Having a Google moment

While writing yesterday’s blog post I had what is often called a “senior moment”. I knew I wanted to mention Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what it was called.

Since I was sitting at a computer anyway, I figured I’d just look up a list of his work on-line, and then I’d recognize it. Except I couldn’t remember Neil Gaiman’s name. Which is kind of embarrassing, since I’m a big fan.

Fortunately, Neil Gaiman is married to the indie singer/songwriter Amanda Palmer, so I knew I could just look her up on-line, and that would quickly lead to him.

Except I couldn’t remember her name either. :-(

But I did remember that in 2012 she had a Kickstarter campaign for her solo album, which ended up raising over a million dollars. I remembered this because it was controversial: When Palmer invited local musicians to be her back-up band on stage during her next tour, some people objected. If she was getting all that money from the community, they said, maybe she should start paying those musicians.

So I typed into Google the search words musician kickstarter $1000000 — and the name Amanda Palmer came right up.

The rest was easy. Typing Amanda Palmer husband brought up Neil Gaiman, and then a quick scan of his Wikipedia page revealed Neverwhere.

The entire process, start to finish, took maybe twenty or thirty seconds. And afterward I thought about what will happen when technology eventually allows us to do Google searches in our heads.

When that day comes, what I experienced might no longer be called “having a senior moment”. That little pause people will make, while they access their inner search interface, may end up being called “having a Google moment”.

2 Responses to “Having a Google moment”

  1. J. Peterson says:

    Equally strange is you forget a reference when Google isn’t available, and then the answer floats into your mind a while (sometimes hours) later.

    Manual information retrieval from the brain is difficult:

    http://goo.gl/woZLO0

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