The gnomes at Google understood better than anyone else that the Internet was more than just a big pile of information. It is a big, loosely structured pile of information where connections are based on association, rather than categorization. In that way, I believe, it models human memory more than other repositories. But while surfing the net, hopping from link to link, is much like daydreaming, what was missing was a way move to a specific piece of information. There was no way to concentrate. In that giant ad-hoc pile of info is the answer to your question, but where? Google and the other search engines provided that critical capability, and without them the Web would be damn near worthless.
So, hooray for the search engines!
As a side effect, the search engines also give us a snapshot of the cosmic unconscious. We can see what it is that people are looking for out there. From here, it looks like a hell of a lot of people want to know how to fry eggs, and to read about Japanese g i r l s who wear short s k i r t s in the winter. They want pitchers of the oddest things, and they want to know the ins and outs of X-ray g o g s. Then there are the strange ones.
I occasionally chronicle some of the searches that brought people here to MR&HBI. Because this episode will also be cataloged by Google and the others, phrases I do not want to distract the engines from the original quarry I obfuscate with spaces.
- s w e a t y ass problem
- stories on how the language moves on the Ladder of Abstraction – actually some of the other links were very interesting.
- “crosses by the road” – linked to this. I think I finally have a story working that captures some of this feeling.
- do you lose if you scratch on the eight ball – it depends on where you live.
- tree in the forest does it make a sound – yes, I am now widely recognized as an expert on the deeper philosophical issues. We need to have more nobody’s in forests so we can figure this one out. Linked to another episode like this one
- driving time between calgary and edmonton – linked here, but this is also interesting.
- a r r o g a n t assholes – Second on Yahoo for my description of New Yorkers
- why sneezes in threes – I don’t have the answer to that, but it did connect to a mediocre Chapter One
- forced to smell stepmother’s feet – linked to the stories page, attracted to the frequent use of stepmother in the drivelicious The Quest for the Important Thing to Defeat the Evil Guy.
- p i c t h e r s of dogs – this search is now more common than “p i t c h e r s of haircuts”, but neither sounds too appealing.
- big b a z o o k a s – in this case, the b a z o o k a s were full of beer.
- “Oscar Peterson” “hockey fan” – I like both those things. Linked to the Idle Chit-Chat page.
- E l k poop pictures – I saw e l k poop in Y e l l o w s t o n , but I didn’t take pictures.
- free x-ray pictures beach girls – because you want to look at them from inside as well
- Building an Elevated to the moon – I’d settle for being elevated the first few thousand miles.
- D a r t h V a d e r Bowling Ball – linked to an episode about the travails of Travis
- cerrillios road, nm – a soulless stretch of misspelled commerce in Santa Fe, but a good place for breakfast
- z e p t e r bullshit – was attracted to my Writing category page where I say some unflattering things about the company, but stay neutral on their products.
- The retro into the b l a c k h o l e – here
- diaper-explosion photo – ewww
- Beer Piss Tour linked to the bars of the world category page
- lyrics “we’re not abba” – linked to the Observations category page, attracted to an episode in which I complain about bands doing covers that sound just like the original.
- what would it take to be a rock n’ roll celebtrity top hit, baby! I tell you, I know all about celebrity! Linked to the Stories category page.
- “anatomy of a face” book – not a wacky search string at all, but it reminded me of a chance encounter with a truly beautiful woman, who is gone now. And I got the title of her book wrong. But I miss her, the woman I drank with for a couple of hours in an airport bar.
- sublime “locked up” – linked to a road episode
- g i r a f f e m y t h stories – I’ve written one, sort of, but it’s not here
- sex sparking my mocking pics – wow. Searches for lists of random words that include “sex” often end up on the stories category page.
- toaster cooks eggs heats meat – now there’s a toaster I could endorse!
- j o j o and the slave
- curse words in pig latin – linked to an oddamgay episode like this one
- tweaker chick pictures – at least they weren’t pitchers
- what would go wrong with a blimp – linked to my sure-fire idea for a new sport. Higher on the list was an interview with Bob Denver. It seems he had a fondness for wacky blimp-based ideas. I knew there was a reason I liked him.
- toasty tent – linked to an idea that almost doesn’t qualify as a get-poor-quick scheme. The cold winter nights of the toasty tent are coming soon.
- half baked, ive killed and watched killed – linked to the main page here
- towns from Reno, Nevada to Weed, CA – if you follow the route I took (via Prince George, Canada and Durham, North Carolina) there are lots of towns between those two places.
- “how to make an electric spark” – I had the only hit, for a ramble about my special effects work on Pirates.
Perhaps it is a sign of the changing times, but while eggs queries are still the most common, queries about my little writing app are on the rise. Queries about particular bars are on the decline. Perhaps that means I need to write about more of them.