Friday, January 7, 2011

Google Instant Search Will Make Your Head Explode

How do I know this? Because it happens to me every, single, fucking time I use Google since they've instituted their "Instant Search" browser. OK, so not literally. But I'm pretty sure that Google Instant Search is actually a secret plot to thin out the Earth's population since every time I or anyone I know uses it, it clearly shaves seconds off of our lives in straight up stress. And when you're fucking GOOGLE, those seconds really add up.

So what is it about Google Instant Search that pisses me off? What doesn't? But at the top of the list has GOT to be the whole "as I'm typing and Google Instant Search is thinking for me, it fucks up my typing by guessing what it is I'm about to type and making what I'm ACTUALLY planning to type not make the cut". Because by my anecdotal evidence, Google Instant Search NEVER FUCKING GUESSES CORRECTLY! So it COSTS me time, Google ASSHOLES! IT FUCKING COSTS ME TIME!

How ironic. This from Google's helpful page wherein Instant Search's vast array of advantages is detailed. Oh, and I'm going to equally "helpfully" pick them to pieces.

Faster Searches: By predicting your search and showing results before you finish typing, Google Instant can save 2-5 seconds per search. WRONG! Here's the thing, as stated above: this has NEVER worked for me and only bungles the search criteria I'm typing in WHICH I FUCKING ALREADY KNOW! Also, whose life is so crammed with activity that the savings of, by Google's own estimation, FIVE FUCKING SECONDS makes a measurable difference? To that I say: Hey asshole, if you actually believe that five seconds per search is slowing down your life I'm pretty sure that you're either a meth addict or a hallucinating mental patient. Sorry to break it to you this way.

Smarter Predictions: Even when you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for, predictions help guide your search. The top prediction is shown in grey text directly in the search box, so you can stop typing as soon as you see what you need. WRONG! Um, I don't particularly NEED predictions that can outthink me. That's just plain creepy. I mean we all saw (and were terrified by) the dystopian future depicted in 2001: A Space Odyssey where HAL kind of took it upon himself (itself?) to make "smarter predictions" to Dave. We know where that ended up. And while I'm on THIS particular gripe can I also mention the DROID for Verizon Wireless whose actual SELLING POINT is to illustrate how the DROID actually is a couple of nanobytes away from being HAL? I mean, really, a couple of nanobytes...sheesh.

Instant Results: Start typing and results appear right before your eyes. Until now, you had to type a full search term, hit return, and hope for the right results. Now results appear instantly as you type, helping you see where you’re headed, every step of the way. WRONG! Again, see above tirade about Google Instant Search "helpfully" providing that NORMALLY WRONG set of results based on what it "thinks" you're trying to search for. Not helping, Google nerds, not helping at all.

So there you have it people. Google Instant Search dissected. I'm not impressed and actually I'm annoyed since I CAN'T TURN THAT FUCKING PROGRAM OFF. Oh, they tell you you can turn off Instant Search. They helpfully point you to the Google preferences page where there is, indeed, a link to turning off Instant Search. Bromides! What they DON'T tell you, of course, is that you have to do it EVERY SINGLE, FUCKING TIME YOU USE THE BROWSER. Once you close out Google for the day, it conveniently "forgets" your preference request. "Ooooops!" Google Instant Search says, "Sorry but my AI tells me I'm sure you didn't mean to turn off my 'helpful to humans' Instant Search so I'm going to 'helpfully' turn it back on for you. You can thank me later when I'm picking out your mate and calculating the number of offspring you can afford." Can we say: "The Matrix"?

Not me, kids, not by a long shot. I am by no means some curmudgeon Luddite, but I'm going to find a way to outsmart that fiendish "helpful" application before it starts deciding what I'm going to have for dinner and what I should plan to wear tomorrow. Not that I'm paranoid or anything.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Dumb-ering Down of America

As if that's possible...our little experiment in democracy is already pretty fucking dumbed-down, but that's another post. Today's tirade, kiddies, has all to do with the notion that vanilla do-gooders can just decide one day to muck around in someone else's authorship for whatever wrong-headed PC reason occurs to them. I'm talking, of course, of the publisher who is planning to issue a new edition of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and expunge every use of the word 'nigger'. Oh, for the LOVE OF...REALLY PEOPLE? REALLY? This from today's New York Times:

A new effort to sanitize “Huckleberry Finn” comes from Alan Gribben, a professor of English at Auburn University, at Montgomery, Ala., who has produced a new edition of Twain’s novel that replaces the word “nigger” with “slave.” Nigger, which appears in the book more than 200 times, was a common racial epithet in the antebellum South, used by Twain as part of his characters’ vernacular speech and as a reflection of mid-19th-century social attitudes along the Mississippi River.

I am so offended by this on SO many levels that I hardly know where to begin. First of all..motherfuckers, it's NOT YOUR LITERARY WORK! It was written by perhaps the most deservedly beloved of American authors, Mark Twain, a man who, in his writing turned the society of his day on it's head and ironically made them look into the face of their own dirty little prejudices. Mark Twain used the word 'nigger' to illustrate the absolute banality of the word and the absolute banality of those who in his time used it. He clearly was onto something that today's cranially challenged "educators" can't begin to grasp. Namely if you call something by its name, if you turn a brightly lighted mirror onto the absurdities of societal prejudices masquerading as "norms", you serve to effectively drain them of any power.

Mark Twain is dead; he can't stand up to this pea-brained little band of sadly mistaken do-gooders and say: "Hey! Keep your grubby little mitts off of my words! I am the author of that book and I chose each and every word in it with deliberation and purpose!" How cowardly, now that he's no longer able to defend his creation, to begin picking it apart in the name of some lame-brained ideal of creative revisionism.

More from The NYT:

Mr. Gribben has said he worried that the N-word had resulted in the novel falling off reading lists, and that he thought his edition would be welcomed by schoolteachers and university instructors who wanted to spare “the reader from a racial slur that never seems to lose its vitriol.” Never mind that today nigger is used by many rappers, who have reclaimed the word from its ugly past. Never mind that attaching the epithet slave to the character Jim — who has run away in a bid for freedom — effectively labels him as property, as the very thing he is trying to escape.

Isn't Huckleberry Finn a better tool as written, for teachers to open an honest dialogue in the classroom about how people use words to subjugate others and how words can offer a direct light into the societal norms of a bygone era? My goodness, books like Huck Finn are historical documents! Should we go back and rewrite history so that nobody will be offended or feel diminished or otherwise disenfranchised? Sheesh.

The larger comment, of course, embedded in this wrong-headed move is that we have become so afraid of looking at truth that even words as written by those long dead are not immune from being hacked at in order to get them to conform to our current appetite for "niceness". MOTHERFUCKING YUCK I say!!

Clearly all of this politesse is absolute anathema to The ABIB, whose very existence is rooted almost entirely in political UN-correctness. So go ahead, whack away at classic literature to your hearts' content, reform everything in the boring, bland image of "Everyone's Happy Valley", but I'm here to tell you it's not right and if we're not careful we'll all be drinking the Koolaid in the name of "what's appropriate". Gives a bitch the shivers...