On knowledge and Google

Looking through my server logs to see how people found the blog is often a gratifying experience. It’s a reminder that there is hardly anything you can write about that people don’t care enough about to search for information on. From “sainsbury’s “isle of bute” scottish cheddar” to the name of virtually every restaurant I’ve ever mentioned, people have found the blog. From song lyrics, place names, event names, current event descriptions. Some of the search strings have been rather odd:

  • how to make a complaint at sainsburys when the security guard treat you like a criminal
  • “brute force” at2 os x
  • “I require access to all human knowledge”
  • buy and sale computation, using nominal rate in phils. setting
  • happy moon pps
  • capital T does not work OSX
  • newfoundlands noral weather in summer and winter

That said, the vast majority of searches are comprehensible and really do relate to something I’ve written about – whether well or badly, usefully or not.

Through this, and projects like Google Print, I suppose that eventually a really huge portion of the stock of written human knowledge will be available in readily searchable form. Whether searching can still be intelligible in the face of such volume isn’t something we can really know yet, though enterprises like Google lend one optimism.


  • The webcam on this site provides a stunning view of Vancouver. It is located above the Burrard Street Bridge, looking across Kits and Point Grey at the University of British Columbia. The sunset shots are especially nice.

4 thoughts on “On knowledge and Google”

  1. “I require access to all human knowledge”

    An obvious Invader Zim reference.

    Followed by the unforgettable: “Insufficient answer, library drone!”

  2. We’ve been having gorgeous weather this week. You’d be in raptures over the light…

    It also happens to be fabulous for playing ultimate in, except for me going all squinty eyed, being unused to the cancer ball in such quantity.

  3. Meghan,

    A large amount of light isn’t necessarily ideal for photography. Usually, what I prefer is warm light (early or late in the day) that consists both of a direct component that produces shadows to illustrate depth and an indirect component to reduce the absolute nature of those shadows. The sun setting behind a thin bank of light clouds is almost perfect.

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