She was trying to prove a point that what we see on the internet is the manipulated version of others.
N.B. Over the weekend, my university announced that henceforth all leave, rank and tenure (LRT) packages would be paperless. This from a school whose administration is already on the record as denying the existence of some papers that have been published in paper journals carried in research libraries.
Links are interpreted by search engines as evidence that the site is positive and should be ranked higher.
What if you don’t want to plump up their numbers?
Now, there’s a service called donotlink. It works kind of like tinyURL: you paste in the link you don’t want to promote, and donotlink provides you with an alternative link for you to paste into your work.
That way, you can still show a link to the site without actually including a working link to the site that will push them up higher in Google’s estimation.
And yet they came up for me on YouTube twice this morning.
First I was reading this Washington Post piece entitled “All that Jazz Isn’t All that Great” by Justin Moyer. He makes a number of good points that sum up my view: I love jazz, but most of it sucks. Anyway, he makes one of his points by linking to this video of the song with vocals from the movie Reveille with Beverly:
Then I continue to slowly browse through videos of 1977’s The Richard Pryor Show. And in this recording of the first episode, the lyrics are vamped around the 41 minute mark:
I wrote a paper that just came out as a book chapter. One of my co-authors is Kyle Bishop. His office is in the building next door. And yet, we met face-to-face once on the entire project (the first time we’d ever talked to each other), and we did the rest through e-mail and Google Docs. It was really one of the easiest co-authoring relationships I’ve ever had.
But I can’t beat what they’ve done at EconBrowser. James Hamilton and Menzie Chen have been working on their blog together for 10 years, and they met for the first time this past week.
Most people are surprised to learn that although Menzie and I have been working as a cyberspace team and have been in nonstop email communication with each other every week for the last 10 years, we had never met in person until this week. Fate finally brought us together in non-cyberspace reality when we converged in Boston for seminars and discussions hosted by the National Bureau of Economic Research.
There’s a site called Dead Malls devoted to malls, some still alive, but most of them are dead.
You can search by location or mall name. It’s fascinating to go back and read up on the places we spent so much time.
In Buffalo as a kid, I frequented:
Eastern Hills Mall, a site for regular Saturday night outings for my family in the early to mid 70’s … has apparently undergone a renaissance. It was billed as the biggest mall of all when it opened in 1971, although I’m not sure how much of that was local chauvinism. I moved away from Buffalo in 1989, and I haven’t been in this mall since 2002 or 2003, but it seemed OK then.
Boulevard Mall had a little more upscale, old money (if there’s such a thing in the suburbs), reputation. I think I went there some time in the 90’s, and wasn’t impressed. It also is apparently thriving.
Seneca Mall was a place I went a few times when very young (my grandmother lived in that area until 1972). It’s apparently a rubble pile now.
Main Place Mall was downtown, and I went there very occasionally — mostly once I had my driver’s license and happened to be downtown. It’s still going. People from the suburbs go downtown in Buffalo arguably less than any other metropolitan area. I stayed in a hotel not far from this mall for over a week last year, and it never occurred to me to check it out.
I was also talking with my mother last month about Chautauqua Mall. It’s not on the site either. It was the mall in what passed for the suburbs of Jamestown, the faltering city of 30K or so that anchored rural Chautauqua County. I haven’t been there in probably 35 years, but Chautauqua Mall is still open.
I lived in Tuscaloosa for a couple of years. University Mall is not listed in this webpage, but I heard it was damaged by the big tornado a few years ago. I have fond memories of McFarland Mall. It was down in the dumps 25 years ago, but even then there was a bar and a movie theatre there that I liked.
I also lived in Salt Lake City in 1991-2. I spent a lot of time at an urban mall named Trolley Square (built in the old streetcar barns). I loved that place: cool, upscale stores, a couple of good restaurants (especially an Italian place called … hmmm … Ferrantelli maybe), movies and bars. But I was there about 10 years ago, and it had gone downhill. And after that there was a mass shooting there.
We lived in New Orleans in the 90’s. There are some malls from there on the site, but none I ever went to much. I suppose just about all the malls there were killed by Katrina.
One point my wife and I emphasize to the vXkids is how unusual it is to grow up without a mall. We live in a small-ish city on I-15, and the nearest mall is about an hour away. And, it’s not much of a mall. We’ve been there about 5 times. It’s anchored by a Barnes and Noble now. We all enjoy that … but let’s face it … no one goes there to buy books anymore. We just test fly them before hitting the keyboard.
You’ve probably heard about the mass kidnapping in Nigeria? (If not, Islamist terrorists raided a girls school, kidnapped a few hundred teenagers, and are threatening to sell them for … you know …).
This week there’s news that the Islamists may be hiding out in the Sambisa Forest.
This forest is a topic that is basically … not on Google. (I know, you thought everything was on the google these days). The linked article above is one of the few items with any content.
After some sleuthing I was able to find, what I think is this forest, on Google Maps. I circled it in red. The dark green with a little blue above it is what is left of Lake Chad — the big lake you always see on maps in the middle of the Sahara.
Anyway, the linked article says that the forest has huge crustaceans on the forest floor. That caught my eye: crustaceans in the Sahel?
So I went to Google and found … pretty much nothing about crustaceans in the Sambisa Forest. After a few minutes I concluded that English was not the primary language of the person who wrote the article. This makes me think that maybe they meant arthropod (millipedes) rather than crustaceans (crabs).
What does all this have to do with Kim Kardashian, the center of all media? It’s that if you enter “sambisa forest crustacean” into Google, you get only 5 pages as the default response. Most of them are uninformative, but when you get to the 4th page, you find a link to this:
Hits like this start increasing. So Google has very little on the Sambisa Forest, but eventually you get to photos of Kim Kardashian’s butt because she happened to go to an LA restaurant called Crustacean.
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