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Not me! Creepily useful? Or just creepy?

Jim smacked me with this Google screen-grab*:

Claire Wolfe_mis-photo_Google_032113

Anybody who’s ever met me or anybody who knows my famous camera-shyness knows that ain’t me.

There’s another woman out there who shares my name and does some public speaking in her professional specialty (nursing, I think). She’s probably long rued her accidental Google connections with me. My first thought was, What? Is Google now just grabbing photos of any old Claire Wolfe and pairing them with me? I figured that was probably a photo of poor Nurse Wolfe, who would no doubt now have even more reason to hope I get cooties and die.

Then Jim pointed out what media-avoiding me missed: that’s not a photo of any Claire Wolfe. Not Outlaw Wolfe. Not Nurse Wolfe. No. It’s Nazgul Sonia Sotomayor.

Now, much though I’d love to know how Google’s magical algorithm came up with that astoundingly inept connection, I’m wondering even more if it might be a useful bit of misdirection.

Hm. If “they” decide to ship us all off to camps, will they maybe toss Sonia in the boxcar instead of me? If they come to my house bearing Google images to ID the “domestic terrorists,” will they notice that I don’t have chipmunk cheeks or dyed black hair, say, “Sorry, M’am” and move on?

You tell me. Just plain creepy? Or creepy but potentially useful?

Or maybe just worth a few LOLs?


* (If you can’t see what I’m chuffed about I think you can click the image to “embiggen” as Joel would say. On my system, I have to click twice; once to get a thumbnail, then once to embiggenate.)


  1. Pat
    Pat March 25, 2013 4:08 am

    I had to Zoom In to read it – clicking on the image made it smaller.

    Maybe someone was monkeywrenching Sotomayor.

  2. Woody
    Woody March 25, 2013 4:09 am

    Be happy, you couldn’t buy this type of obfuscation. Better that they have decided you look like someone else, and now it’s OFFICIAL.

  3. puptent
    puptent March 25, 2013 4:12 am

    At first I thought that it was a picture of me! But then, my mustache isn’t nearly so full.

  4. Jim Bovard
    Jim Bovard March 25, 2013 6:19 am

    Google rarely makes mistakes. What does Google know that you haven’t told us, Claire? Is there a “judicial temperament” in your closet, or what?

  5. just waiting
    just waiting March 25, 2013 6:38 am

    It could be worse. At least your isn’t last name Santorum.

  6. It's Michael Bane's fault
    It's Michael Bane's fault March 25, 2013 7:34 am

    Follow the links–the picture comes from the homepage for Michael Bane’s radio show from July 2009, which discussed the Sotomayer confirmation hearings. The same page has a link to “Claire Wolfe in BACKWOODS HOME Magazine”.

  7. Claire
    Claire March 25, 2013 7:46 am

    Wow. I didn’t bother following the breadcrumb link trail. But now that you have (thank you), I’m even more gobsmacked. Jeez, if a photo of Hitler or Ted Bundy had just happened to appear on the same page as me, would Google jump to the conclusion that I was a mass murderer?

    I heard Google had been doing some heavy tinkering with its algorithm lately. And clearly not for the better.

    Uh. Yeah. Good thing my name isn’t Santorum. Or that I don’t have a funny mustache or a penchant for … uh. Yeah. Sotomayor is clearly not the worst that could happen to a person. Though given a choice I’d go with Bear’s nekkid babe over Her Supreme Justice Chipmunk Cheeks.

  8. Laird
    Laird March 25, 2013 7:55 am

    Wait a minute. You mean that photo of the lady in the black hat at the top of the blog home screen isn’t Claire?

  9. MamaLiberty
    MamaLiberty March 25, 2013 8:04 am

    Oh me… good thing I had just swallowed my coffee. And yes, I’m glad they didn’t get you mixed up with Diane Feinstein…

    But hey, it might come in handy someday, like you said. πŸ™‚

  10. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal March 25, 2013 8:48 am

    Bear can introduce me to his friend- it’s about time for me to get in more trouble.

  11. -s
    -s March 25, 2013 8:51 am

    I always had my suspicions. Tell us, “Claire,” after you’ve betrayed the revolution and appointed yourself president-for-life, what are your intentions? πŸ˜‰

    Seriously, if you want to get a real case of the willies think about this:
    Google made this mistake. They may even fix it, someday, if their commercial interests happen to align with noticing this relatively tiny (to them) error.

    Now imagine one or all of the TLAs. Think about the quality of THEIR software. Think about their motivation and ability to find and fix errors. Try to estimate the number of people hassled, detained, made “persons of interest,” or worse because some low-bidder contract programmer’s spaghetti code makes spurious connections while data mining.

    They’re drowning themselves in the massive amounts of data they snoop. That makes it extremely unlikely anything useful will come of it. It also makes it nearly certain that thousands or millions of innocent people will suffer.

  12. Steve in Colorado
    Steve in Colorado March 25, 2013 9:29 am

    I think the best protection in the modern world is to hide in the noise. Have a super common name and make sure none of your email names matches well. I have a super common name and none of its variants produces a picture of me. I looked at images produced by my email addresses on one I’ve pretty much abandoned does turn up a picture or two of me but not at the top.

    I’d like to give a long overdue thanks to the immigration officials at Ellis Island. When my great-great-great grandfather (might need one more great), a Russian peasant, came over in the 19th century, his name was replaced with a nice common English name and he wasn’t about to go back home over it.

  13. Bear
    Bear March 25, 2013 10:25 am

    Kent: “Bear can introduce me to his friend”
    Kent, meet Claire. Claire, Kent. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do; it’s probably illegal and physically impossible.

    Steve: “Have a super common name”
    I’ve found that having a name no one can spell works well. Not going into details, but I suspect that’s how someone avoided a felony drug-dealing conviction (no, not me).

  14. Mic
    Mic March 25, 2013 10:59 am

    Claire said…

    “Jeez, if a photo of Hitler or Ted Bundy had just happened to appear on the same page as me, would Google jump to the conclusion that I was a mass murderer?”

    Claire, as someone that does NOT want giant oppressive nanny state government that intrudes into every aspect of your life and ah hem, “takes care of you” don’t you realize that to all the statist that DO want this already think you ARE a mass murder πŸ™‚

  15. Richard
    Richard March 25, 2013 11:14 am

    Sorry but if the internet says that’s Claire Wolfe then it must be. After all if it’s on the internet it must be true. Wikipedia says so.

  16. UnReconstructed
    UnReconstructed March 25, 2013 11:50 am


    Has ANYONE ever seen Claire Wolfe and Sonia Sotomayor in the same place?


  17. naturegirl
    naturegirl March 25, 2013 12:11 pm

    I get teased about my screen name alot (especially since I’m not a hippie)….hindsight being what it is, I’m glad my entrance into the internet world 16 years ago wasn’t with my real name…..I’m notoriously unknown, heh….

    But this is pretty funny.

    And Google needs a good smackdown, it’s getting ridiculous lately.

  18. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit March 25, 2013 4:32 pm

    It suddenly has become clear why you were asking all those legal questions, Claire “Double Life” Wolfe.

  19. winston
    winston March 25, 2013 7:32 pm

    I wonder if someones messing with you…maybe it’s the google equivalent of writing an embarrassing status one someone’s page when they leave facebook open.

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