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.
I clearly have Google-coloured fingers (is there a green equivalent?) – the fourth hit for me says it was Marshall McLuhan in 1967.
Ahhh .. well spotted Chris. Now thats interesting; like many folk, I am of course quite capable of pontificating about Marshall McLuhan, I have never actually read anything by him. So I must have seen this somewhere else ! It even includes the bee thing.
I found the quote embedded in some other interesting stuff on this web page, which links it to other stuff, including “The Extended Phenotype”, which I have read.
I think the title of this post is going to attract another variety of spam altogether.
Your prescience has proved correct. Reminds me about the conference organizer whose web pages got many more hits after the conference. He tried explaining to his sysadmin: “All I did was put up a page about the proceedings”. Its title: Submission in LaTeX. 🙂
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I had one of them but the wheel came off.
so who was king for 20 minutes?
Louis XIX. His dad Charles X abdicated and he became legally King. However in under an hour he too had signed abdication documentation and Henry V took over. Its all on wikipedia of course.
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