I use reCaptcha to prevent spam comments on this blog. A “CAPTCHA” is a little puzzle that you have to answer to prove you are not a computer. Around the world, people spend 150,000 hours a day solving these puzzles to prove they are humans and not spambots when they are enter data online. The reCAPTCHA program “recycles” this time by presenting my readers with two words that have been scanned from old books that are in the process of being digitized. The program knows what one of the words is, but not the other. In this way, the program gets human eyes to “proof” the work of the scanning machines that are digitizing books. Pretty cool.
So normally the two words are totally unrelated. But today, as I was typing my response to Ani Hurwitz, who thinks social capital markets are a “chimera”, I couldn’t help but be a bit disturbed by the phrase in the reCAPTCHA box: