premise that search results augur intentions. Just in case it might be true, we took a quick look at internal Gawker referral logs. Based on the most popular search ("Star Jones" PLUS stab PLUS hurt PLUS kill), we'd suggest that the ex-View co-host be a little careful when she's out and about.

The Internet Knows What You'll Do Next [NYT]