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扔掉谷歌 让我们搜点有趣的结果

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本文摘要:The moment Google announced it was letting users download their entire search histories, I clicked — and downloaded a cache of 128,948 searches, the sum total of my last 12 years, five months, one week and three days online. I fully expect


The moment Google announced it was letting users download their entire search histories, I clicked — and downloaded a cache of 128,948 searches, the sum total of my last 12 years, five months, one week and three days online. I fully expected to be reminded of those repeated requests for ‘‘Finnish gymnastics’’ and ‘‘comorbidity of insomnia and brain lesioning,’’ but what surprised me was how regularly I searched for other search engines: ‘‘alternative search engines,’’ ‘‘alt search engines,’’ ‘‘search engines that aren’t Google,’’ ‘‘search engines better than Google.’’谷歌(Google)刚一宣告用户可以iTunes原始的历史搜寻记录,我就去点了——于是iTunes了128948条搜寻内存,这是我过去总在网时长——12年5个月1周零3天——的搜寻量。我期望着被一些反复的词条警告:“芬兰体操”、“嗜睡共病与脑损伤”。

然而让我深感吃惊的是,我搜寻其他搜索引擎的频率竟然如此之低:“其他搜索引擎”、“替代搜索引擎”、“除谷歌以外的搜索引擎”、“比谷歌好用的搜索引擎”。That’s how I first found my way to Mystery Google, a site that within a year of its introduction in 2009 rebranded itself as Mystery Seeker, the name under which it still operates. The site, in any iteration, has always been an enigma. It’s not clear who founded it, or who runs it, or whether it changed its name because Google threatened legal action or just acquired the domain. By contrast, what the site does is remarkably transparent. You type what you please and click Search; what you get in return are the results for the last query given to the site.我就是这样找到了“Mystery Google”。

它上线于2009年,在将近一年时间里新的做到了品牌推展,改名为“Mystery Seeker”,现在也还叫这个名字。不管叫什么,这个网站仍然都是一个谜。

创立它的人不得而知,运营它的人不得而知,更加不告诉改名是否是迫使谷歌的法律威胁,还是谷歌吞掉了这个域名。与此相反的是,这个网站的工作机制很更容易解读。用户随意敲打进来什么讨厌的东西,页面“搜寻”,接到的结果是网站接到的最后一个搜寻催促的结果。For example, just now I typed “Who runs Mystery Seeker?” and received results for ‘‘lesbian kittens’’ — apparently the request of the user just before me. The site is an exercise in collective perversion, an antisocial yet communitarian prank. You have to give before you receive, so while I began every session trying to baffle the subsequent seeker, I always ended up off-site, having been outclassed by a stranger: pages on Lincoln-assassination conspiracy theories, Nazi time travel, Mesoamerican apocalypse prophecies and, inevitably, pornography.荐个例子,现在,我打进“运营Mystery Seeker的人是谁?”,接到的结果是关于“同性恋者小母猫”的搜寻内容——似乎,我之前的一个用户搜寻了这个词条。


Whenever the results I got were smutty, or racist, I’d respond — I flattered myself that I was responding — by searching for ‘‘feminism’’ or ‘‘peculiar institution.’’ If I got results pertaining to ‘‘Mad Men’’ or ‘‘The Office,’’ the next search I’d log would be for Shostakovich or Goya. These were feeble, futile gestures, of course, self-congratulatory exercises in compensatory karma. I was telling my successor to get some culture. I should’ve been telling myself to get a life.只要获得荤一点的结果,或者种族主义的,我都会对此——我让自己实在我是在对此——通过搜寻“女性主义”或者“奴隶制度”。如果我获得了《广告狂人》(Mad Men)和《办公室》(The Office)的搜寻结果,我的下一条搜寻不会是“肖斯塔科维奇”或“戈雅”。这些是羸弱而又无意义的行径,当然,也是一种自吹自擂的自作自受。

我是要告诉他我的下一位,有点文化吧。只不过我也应当告诉他自己,有点生活吧。At the same time, I was investigating the more practical, or just more traditional, alternatives to Google: Bing (owned by Microsoft), Yahoo (operated by Google back then and by Bing now), Info.com (an aggregator of Yahoo/Bing, Google and others) and newer sites like DuckDuckGo and IxQuick (which don’t track your search history), Gibiru and Unbubble (which don’t censor results) and Wolfram Alpha (which curates results).与此同时,我显然在深入研究更为简单,或者说更为传统的谷歌替代品:微软公司所有的合于(Bing),以前由谷歌运营而现在归入合于的雅虎(Yahoo),雅虎、合于、谷歌和其他引擎的子集品Info.com,还有一些新的一点的网站,如DuckDuckGo和IxQuick。


