Day 3: Google for Knowledge

Yesterday may have been a horrible day for avoiding the news, but today was a great one to Google for knowledge. I learned so many interesting lessons today. Ironically, the overarching  theme of the day was that, as much as I love the internet, it does not have all the answers.

OK, I don’t really believe the internet has all the answers, but today I was reminded of its pitfalls and limitations as well as its benefits.

So, not surprisingly, right after coming off the Day 2 challenge (I jumped right in a little after midnight, my time), my first Google searches were related to Bin Laden, his speedy burial and proof of his death, but the hype around the event was too much for my taste so I decided to shift my search to a topic closer to my current home: Yellow dust.

My view without yellow dust.

My view with yellow dust.

If you live in Asia, you probably know all about yellow dust. For those of you who don’t, it’s a springtime phenomenon that transforms beautiful towns and cities into dreary post-apocalyptic ghost towns where the sun doesn’t shine and the people hide indoors.  I was trying to learn about its origin and potential prevention when the most amazing thing happened. I stumbled, completely by accident, upon a great article — written about my current home — by someone I know. Life’s coincidences can be so gratifying. Thank you, Google, for exposing me to the talent of a friend. Read her beautiful words for yourself: Yellow Dust Season: Lessons from South Korea.

I hate to say it, but I didn’t get much further in my search for answers about yellow dust. I’d like to know how dangerous it really is and if/how, I could personally do anything to diminish it. Sadly, I don’t think the internet has clear answers for me on the issue.

Later, my focus shifted to the most humbling experience of today’s challenge: Disputing the accuracy of a quote that went virally ballistic today. It started with this article: Out of Osama’s Death, A Fake Quotation is Born, which I reposted on Facebook with a comment that included the phrase, “C’mon people, we really must stop being such sheep.”

As soon as I posted it, I realized I should probably verify its accuracy as well. I tried, and as far as I could tell, the writer’s claim was correct, until later in the day, when more information surfaced and I realized she and I were wrong. OOPS!

So, today in the challenge to Google for knowledge, I was reminded to be more careful with my words — a lesson I am constantly relearning. (Just ask my friends!) And I am thankful for the lesson.

What interesting things did you learn on Day 3?

Tomorrow’s Challenge: Think Like the Opposite Sex

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3 thoughts on “Day 3: Google for Knowledge

  1. I decided to renew my acquaintance with Carthage. I visited Carthage in 2002 and became fascinated with it. I wonder how many people could even locate it on the map or even recall its significance? However, for several hundred years, it was one of the major seats of power in its part of the world. This reminds me to keep things in perspective. The United States has a very brief history in terms of actual years of influence in the world. Many other civilizations have had great influence over much longer periods of time. We tend to think in the present, and assume things will remain pretty much as we know them. History would contradict that view.

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