So, I’ve been doing this goofy thing at my other place. Given my readership, I’m pretty sure I’m the only one who notices it, but that’s how these things go. I make yourself happy and that’s all that matters. In the process of this goofy thing, I’ve had to do a little bit of online research. Not much, nothing heavy — like today, I had to verify the correct title of a Jazz Butcher song.
I could have dragged myself across the room, shoved my feet into shoes, found the garage keys, and pulled the correct disk from the now-banished rack o’CDs — which would have required shuffling through a lot of music because I wasn’t even sure what era the song was recorded (there are multiple Jazz Butcher eras, you know). Or I could type “Jazz Butcher Lot 49” into my handy little search bar at the top of Firefox (love this feature, too!).
Before I could pick up, much less put down, my coffee, I had the answer and more. Song title, Thomas Pynchon connection, Wikipedia references. I could have spent ten minutes on research or, as it turned out, two seconds, counting typing time. Had I been inclined, I could have spend hours following links related to a song called “Looking For Lot 49.” I only need the title — I didn’t even have to go beyond the search results.
It’s hard now to remember that we once lived in a world without Google. The pre-9/11 world was also a pre-Google world. It seems like I’ve been Googling (googling — Jim? Official verb usage?) forever. I haven’t, I know this. I mean, I used card catalogs. I used early search engines. I wrote stuff down. There’s something almost quaint about scribbling down a recipe you see on the Food Network when you realize that a few Google moments will turn up the recipe and all its variations. I did this earlier this week when I finally got around to making burgers I’d seen on Rachael Ray’s show — no clue what the show was…I went with name and vague ingredients.
Spanakopita burgers…excellent, by the way.
Maybe in ten years, we’ll look back at Google and think, “Wow, that was cool for the time. Too bad it didn’t…” Or maybe Google will somehow escape the Sony curse and continue to innovate beyond our wildest dreams. Or maybe this is the epitome of search for the forseeable future. Or maybe the verb will survive while the product comes to mean something entirely different.
I like Google. It makes so much of my life easier. I don’t have to search through piles of clipped articles and dusty memory cells to find a reference point. If I’m mid-way through a rant or an article and recall that someone else said something that supports my point, I can find it. And I can also find items that don’t support my point — leading to another discussion.
I don’t mind going in new directions.
Here’s the fine print in case you don’t have it: