Saturday, 30 July 2011

Google - How to get information from one place to another without passing through the brain

I just read a Twitter post by the very smart Darren Ewing (follow him - he's an interesting guy!/sadknob ).
Do you "know" the answer? does not mean you can "google" it, fucking punk idiot kid retard. Anybody can google it fucking lazy idiot kid.

This reminded me of something that I used to say when I noticed that kids' homework had been copied from a piece of text that they had Googled. My mantra was that they had moved information from one place to another without it actually going through their brain. It is possible to put together an article without understanding half of what is written simply by Googling a subject and then copy and pasting the resultant text. At no point does that information pass through the 'writer's' brain.

Recently I looked at a review of the latest Harry Potter movie. Not because I give a rat's arse about Harry Potter, but because I was told that the review on a blog was an example of the author having created something. What I found was some original writing liberally sprinkled with passages that had been copied from other reviews. Googling the passages revealed that there are dozens of similar reviews out there all using the same words. While some of them are probably syndicated there are a whole lot more where the 'writer' is simply too lazy or too thick to write something original and containing something worthwhile. And, what do you do if you're too lazy or thick - you use Google. This reminds me of the quote - "Your work is both good and original. Unfortunately the part that is good is not original and the part that is original is not good...".

As an example, try Googling the following passage from the review that I read -
"Rickman is captivating in the role, with his droll, deadpan delivery that oozes condescending menace".
When I checked there were 2,350 occurrences of this phrase found by Google (I guess it'll be 2,351 now that I have wriitten this). So that is one original thought and a whole lot of copying.

Now, I love Google and I love the power of the internet, but only when used as a way to increase knowledge. If all that is happening is that one original thought is being plagiarised then we're doomed to degenerate into a society of lazy idiots.

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