IxQuick不记述用户的搜寻历史,另外还有Gibiru和Unbubble,不审查结果审查,以及对结果展开选曲处置Wolfram Alpha。They were all too organized, too logical — the results were all the same, with only slight differences in the order of their presentation. It seemed to me that the Search Engine of Tomorow couldn’t be concerned with the best way to find what users were searching for, but with the best way to find what users didn’t even know they were searching for.不过这些都过于过组织化、逻辑化,它们的搜寻结果都差不多,仅有在展出的顺序上有细微差别。

对我来说,未来的搜索引擎不是去搀和着研究什么最差的方式,以告诉用户在搜寻什么,而是去研究用户自己都不告诉他们在搜寻的东西。Among the more entertaining challengers was Bananaslug.com: You type in a word and choose a category — Archetypes, Colors, Emotions — from which the site selects its own word to search in tandem. For instance, I typed in ‘‘Guantánamo’’ and chose the category Jargon Words; the site appended the word ‘‘parse.’’ The results of this collaboration comprised two types of hits: op-eds about the effects of closing the Guantánamo Bay prison and op-eds about the effects of keeping it open. Both sides found the future difficult to parse.不存在一些极具娱乐精神的挑战者,Bananaslug.com是其中之一:你敲打进来一个词,自由选择一个种类——原型,颜色,情绪——从你自由选择的种类里,这个网站不会自由选择它自己的关键词来变换搜寻。


两边都实在未来很难分析。Millionshort.com elides the top 100, 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 or one million results of your search, providing more direct connection to less popular chatter. Wackosearch.com determines pertinence by impertinence: Search for “surrealism,” and get sites for the I.C.B.E. (the International Center for Bathroom Etiquette) and an online pregnancy test; search for “socialism,” get sites called Corpses for Sale or Create Farts, and feel proud that in America even irrelevancy is calculated — and while that irrelevancy is free, its method of calculation is proprietary.Millionshort.com则不会忽视用户搜寻结果的前100、1000、10000、10000或1000000个,这样,它获取了一种联系,让用户认识到不那么风行的话语材料。Wackosearch.com则以不合理性定义合理性:搜寻“超现实主义”,获得国际洗手间礼仪中心(the International Center for Bathroom Etiquette),还有,一个线上分娩测试;搜寻“社会主义”,获得“待售死尸”(Corpses for Sale)和“制屁”(Create Farts)网站,然后你还不会深感自豪,因为在美国,连非涉及结果都被计算出来了。虽然非涉及结果是免费的,但这种计算方法是有专利的。

Today, most search engines can differentiate among the meanings of “free,” though I’m not always convinced their users can. Google might cost nothing to use, but it compiles dossiers on consumers that it charges advertisers to access. The hope, and the pleasure, of tinkering around with nonsensical search engines has always been the generation of nonsensical data: a man (me?) clicking links for what he doesn’t need or want (latex lederhosen?) can’t be marketed to. There was joy in this, a pubescent pride in having jammed the system and evaded its consequences. This was recreation as political act — or so it seemed.如今,许多搜索引擎都可以区别“免费”这个词的多种含义,虽然我并不实在他们的用户都能辨别其中的差异。用于谷歌有可能会花上任何钱,但谷歌整理了关于用户的偷窥数据,并以这种档案的相似性向广告商要价。改动这些无意义的搜寻结果的体验和期望在于,产生出无意义的数据:一个页面了他并不需要或者想(上胶的皮短裤?)的链接的男人(我?),无法沦为市场推广的目标了。这其中自有幸福,就看起来一种青春期时期的自豪,给系统添点木栅,并逃出后果。

也看起来类似于政治不道德的一种玩乐——或者,看起来是吧。But as I immersed myself in the workings of search as research for a novel, I became disabused of the idea. My mode of protest was too quixotic: A number of the alt-search engines I’ve mentioned are built on the Bing platform, or are ‘‘Powered by Google,’’ according to the tagline that such sites are required to display. After all, the biggest companies have the best algorithms; smaller sites merely engineer filters and tack their humor on.不过,随着我渐渐像为一本小说做到研究一样沉浸于在这些搜寻的运营原理中,我开始不这么信任这种点子了。我的镇压模式过分夸张:从网站上被拒绝表明的标语中可以看见,好几个我提及的替代的搜索引擎,只不过是在合于上创建的,或者由谷歌反对的。总之,仅次于的公司享有最差的算法。

小网站仅有需要做到些过滤器,然后带入他们自己的诙谐。Even if the joke was on me, I liked it all the same. Besides, it was worth it for the education. I enjoyed the laughs; let them enjoy the data.就算我自己出了一个笑话,也还是乐此不疲。