Friday, 25 February 2011

Librarians are what we did before Google

...although I'm not sure there's a 100% correlation.

From Gary Brown's "What did we do before Google?" apparently
We drove to the library, or at least called the library, and asked the librarian to look it up in any of the thousands of reference books she had at her disposal.
But she wouldn’t do it millions of times, of course, which is what is happening on the Internet.
And she wouldn't be answering many questions like
"'How can you tell if your frog is pregnant?' and 'Where can I find an attractive older man?'"
Or worse.

There's two ways to look at this change in the state of affairs. We wouldn't have wasted much of our time searching for answers to silly questions, and would hopefully have developed a sense of what was worth the search and what wasn't. On the other hand, are there any truly silly questions if we don't know the answer and think that we should have one. I guess it's good that we have both now. We don't have to waste time and resources on potentially unproductive searching since silly curiosity can usually be sated with a quick keyword search. Society's time and resources can be better put to supporting the search for answers that might actually help someone.


[ Quotes and inspiration from "What did we do before Google?" by Gary Brown from on February 16, 2011 ]

1 comment:

Andie said...

You're right, there isn't a 100% correlation. It might as well have been called "What did we do before the Internet." More sophisticated search technology is part of the reason (although they have the same in libraries now, too), but I think it's also the amount of disparate information just floating around, too.

Also, you know you just had to look it up, too. :)