In 1958 Isaac Asimov wrote a short story titled "All the Troubles of the World" (included in the collection "Nine Tomorrows"). It described a world transformed by Multivac, a giant all-knowing computer. Asimov died in 1992, a mere four years before Larry and Sergey started their project "to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful." Below are selected quotes from Asimov’s story (no spoilers), next to relevant imagery from Google.
We started the year with a great fondue dinner and some pool in Buckhorn at the home of our friends Marc and Kris, and some skating and shinny on the pond. We went to Ottawa for our annual Winterlude visit and did some skating on the canal and had poutine and Beaver Tails, as usual. Then we went south to visit Becky’s mom and dad in Florida and did some playing in the waves and lying around soaking up the sun on the white beach at Siesta Key and some shuffleboard back at the Bay Indies park where Becky’s parents have a place. And we headed off with Becky’s family to Busch Gardens for some rollercoaster riding and other forms of assorted merriment.
Meaghan went on a school trip and saw the statue of the lady holding the fire, and had a birthday (something she almost always does once a year). Becky and I went out west because I was invited to be part of a panel at an arts conference at the Banff Springs Hotel. We stayed in a hotel in town that had a spa in the basement, and went for a run down by the river, and had a delicious dinner in a restaurant just down the hill from the Banff Springs that I think used to be the clubhouse for the golf course. There were the usual summer hijinks at the Farm weekend, as we call them, which included the next generation this time — Zoe made a new friend named Fox and we took the kids for a swim in the old quarry.Continue reading “The Ingrams Christmas Letter for 2009”
Experimenting with something called Formspring, which is basically a way of automating a question-and-answer post, and will also (if I understand it correctly) cross-post the responses to a Tumblr blog, Facebook, Twitter, etc. So go ahead, ask me a question and I will do my best to answer.
Editor & Publisher reported this week that the Dallas Morning News (which is owned by Belo Corp.) has done a major restructuring of the newspaper, and one of the most contentious aspects of that re-organization will see the editors of several sections reporting to newly-appointed general managers who also have responsibility for advertising. The restructuring creates 11 “business and content segments,” including sports, health/education, entertainment, travel, automotive, real estate, communications and retail. The GMs in charge of these segments report to the head of sales. A statement from DMN editor Bob Mong called the arrangement:
“the next step toward becoming the most comprehensive and trusted partner for local businesses in attracting and retaining customers and continuing to generate important, relevant content.”
Matt Kelly of the Mirror decries what he believes to be a cruel delusion on the part of newspapers, who have used SEO techniques to accumulate a broader audience — but have succeeded only in attracting “locusts” who have little long-term value, while at the same time cheapening their content and advertising.
Below, he brags about how low the traffic from search engines is to two new sites that the Mirror launched, deliberately ignoring SEO:
Crucially, traffic from search engines is ridiculously low for a newspaper website. Around 15 percent for MirrorFootball and less than 10 for 3am. That means the vast majority of traffic has either come from bookmarks, or a referral from an informed source. We get a lot of traffic to both sites from social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Not recommendations from a search engine, but from a friend. That’s how to grow a meaningful audience.