September 07, 2004

Curious Search

Just about to pick up The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night, a story that is told through the voice of a young autistic boy, and noticed my new favorite blogger, John Battelle, has a great look into the allegory between the novel and search:

I'm not entirely sure why, but this really hit home with me, after a year or so of interacting with the engineers and mathematicians who drive innovation in search. It's not that, as a group or even as individuals, the geniuses behind search are autistic. But as a culture, and in particular, as a product, search certainly can be understood to be face blind in the very least - unaware and/or unable to discern the cues we as users give it.

And there is a certain...coldness to search, an aloof, detached, and passionless side to it, where all things which can be indexed, are indexed, and a certain arrogance with regard to those things or people who don't understand how to retrieve that which is in the index.

I can't put my finger on it in this passage, nor will I try any more than I have, but, in the end, this is why we read novels, to feel that which otherwise we might not even notice.

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