Algorithm: The Secret Tool Running The World


The 21st century is the age of information technology. Constantly new technologies, new trends are being created that are spreading among us so fast that we can't even keep an eye on them all. Another issue is being brought before us to consider which is positive and which is negative.

Today we are taking on a world that has left the world around us, which in reality has no existence. Algorithms are at the root of managing this non-existent world. The word algorithm means direction. Our lives are being guided by millions of lines. They know you, they are reading me. We are exposing ourselves to them. Knowing all our weaknesses, our preferences. That means they can lead to this huge population in a certain direction if they want.

Let's talk about social media. It is deeply ingrained in our lives. Nowadays, people of almost all ages can be seen on Facebook. Besides, there is YouTube and Instagram. The use of social media is increasing day by day in the world, along with the users. With the growing chaos, hostile attitudes towards each other are being created; People are getting divided, unwanted activities are being created, wrong information is being spread, many lives are being lost.

Why? There are a lot of positive-negative aspects of social media, and these aspects are being addressed. Those who have created or are managing these aspects have not created them in a negative way. But its effect seems to be breaking all the dams. Unknowingly we are stepping towards darkness. Many more algorithms are being developed to remove darkness. That means we no longer have the ability to control this virtual world. 

Algorithm - Definition and History

As stated in the beginning, the word algorithm means direction. When we see the word, we don't look back, we think it is complex, we think it is only used in mathematics and science. But in fact, the algorithm we are using is always. Algorithms are the steps or instructions to solve a task. Just looking at the algorithm below will give you a rough idea.

Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi
Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi

We think algorithms have started to be used in the modern world. But the use of algorithms has been going on for millennia. The mathematician Muhammad ibn Musa al-Khwarizmi first used the term algorithm in the ninth century. He wrote a book on Hindi-Arabic numerals, which was later translated into Latin. The word "algorithm" comes from the Latin word "algoritmi".

The first algorithm was used by the Babylonians according to historical records and archeological patterns. They used algorithms to calculate the square root value and very simple. Euclid invented his 'Euclidean Algorithm' around 300 BC. In the following centuries, the Islamic world worked with more complex cryptanalysis, encryption, and cipher algorithms.

However, the origins of modern algorithms date from the middle to the end of the Industrial Revolution. Then George Buley discovered binary algebra which is the basis of modern computers. Ada Loveless then created the first computer program in 1840 through which algorithms entered the modern world. But the first person to take the algorithm to a unique level was Alan Turing. The addition of the Lamda Calculus to the Alanjo Church then paved the way for modern computer science.
Tea making algorithm
Tea making algorithm

Use of algorithms in Technology

It has been said from the beginning that those who first created the algorithm never had a negative aspect in mind, they never thought that the algorithm they created would have such an impact on the world. It goes without saying that algorithms have made our lives easier. So this time we will tell the story of some algorithms, which are the driving force of the technology world.


Google Page Rank

Nowadays if we need to know anything we google it. From millions of results, Google brings us the desired result, which takes less than a second to figure out. This is possible because of the algorithm.

The rise of the Internet has created huge databases, containing billions of pieces of information. These databases are spread all over the world. And search engines are needed to find information from these databases.

Google has brought us results right now with the help of its page rank algorithm, but Google has had to work hard to get to this stage. Larry Page and Sergey Brin invented this algorithm in the late nineties to index and rank webpages, which were later used in their new Google search engine.
Use of algorithms in technology

With the help of this algorithm, Google considers which pages are more reliable, if a site has more such reliable pages then Google gives it a score and puts it ahead in the rankings. Initially, the page rank algorithm gained a lot of popularity, now it is so important that a whole industry has been created with page rank, which is called search engine optimization or SEO. As a result of this algorithm, Google is at the top of the search engine today and has become so popular that the word Google has become a verb in just eight years since its inception. PageRank is currently one of Google's 200 website measurements, but it was the main driving force of search engines.


Encryption system

We share a lot of information online every day. This includes passwords, mobile numbers, emails, credit card information, WhatsApp messages, or calls. These are done through the internet i.e. network. How would you feel if someone could read your messages or calls through another device, like the old-fashioned double line telephone? You probably don't want that to happen.

This is where the encryption system comes in. Your data is translated into sign language by an algorithm that reaches another device over a network. As a result, even if someone finds this information in the middle, they will never find its meaning. The encryption algorithm of most programs is changed frequently so that no one understands. These algorithms are made with complex mathematical arrangements.

Around 300,000 computers were infected by WannaCry ransomware attacks worldwide in 2017. Like other ransomware, it encrypts all data on infected computers using powerful algorithms and demands up to 800 to decrypt. Note that if someone does not create a decryption tool, it is never possible to get back the information infected by the ransomware.


Error correction

Different types of storage technologies are used to store information on electronic devices. The most popular of these is the hard drive. An algorithm is used on a hard drive so that the information inside it can be read despite the damage. The constant use of hard drives creates bad sectors and it is no longer possible to store data in them. If there is already any information then the algorithm will take them to another good sector. In this way, even if the life span of a hard drive is reduced by 50%, we can use them.

Error Correction Algorithm is used not only on hard drives but also on every electronic device where information is exchanged.


Data Compression

The amount of information and data is increasing day by day. Huge data centers are needed to store this huge amount of information. But building a data center is very expensive. This is why data compression technology is used. Lately, we also use data compression technology, among which ZIP file compression is very popular. Also when we record a video, its size is comparatively much larger and takes up more space. These are reduced in size by encoding. Let us give an example to clear the concept of compression.

"ABBCABBCABACABACABACDDDBDB" has 26 characters. If ABBC2ABAC3D2DB2 is written in this way, it is possible to write in only 15 characters which are 40 percent less than before. Then think about how much it is possible to reduce the size of a gigabyte or larger by compressing the data.

The disadvantage of the algorithm

The disadvantage of the algorithm 

In the beginning, some negative aspects of social media have been highlighted. Social media has captured our lives today. We value this imaginary world more than the real world. Facebook, Instagram, Google are the online platforms we have been using year after year. We are constantly sharing our attitude through them. If you watch two football-related videos on YouTube or Facebook, you will see that the next time your timeline is filled with football, you can see the ones that you like or dislike very much when you scroll on Facebook.

Everything you do on these online platforms is monitored around the clock. They know when you stop and look at a picture, they know when you're alone and depressed, they know when you're looking at a picture of your favorite person, they know you're introvert or extrovert. They know all about you. And this information is the system that is controlling or those who are controlling but not any human. These are all controlled by algorithms. These algorithms are capable of generating you-me predictions.

Google, Facebook, Twitter, invest billions of dollars in the tech industry. Their main goal is to do business so that more people receive their services every year than before. They come up with new features to capture and attract people, and the more time you spend on their platform, the better. These new technologies have saved us a lot of time, as well as they, have created various ways to waste our time.

Social media is having a serious impact on people's mental health. Diseases like social media disorder, Snapchat dysmorphia are being created, rumors are spreading easily. And commenting is creating violence. Various online portals are attracting people through false news and clickbait and unknowingly creating rumors and chaos.

A huge part of social media is the young generation. They are engaging in various obscene and immoral activities to make themselves popular. If you look at your country, you can see many incidents that have been created from social media. Pornography is rampant on Instagram these days, and young children are fast becoming addicted to these activities, leaving their future in jeopardy. Day by day we are drifting towards a dark generation with depression, anger, and misdeeds.

The main source of income for online platforms is advertising and driving people in different directions. While you are reading a book, a comment notification came to your post. You went to see it and read a few more comments, just scrolled a funny video, you reacted and in between, you saw a few ads. In this way, you spend your precious time on things that are of no use to you.

If these social media algorithms are not intended to be bad then why is this happening? The answers are difficult to analyze, but these algorithms can make our lives easier if we want to.

  • We can put various sources of information based on information in the timeline
  • We can remove the ones that waste our time
  • I can use Do Not Disturb Mode at work

You need to find out which sites provide reliable information and only link to them. And yes, you can't always react to a post or news if you want to. Any of your reactions to reading the wrong information will take that post to more people.

Above all, you move away from social media and mingle with outsiders, hang out with friends, read books. These will make your mind enjoyable. Try to keep every moment in mind, your mind may become depressed even among thousands of friends on social media, but real-life friends can overcome that depression in seconds.

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