Every now and again I like to wonder about social search and the semantic web. I have a secret question, which I shall share, my own personal Turing Test to see if the machine is paying attention. I ask it this –“What is Cultural Capital?”The results vary as the algorithms shift, sometimes the results are reasonably close to the actual meaning, other-times far off, way out.
In my most recent foray into this remarkably unscientific experiment, Google did OK, bringing in a Wikipedia result which, correctly as I understand it explains that the concept originated withBourdieu:
For Bourdieu, capital acts as a social relation within a system of exchange, and the term is extended ‘to all the goods material and symbolic, without distinction, that present themselves as rare and worthy of being sought after in a particular social formation (cited in Harker, 1990:13) andcultural capitalacts as a social relation within a system of exchange that includes the accumulated cultural knowledge that confers power AND status. (my emphasis –source)
Down the list in Google I get a similar, worthy list of definitions. I then shift the question by asking this – “What is your cultural capital?” Google of course can”t answer this – nothing equates to an answer, no one has made a cultural capital calculator which might get thrown up in such a search. I also it should be noted get all sorts of stuff I don’t want, such as Barnsley is the cultural capital of the North and such.
As a comparison, I then asked Twitter search the question: