Google is fluid and ever changing. It’s always trying to improve itself. Yes, I’m talking about it like it’s a thing. It’s The Blob.
The way Google works in the now is not necessarily the way it worked in the before.
For example, one day I noticed that entering certain words would provoke a dictionary response on the top of search results.
Response: a story, poem, or picture that can be interpreted to reveal a hidden meaning, typically a moral or political one.
Hey. Thanks, Google. That’s kind of sort of useful if I’m in the mood for a dictionary type response. A little down-arrow is included so the box can be expanded to see things like additional definitions, word origin, translations, and even a cute little chart of “usage over time.”
Then, yesterday, I decided to try the function again, this time for the word “interstellar.”
My God. It’s full of commercials.
The dictionary box was gone. Almost like it never existed. In its place was a box entitled Showtimes. Yes, that’s right, Google. Good job. Interstellar is also the name of a movie. You figured it out.
The right side of the page was also transformed. What used to be blank space was now essentially a big advertising poster for the movie. There’s a thumbnail photo, a series of reviews (it really is full of stars) and other info about the movie. A way to jump to posts on Google+ was thoughtfully provided, thumbnails of the cast and, last but not least, a section called “People also search for.” (This last one I like to call Who Gives A Shit?)
Very interesting, of course, except for that fact that none of this was what I actually wanted. Google excels at this.
I carefully checked the rest of the page. Perhaps tucked away in a corner of the screen there’d be a way to ask for the dictionary? Nope. Nothing.
It was almost as if the dictionary box had been erased. From existence. And magically replaced with Biff Tannen’s Pleasure Paradise Casino. Great Scott! This is heavy!
So what happened? Just like that alternate timeline (which Marty and Doc eventually repaired) Big Daddy Google has come up with a clever system of analyzing words based on money.
The proprietary Google algorithm looks something like this:
is search term a big money word, something that can be sold
if yes, show results_monetized()
if no and it’s a dictionary word show the dictionary_box() followed by results()
if no and it’s not a dictionary word, show our bastardized rip of a wikipedia entry followed by results() including a link to the real wikipedia page
I know this is complicated programmer-style pseudocode but that’s essentially how it works.
Sooner or later this will happen to every word in the English language dictionary and Google will cease to be a valid source of information and will exist only as a shill, much like a carnival barker on the midway. This process is known as the google stomp. Given enough time Google will have about the same meaning as a highway billboard that advises, “Eat at Joe’s.”
Spend $120 on a game and you just might win a piece of crap made in China that’s worth fifty cents. That’s a Google-sized bargain. This is our inevitable future.
Technology and continuous improvement. Is there anything better? Kaizen!
Obviously that motherfucker sells like hotcakes. Because, we needs it.
The company (heretofore known as the Company), however, has an “agreement” that, somehow, you (heretofore known as the Schmuck) accepted simply by buying their product. Clever how that shit works.
When the time is right, pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the Company fully asserts the “absolute right and power, in its sole discretion and without any liability to Schmuck whatsoever, to cease all beeping operations of the widget, without prior notice, in perpetuity throughout the universe, known and unknown.”
Why the fuck would anyone ever agree to terms like that? Ultimately, giving someone money is giving them the power to fuck you.
I wonder how agreements like these worked in colonial times?
“Hey, Washington, I find myself in need of another one of your colonial-era chairs whittled by hand from a block of solid cherry. This will complete my collection. Anon my family will finally be able to break bread and conduct fellowship, at the same time, around hearth, heart and dining room table.”
“Hey, Adams, you useless pustule of a puke. Don’t talk to me about it. Talk to my corporation.”
“By George, what the hell is a corporation?”
“Allow me to don ye olde corporation hat and assplain it you. It’s Step #1 in fucking you red, black and blue.”
“Now then, I direct you to focus your attention on this. I agree to sell you quantity one of Whittled Cherry 9000 and you give me 5,000 quid of two bits. Furthermore, be it known, that I alone will always decide who may sit – or not – on said chair, if ever.”
“Holy shit. That sounds like an awesome deal to me. I can’t give you my quid bits fast enough. Here, take my money! God, I love you so much, George. That’s another one I owe you. You accept tips, right? Here, try a pint of my latest brew!”
“Why the hell do we still measure things in English measurements, like pints? Gods ye fools! Ha ha ha ha ha!”
“Okay, whatever. Here’s your chair, puke face. Just never sit on it. Now fuck off, ye pukey puke.”
“If only Yelp! had been invented by now, I would herald the news of your beneficence to all the land, from sea to shining sea!”
Indeed. Think Adams sounds like a schmuck? I advise you to check your credit card agreements, especially the section pertaining to “binding arbitration.” You should love it because you agreed to it!
Ha ha ha, you pustule of a schmuck.
Without further ado, I am pleased to introduce… um, wait. What’s his name? Whew. Luckily I have voluminous notes. Oh yeah, Fred.
Fred isn’t exactly the hollowest point in the 20-round magazine. Or something like that. So who is he and why is he a close, personal friend of the blog?
Fred was raised with basic values like decency, honesty and hard work. But he wasn’t particularly gifted in any special areas. He graduated from high school, because that’s what you’re supposed to do, but he didn’t stand out academically or athletically, so no scholarships came his way. His parents were simple working folk and unable to pay his way to college.
He doesn’t lie and his word is his bond. These days that makes him a veritable freak of nature.
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Did you know that some people think it’s naive to expect a presidential candidate to keep his/her word? I promise you, this is true! I’ve been called it right to my face. By no small coincidence the person doing the speaking was one of the most monumental douchebags I’ve ever met. And no, he wasn’t even my boss. He wasn’t quite that bad.
As we gather our collective will, about to commit ourselves to the task of voting, I’m here to ask: What is a presidential promise? Why are they made? Do they even matter? Should we even care? And what, if anything, should happen when they are broken?
Consider this: If it is naive to expect a presidential candidate to keep his/her promises, then what’s the bloody point of it all? If that’s the case, what selection criteria should go into your vote? Why not just vote for the candidate you “like” the most then, when he/she’s all legit, expect him/her to do whatever the hell he/she wants?
Take Romney, for instance. Part of his platform is officially “get me in there and then I’ll fill you in on the rest of the details later.” Some might call that refreshing. Some might call it straight up. At least he’s not trying to fool the naive folk, right?
On the other hand, he does make his share of promises, too. The biggest one I can think of is: “I’ll create 12 million new jobs.” Now that’s a promise. Never mind that a bunch of economists predict that the U.S. will create those jobs either way, over the next four years, regardless of which of the two choices we select in 2012.
Hey, I’ve got a promise for you, too. The sun will come up tomorrow. I promise. If it actually happens, does that mean I’m brilliant? That I had anything to do with it? And what if it doesn’t? What happens then? Well, we’ll all be dead and there will be no one around to give a shit.
It’s a classic win-win.
Some Eistein smartypants will no doubt say, “Whatever. A president doesn’t have ultimate power. He’s not a dictator. Not unless we’re talking about Obama, of course. A president can’t just do anything he wants. He needs help from Congress and stuff. He can’t go it alone.”
True. And precisely because of that fact, I’ll tell you how, in my opinion, promises should matter.
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Sure, BINGO is glitzy, glamorous and loads of fun, but it has never been made accessible to the hip under-80 crowd. Until now.
Once upon a time some touchy-feely bleeding-heart bastards had kittens about cock fighting and criminalized that great and wonderful sport. Suddenly the human race was left to wither on the barren wastes in search of another intrepid activity worthy of our abscessions.
If you’ve been pining for the next great bird-oriented sport, well, wait no longer! Your prayers have been answered! No more living on a wing and a prayer.
Is the sky falling? Nope. It’s just Chicken Little. And he’s here for a very good reason.
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I shall swallow irritation to cause infuriation, exasperation, and with any luck, a pulsation of altercation.
Thanks for witnessing this commination demonstration.
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