Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Two Problems With Google/ol, one in its capacity as a search engine and one in its capacity as a number. (Infinite Monkeys)


Two Problems With Google/ol, one in its capacity as a search engine and one in its capacity as a number.



The first problem is that, when are you going to use ‘googol’? It seems a bit of overkill to have a name for a number that has no real use in any sort of way.
“I have 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000…
What?!?
How will you ever finish that sentence in a way that doesn’t make me want to punch you in the face?
The second problem is that if you want to search for something that isn’t popular but which could be mistaken for a popular thing, you can’t use Google.
Let’s consider this hypothetical situation which isn’t hypothetical at all, because it really happened.  Suppose you (me, actually) were driving along in your (my, actually) car one night on the way home from the park with your two youngest kids and you turned off CNN because “Dr.” Drew was commenting on a legal case, which really seems outside of his wheelhouse, doesn’t it? But there he is: every time you turn on CNN and he’s on, he’s talking about the law. Did he go back to school after “Lovelines” was cancelled? Was “Lovelines” cancelled? These are questions Google can help you with.
Questions Google cannot help you with include “Finding that song you were listening to when you (me)began this story.” Suppose you (me) hear a song and your (your wife’s, it’s her car)(my wife, actually, but still her car) XM radio says the song is called “One Day” by “Milkshake,” or maybe it’s“Milkshake” by “One Day.” Either way. Hard to tell. Band names these days! I once proposed a system whereby all band names would be required to begin with “The”. “The U2.” “The Pink Floyd.” “The The Beatles.” It wasn’t really a system so much as a random thought I had, but it would have worked. Then I’d know if it was “The Milkshake” or “The One Day.” The point is, if you (no, I’m not going to do it this time) like the song and you make a note and the next day you Google “Milkshake One Day”, which is kind of a weird thing to Google, you cannot find the song because once there was a song about milkshakes bring[ing] all the boys to the yard, and also there once (still is?) a singing group called One Direction and these two things, together, are so popular that they overwhelm anyone who is trying to search for a completely different version of a Milkshake song related to the word One in some way, especially overwhelming people who don’t want to click onto the second page of the Google results or, god forbid, the last page.
Did you (or anyone) ever try to reach the last page of a Google results search? It’s like that physics problem, or maybe riddle, where a guy takes a step towards the finish line and then the next step is exactly half the distance of the first, and the third half the length of the second, and the fourth, you’ve got it now, and when does he reach his destination? Never.  Not even now.  Or now.
Another thing that is wrong with googol, as a number, is that now that Google has become so popular as a search engine, when you spell googol the number, it looks wrong.

5 comments:

Pat Dilloway said...

One or two word band titles really are a pain. That's why I always tell authors they shouldn't use these one word titles, especially if it's a fairly common word because how the hell do you expect people to find it on Amazon unless they know your name? It's like if I want to find Eclipse I'm going to googol the number of results for the second Twilight book and yours will probably be on page infinity.

Briane P said...

If even there.

I probably ought to retitle it? I chose that title before I knew that there would be a superpopularglittervampire book sharing that title.

Andrew Leon said...

The problem with writing the number googol is the lack of the ability to use exponents without doing weird things to your computer.

I did, once, go to the last page of the Internet. You did know there is a last page, right?

Briane P said...

There is? A last page? That's like the end of the universe -- you would fall of the edge of the Internet, and fall for eternity, surrounded by that staticky whine dial-up used to make.

whiteboard animation videos pricing said...

Making an internet searcher which scales even to today's web presents numerous difficulties. Quick slithering innovation is expected to assemble the web archives and stay up with the latest.

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