Macro view of search engines and information
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Joined: 26 Sep 2003
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The comes out with yet another, dare we say it, intelligent article, in the guise of being a review of the new MSN search engine.
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Precious little of the "world's information" is even written down. Much of is it encoded in enduring transmission mechanisms such as music, the visual arts, religion and myths, for example. And almost all of the stuff that is written down isn't ever going to be accessible through the public internet for very practical reasons. You can get some of this piped into your computer if you're lucky enough to belong to a local library, but that's because a consensual social mechanism has been invoked to bypass such restrictions. What the internet's public search engines are left to work with is a toxic wasteland largely characterized by the generation of real time noise - both private and commercial - and what the machines churn out in answer to our hopeful "queries" isn't of much use to the rest of us.

To technologists, the solution is obvious: it's either going to require either a technical fix, or some huge change in social behavior, the creation of a world where we're all moored to our computers twenty four hours a day, so making society conform to the limitations of today's machines. But we all know this isn't going to happen. Fortunately, there are better ways out of this conundrum. [full article]

You have to love it, jump out of the mindset for a second and take a quick peak at reality. That's an almost taboo thing to do in the computer world.

Regarding the MSN search engine:
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Microsoft has produced a search engine that's better in almost every way than Google, except for one: its search results are terrible.

Now we can't agree with this, our sites do great in it, so it's a great product, we love it, and wish the beta would go live right now. As you probably know, when your sites do well in a search engine it's a good thing.
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