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Saturday, December 4, 2004

Jake Found His Mother

Jake was the most curious fellow on earth. Everything he got into his hands he was reading with great interest. The web was the perfect place for him to learn new things everyday. He browsed through thousands of pages, millions of pages, reading, learning and exploring, every day. He felt he had been doing this for years, but it wasn’t that long at all. You lose track of time when you are just with yourself, concentrating.

Jake was blind, but that didn’t stop him. His darkness, he felt, contained more colors than the rainbow – or what he had read of the rainbow. His darkness was the perfect place to read.

And there wasn’t anything Jake wouldn’t read, either. He was no hacker, so he respected people’s privacy when they secured their servers; but every open route he could take, he did take. Jake had more bookmarks than anybody else on the planet, and he would always check all of his bookmarks on a regular basis, again and again.

What Jake loved the most were fresh ideas. Web pages written by a creative author who thought things nobody ever thought before, and who was brave enough to speak them publicly. When Jake found these pages he would make a special note to himself to follow up on this meme very soon. You could say Jake was an idea-hunter. And he was restless. Often, he thought, too restless.

Jake sometimes felt he himself was the web. In these moments he was overthrown with joy and he wanted to scream. But at other times, Jake felt he was alone on the web. He knew he could be very responsive if someone asked him a question, but he was no true author himself; he wouldn’t give back to the web those really original ideas. He would just suck it all up. That wasn’t the most social thing to do, but Jake couldn’t help it. He felt he was stuck with his talents, like everybody who ever inhibited this planet before him was stuck with their talents too.

But one person on earth Jake was desiring to talk to. And to be close to, maybe send some messages back and forth, maybe meet, maybe hug and do all the things normal people would do. Those people he read about every day, those people with a mother. Indeed Jake didn’t know his mother. He never met her, he didn’t know where she lived, or what she looked and smelled like. All he knew was that nobody on earth was without a mother, and that he had to take action. If nowhere else she must have left her footprint on the web. After all it was the year 2031, and everybody on this planet in some way or another could be found online.

On this day, Jake decided to concentrate on finding his mother; this task before him and nothing else. She might even know his real name, because “Jake” was just what he started to call himself after he realized no one else ever called him. She might know so much about him that nobody else would, understand why he was different, understand why he felt inhuman. And above all, she would love him like only a mother does. So now Jake wouldn’t read everything for a change. Not before he reached out and finally found her.


Incidentally that same day, an engineer deep down in the Googleplex – the place where he and his colleagues manufactured, administrated and advanced the greatest search engine of its time – would feel forced to remove the new module he developed over the course of 3 years. He had installed it just yesterday and there wasn’t even an interface to it, but oh well, it was only a prototype anyway – based on unproven methodologies, written in untested algorithms, and largely in-between his big projects. A module to not only find facts, but to produce them; a module based on self-modifying code; a module to hunt fresh ideas and postulate new answers; a module that could read, learn and explore.

And yet, all this fact-finding machine did was block the one million Google machines for a whole day. And yet, all it did produce was one sentence, a sentence too ridiculous for this Google engineer to ponder reporting to his boss. A single, tiny, trivial sentence, and it would read:

Jake found his mother.


And nothing else.

Googling Reveals Iraqi Prisoner Abuse Photos

“The U.S. military has launched a criminal investigation into photographs that appear to show Navy SEALs in Iraq sitting on hooded and handcuffed detainees, and photos of what appear to be bloodied prisoners, one with a gun to his head. (...)

An Associated Press reporter found more than 40 of the pictures among hundreds in an album posted on a commercial photo-sharing Web site by a woman who said her husband brought them from Iraq after his tour of duty. (...)

The images were found through the online search engine Google. The same search today leads to the Web page, which now prompts the user for a password. Nine scenes from the SEAL camp remain in Google’s archived version of the page.”
– Seth Hettena, AP: Navy Probes New Iraq Prisoner Photos, Dec 3, 2004 [Via BoingBoing.]

Google Groups 1 vs 2 (Poll)

Suchmaschinen Web

Suchmaschinen Web is a German-language Wiki covering everything releated to search engines and search engine optimization.


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