we are amazing.
look, i just asked google to find information on “peeing in fresh fallen snow”. i know, bear with me.
i was speaking about that a couple of posts ago, so that’s why i came up with such a sentence to look for. thing is, i hoped it would be a rare enough of a concept as to give google search a hard time giving me back any sensible information. i have no clue about the internal mechanics of the search engine, but i was naively expecting that this being an infrequent query, the answer would not be cached anywhere and that a long search process would be run, possibly giving me some random links not related to the semantics of my query at all but to pages speaking of pee alone, or snow. so yeah, i just asked google to find information on “peeing in fresh fallen snow”; and in a blink, the search engine gave me a link to a page at the urban dictionary website which has the following definition:
Urinart: Drawing a picture in freshly-fallen snow using urine
and this, my friends, blows my mind in so, so many ways.
first of all, the fact that the word urinarting has already been created is pretty awesome. secondly, that somebody invested the time to put this information online is also pretty amazing. third, that google was able to handle my weird query by crossing information with all sort of unstructured sources of information out there and that it found this definition is seriously astonishing. fourth, that it did it in no more than 0.26 seconds is ridiculously impressive. sixth, that humans have reached this state of mastery in information manipulation and management, that we do have tools to store, classify and index information in such a cheap manner that not even the most daring science fiction author would possibly have dreamed of just 20 years ago, this is freaking mind blowing.
i don’t know. when i was a kid before internet became popular at around ’95, i would often have to cycle to the public library to physically scan shelves in order to search for an outdated version of the information i was looking for. my great-grandmother, who was born in a tiny village in the mountains by the same time the light bulb was created, knew nothing about the world but what a guy in a black dress would tell her every Sunday morning in form of canticles and rituals.
so look at it with a bit of perspective. we are a ridiculously plastic species.