Search – and how it throws the wheat away …

Search isn’t really designed to help the searcher.

At the beginning, whilst they were trying to capture our attention, maybe it was more straightforward.

However, nowadays, based as it is on an advertising model of business, it primarily finds not what you want to find but what the advertisers want you to find.  That is to say, it’s not a service you use as an extension of yourself but a tool which gets used – sometimes abused! – by others to channel you towards their products or interests.

In some ways, of course, it still has to manage a careful balance: essentially, between the extremes of brazen exploitation and wholesome utility.

Tending, recently, in my opinion, more towards the former than the latter.

For a short time a few years ago – it only lasted a month: they didn’t like my work, I didn’t like the job – I worked as a “blogger” of SEO articles.

These plague the web, I can assure you; in fact, I’m sure lots of the more rudimentary websites around are set up purely in order that their bespoke links, thus contained, massage clients’ own sites upwards as per the briefs in question.

I even get random requests offering me articles “designed specifically for your blog”, hoping to piggyback on my entirely virtuous offerings.

Relatively virtuous offerings, anyway.

I’ve learnt to ignore these offers.

But it’s all a dreadful pity; all a dreadful shame.  They’ve gone and addicted us to systems of thought and recall which require us less and less to remember facts with personal confidence, and – in the meantime – have then destroyed the original – or apparent – integrity they started out with.

A sad double-whammy.  A great idea, forestalled.  A humanity made dependent on forces which have chosen a kind of corruption.

And all we were looking to do was sensibly discover how to filter out the utility from the noise.

It’s basically the old Spanish editor’s proverb here, which ironically describes the (eventual) goals of most editorial output: “Sift out the wheat from the chaff – and throw the wheat away!”

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