The Meta-Question

I think I’ve been using Google as a search engine from the day Google emerged as a search engine. Which, of course, was there sole business when they did. It was the fastest, most accurate and the least gruesome of all search engines of it’s time. Just this textbox and two buttons (at least, I can’t remember the day the ‘I feel lucky’ button was introduced, to me, it seems like it’s always been there)

So there it was, this mostly white page, with nothing more than that colorful logo just shouting at you ‘let me find what you want!’. Back in those days, I didn’t even think of the Meta-Question. I just typed and found. Even back then, I wondered what good a Search Engine would be if it didn’t Find anything. To me, it was the ultimate Find Engine.

Many years have passed and still today, it’s my Find Engine of choice. If I can’t find in on Google, I’m sure as hell not going to Find it on Yahoo, Bing, Just Jeeves or Ask.com. If Google can’t find it, it simply becomes a question to which there is no answer. I know it told me the meaning of life.

Without Google, my IQ drops at least 20 points. I’ve always said that knowing where to find the answer is as valuable as actually knowing the answer. It no longer falls back on the answer, but how you state the Question. Just asking ‘I need pussy’, doesn’t really get you laid. It however, might get you a kitten though.

But I’ve never asked the engine the Meta-Question: ‘Where can I find it’. Today I asked the mother of all search engines that question. The number one pick as about a celebrity style website. Nah, that wasn’t what I was looking for. So I asked Yahoo. Guess you can find it at Totally Toddler. So I asked Bing. I seem to find it at Find. Except from advertising, I can’t enter what I’d like to find at all.

Concluding, none of the mayor ‘search engines’ actually find themselves. A simple question remains unanswered. Where can I find it leads to dead links and outskirts of the internet. There is simply no answer to that simple Meta-Question.

And if you ask ‘What can I find’, the biggest hit is the wayback machine. So, if you ask the internet what it is you can find, it will point you to the biggest archive of all stuff ever found but never searched for. The question where you can actually find stuff remains unanswered.

I guess that’s why they still call them ‘Search Engines’. It’s about time someone invented a ‘Find Engine’. I know I’m done Searching.