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The Epistemology of Search (05 Nov 2004)
Sometimes itís the fancy pants technology that keeps us from finding the simple answers. Technology can hide as much as it reveals and a lot of hidden assumptions lurk in those bits and bytes. The network now surrounds us, redefines what is known and what is knowable. When we search we feel like we are connecting with so much data, that an empty search means that perhaps the subject itself is null. Conversely, a search returning a rich result set is probably important, and the first few hits are the very most important. These are just a few of the assumptions that underlie our new world of knowledge. But letís take another look ĖSearching for ďTom ChiĒ, I find that I largely dominate the first page of results. But does this imply that I am the most important Tom Chi? From my own research into this very important topic, I must confess that I am not. Tom Chiís range from orthopedic surgeons to kung fu masters, and iíd be hard pressed to claim superiority to a kung fu master. What it does mean is that I am the most technologically connected of the Tom Chiís, and also that Iím probably online too much.
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