Wednesday, May 20, 2009

When Google is no use

It is hard to imagine life before internet search engines. Even Lucy who is only just four, if she asks me something and I don't know says; "look it up on the internet Mummy".
I start to believe in the wonders of the internet so much, if Google brings up no answer, I am amazed and cross and wonder why is this not online? Where is this information? What is going on?
But I've been thinking about things that aren't searchable, some because they aren't there and others because if you do search for them you get things you really don't want and aren't what you were trying to look up. I was going to make a list but I realised there are two main things for which Google is no use:
The first one is stuff that you have forgotten one of the first three correct letters of the word. It brings up a whole of lot of suggestions for what you've typed that wasn't what you wanted. Even the online dictionary refuses to help; "could not be found" . I end up finding an old fashioned printed dictionary, with the cover falling off, in the bookcase and flicking through the yellowing pages until I find it.
The second one is that really cool site, with really useful information that you found a few weeks ago but forgot to bookmark. Try searching again - even with the exact phrases/words you used last time - and it is gone, lost forever in a mountain of information.

5 Favourite Sights Seen

  • 1996 Watching tropical lightning turn night to day, outside a little wooden church in a small village in Sabah.
  • 2004 Flying down the Rainbow Valley at 8000ft in a cessna on a clear blue day.
  • 2003 Seeing and hearing Michael Schmacher rolling out of the pit garage in his Ferrari in Hungary.
  • 2009 Chancing upon 100 or more dolphins just off the Kaikoura Coast swimming around, jumping out of the water, doing somersaults and generally having fun.
  • 2006 Finding a pool at the bottom of a waterfall in the bush at Kaikoura that was full of playing baby seals.