Friday, November 14, 2008

The Road To Nowhere

One thing I enjoy about about the web is google search and the nonlinear connections it can make on any given subject. I can be lazy at times and I often find myself using google search to spellcheck a specific word instead of actually clicking on the spellcheck function of a given application. (Ultimately this may be more work in the end but that's not the point). This leads to some interesting websites that stimulate my thinking, and on occasion forces me to question the motivation of human beings. One word that brought much joy to a google search was "definitely". The search results for this word listed a very interesting site.

Not only was the site helpful in providing me with all of the ways not to spell definitely, the publisher of the site was thoughtful enough to inform me that Sylvia Brown is definitely not a psychic. Not only do I not care who Sylvia Brown is, I don't have any interest in psychics, but google has played a role in sparking some kind of nonlinear interest that I've surrendered all cognitive control over. As I dig deeper it becomes obvious that someone has an agenda with Sylvia Brown because the site is really a funnel to drive traffic to Reading through this site not only do I start to question the motivation of a Mr Robert S. Lancaster, who is the creator of the site, I start to question my own motivations.

Why do so many subjects that we come across online suddenly interest us that we wouldn't waste one second pondering offline? Is it because it's so easy to point and click? Is it pure entertainment? Is it because someone has created an online experience with passion about a particular subject? Or has search become the greatest nonlinear organizational tool and exploring these connections is just a natural part of trying to understand how the web is organized? Or am I just addicted to chaos?

In any case I've finally had the word "definitely" ingrained into my brain thanks to google search being used for something it wasn't really designed for and a passionate individual who has a bone to pick with a psychic.


Nora said...

I Google search everything. It's like an illness, especially now that I have a Blackberry. I am obsessed, and like you, I enjoy the sort of tangential information it generates.

Patrick said...

An illness indeed. What's one more right? :)