Search, Autism, and the Geek Culture

Those of us who've lived around the Valley for some time know of the correlation between autism, Asperger's syndrome (called autism's "milder cousin") and geek culture. The connection has been the subject of lengthy pieces in both Wired and Time. One of the principle characteristics of autism is what might…

curiousThose of us who’ve lived around the Valley for some time know of the correlation between autism, Asperger’s syndrome (called autism’s “milder cousin”) and geek culture. The connection has been the subject of lengthy pieces in both Wired and Time.

One of the principle characteristics of autism is what might be called face blindness, the inability to “read” people’s faces for emotional cues (resulting in what most would call anti-social behavior). This and other Asberger-like traits have often clothed the body of geek culture in our popular culture – the tireless focus, the need to classify and order everything, to control and to name, to identify and to sort, to count and compute.

These observations were percolating in the back of my mind as I read Mark Haddon’s “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time,” one of the few books which has been universally recommended to me, and honestly, one of the very few non-search related reads I’ve allowed myself as my deadline looms.

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All Classification Schemes Have Bias

As David Weinberger notes. In particular, the Dewey Decimal System has inherent religious biases. I've done some research on Mr. Dewey as part of my book, and he was quite the bigot, it appears. I wonder, 100 years from now, when folks are writing the history of indexes like Google…

deweyAs David Weinberger notes. In particular, the Dewey Decimal System has inherent religious biases. I’ve done some research on Mr. Dewey as part of my book, and he was quite the bigot, it appears.

I wonder, 100 years from now, when folks are writing the history of indexes like Google and Yahoo, what biases will emerge?

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IPO Tick Tock

For the book, I've been reporting the Google IPO story for what feels like years, so I expected there to be some tick tocks (journalist jargon for minute by minute accounts of an event) once the thing finally occured. Here's the first (at least that I've seen), from CBSMW via…

For the book, I’ve been reporting the Google IPO story for what feels like years, so I expected there to be some tick tocks (journalist jargon for minute by minute accounts of an event) once the thing finally occured. Here’s the first (at least that I’ve seen), from CBSMW via IBD. Nothing that surprising in here, lot of whinging from bankers, early investors, and a few tasty morsels from the folks at Playboy, who claim Google did not try to get them to pull the article. But if you’re a GOOG junkie…

UPDATE: Apparently the link was changed and now does not work, CBSMW has it here.

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Judge to Geico: Go Forth, And Sue

Geico's trademark infringement suit against Google and Yahoo has cleared a legal hurdle, and will proceed to trial, barring settlement. Interesting commentary on the basis of the case to be had over at Techdirt: As long as the ads in question don't try to trick users into believing that they…

gavelGeico’s trademark infringement suit against Google and Yahoo has cleared a legal hurdle, and will proceed to trial, barring settlement.

Interesting commentary on the basis of the case to be had over at Techdirt:

As long as the ads in question don’t try to trick users into believing that they are Geico, there’s no trademark infringement. It’s no different than trying to get yourself on the same super market shelf as a more popular brand. You want to be in the same place when someone is looking for your competitor. If anything, Geico should be focusing on specific ads that confuse users into believing that the ads are for Geico instead of a competitor. Speaking of which, Google and Overture should have nothing to do with this case. They’re not the ones who created the ads, but are simply the vehicle for delivering them. If Geico has a problem with the ads, they should be suing the advertiser in question.

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Creative Commons Search, Now In Beta

Doug Cutting reminds me that his Nutch open source engine is powering a beta version of Creative Commons search. This is a great example of a domain specific search application, in this case, the engine crawls and indexes all CC licensed sites and lets you find stuff by how you…

ccDoug Cutting reminds me that his Nutch open source engine is powering a beta version of Creative Commons search. This is a great example of a domain specific search application, in this case, the engine crawls and indexes all CC licensed sites and lets you find stuff by how you might want to use it. As Doug points out, there’s no way the Creative Commons could have built an engine like this had it not been for open source. Cool….

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Killer Workshop Lineup & Loads of News at Web 2.0

Again with the Web 2.0 plug, forgive me, but this has been an obsession lately. As you may recall earlier I posted about the Web 2.0 lineup and asked for feedback on potential workshops. Well, I'm very pleased to say you really responded and we've got 10 already lined up,…

web2Again with the Web 2.0 plug, forgive me, but this has been an obsession lately.

As you may recall earlier I posted about the Web 2.0 lineup and asked for feedback on potential workshops. Well, I’m very pleased to say you really responded and we’ve got 10 already lined up, and they are truly amazing. They’ll run from the morning of the first day up till the main sessions start. From the Web 2.0 site:

Web 2.0’s workshops are designed to be conversations, not lectures. Each is led by a moderator with expertise in the workshop topic, but no formal presentations will be given. Instead, the workshop will address open questions and explore the latest developments in each of these very Web 2.0 subjects.

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Grokking Rojo

Yesterday I hung out with Chris Alden, a founder of the original Red Herring who has moved his focus to publishing in a Web 2.0 world (in other words, a fellow traveler). He's putting the finishing touches on a new publishing platform/feed reader called Rojo (think "mojo") that he and…

RojoYesterday I hung out with Chris Alden, a founder of the original Red Herring who has moved his focus to publishing in a Web 2.0 world (in other words, a fellow traveler). He’s putting the finishing touches on a new publishing platform/feed reader called Rojo (think “mojo”) that he and his team have been working on for quite some time now. It’s moved into invitation-only beta recently, and he gave me a tour. I liked it quite a bit. Think of it as a second-generation RSS aggregator with some subtle social networking, recommendation, and republishing juice.

Chris has asked me to not give away the store, but he plans on introducing the company and its product in full at Web 2.0 in the workshop sessions (more on those in a subsequent post). Chris said he’d try let as many Searchbloggers as he could handle into the beta, so if you’re interested, head to the site and submit your email.

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Andy’s SEM Conference

Beal's company is launching a SEM conference in Raleigh, NC later in October. Sounds like a great place to learn the ins and outs of a booming and critical business……

Beal’s company is launching a SEM conference in Raleigh, NC later in October. Sounds like a great place to learn the ins and outs of a booming and critical business…

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Hell Bent

Steve Ballmer is on a mission to beat Google. This article summarizes a speech he gave in Massachusetts. His main focus: MSFT is "Hell-bent" to lead in search. "I see a world of incredible possibility and opportunity," in the online ad biz, he added. As I've noted elsewhere, MSFT is…

ballmerSteve Ballmer is on a mission to beat Google. This article summarizes a speech he gave in Massachusetts. His main focus: MSFT is “Hell-bent” to lead in search. “I see a world of incredible possibility and opportunity,” in the online ad biz, he added.

As I’ve noted elsewhere, MSFT is quite focused on search, and while Longhorn seems a far way off, this is a long term game. When they feel challenged, they respond. The decision to clean up their act with regard to paid inclusion, which probably cost them tens of millions in near term revenues, is a good indication of this.

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The Political Sisters

Over at the Yahoo Blog, they posted some zeitgeist (sorry Yahoofolk, but it's a good word) showing that people want to know about the Bush twins and the Kerry girls. Now…I hear the Bush sisters blew their speech. Like father….anyway, anyone know of a video of it out there anywhere?…

Over at the Yahoo Blog, they posted some zeitgeist (sorry Yahoofolk, but it’s a good word) showing that people want to know about the Bush twins and the Kerry girls. Now…I hear the Bush sisters blew their speech. Like father….anyway, anyone know of a video of it out there anywhere?

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