Where there's a Willesden there's a way

Monday, July 26, 2004

RIP Google!

Maybe I could learn a new song on the guitar? Study some obscure train of thought to do with airport architecture, and how far we've come since the nazis first built real airports to that weird blue shed going up at Heathrow?

Or find out when the third series of Six Feet Under, frustratingly trailed under the unbelievably appropriate hookline of The Long Dark Summer, is actually going to be on. So I can count the days. Or do some work-related research, or find a phone number of an information line I need.

Or explore any one of a million irrelevant trains of thought. I can't.

Whatever their reasons for doing it, the MyDoom creators have killed off Google. And suddenly the way I rely on to find information seems, well, fragile. The Internet was designed to survive a nuclear war, and yet without an index, it may as well not be there if I want to find something new.

They're always impressed at work at how quickly I can find a piece of information. They don't realise it's all about knowing a single URL, and just being able to phrase the right search. It's not really something that comes from me. I sometimes think we're going from having knowledge in our heads, to knowing where to find the knowledge. Which is great, as we know more, but it's just a little dependent on technology, electricity and a good connection. Having Google & a dictionary on my phone changed the way I learn things. I don't think "I should look that up", and forget before I get home. Now I look it up. Now. And if I can't remember the thing, I can often recall it faster on my flashy phone than I can by working it out in my head.

Anyway. Gone. And I don't seem to have an alternative. Yahoo!? Doesn't seem to work. Lycos? I don't even know if that runs any more. And Ask Jeeves inadvertantly mirrors Wodehouse's creation for sheer dry inability to give a productive answer. So I'm stuck.

I might look at one of the many books gathering dust on my shelves. And if anyone can tell me when Six Feet Under's coming back...


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