Google, Sex, and Me

October 26, 2009

Over the weekend I stumbled across a bijou factette. This morning I was about to make this the subject of a Monday Morning Quiz : who was King for twenty minutes ? But then I thought, whats the point of that ? Its just a test of who can fire up Google the fastest. Some days it feels like we have outsourced all our personal knowledge to the internet. I don’t even use bookmarks any more. I just re-Google. A while back I was hunting for a figure that I was sure I had seen somewhere… when I spotted it on Google Images I realised it was from a paper I had written myself several years ago. Jeez. Google knows more about me than I do.

Somewhere back in my youth I dimly remember reading a story by Roger Zelazny in which he said “Man is the sexual organ of the machine”. Curiously, Google has failed me here. I can’t find this quote. If Roger Zelazny didn’t say it, and I just dreamed it, then I hereby take credit. Anyhoo. The idea is that man is one machine’s way of making another machine. Sometimes I feel this is my relation to Google. Within the space of a few hours, I am reading web pages A and B, and writing new web page C. Ideas and knowledge I have picked up from A and B get processed through me and change what I deposit in C. I am just one of many millions of bees flitting around the vast meadow of the Web, picking up pollen as I go.