Of all the things I've lost, I miss my mind the most. - (Mark Twain and me)

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Search engines and our brain.

Spoiler Warning :
This article may not make any sense. Actually I think this should be a default header!

I think in some ways web search engines(SE) and human brains are similar. For one thing, both have/store vast information and try to process/get it based on user queries(for SE) or needs of different parts/senses of the body(for brain). Now who cares anyway?
I think the way search engines evolve and improve themselves may teach us something about how to improve ourselves in some aspects.
There are reasons why some search engines are great and some suck,. (just like some ppl are smart and some are stupid) Im not going to point out the differences but they use different techniques to crawl, index and serve the documents. These 3 are the main things. I will go little in detail on them(with the fear of boring u).
1.Crawling is just discovering all the informatin on web, like when we learn things around us, when we were kids. SEs want to give you the latest info on any searched topic. So it simply crawls the pages again and again and in the process discovers new pages and due to this, new "perspective" about old pages. Simple. But, do we do that? I highly doubt it! We do keep learning new stuff thru different phases of our life(school, college, profession etc) but when we learn some stuff, we never try to learn it again. Most of the things in life get solved by going back to the very fundamentals. So crawl often. That is wherever possible try to unlearn stuff and learn it again. Use your own judgement , to determine which things should be crawled again. i dont think its the text books or anything of that sort, but its the habits we have, perspection of ppl related to us etc are some of the things which need to unlerant and learnt often.

2.Index. In a SE it means identifying what a page is "about", so that when somebody asks for "it", you can "quickly" serve it. I think our brain inheritently handles this. Now, imagine a sunset view along the beach.... Did you imagine? Ok-I know, you didn't, but wat Im trying to say is , you have so much "stuff" in your brain, but when I say something you were able to immediately recollect the picture in ur mind somehow. I dont know ways to improve it. Some memory mgmt techinques or whatever.

3.Serve. My comparision on this is so big and since the post is already big, I will publish it in another post. I can see you getting relieved.

I am no authority on the subject of brains or SE, so my comparision might totally be unrelated. Atleast I work on SE, but brain is totally out of my thinking :)
Oh, btw this post also assumes you have a brain, otherwise Im sorry to have wasted ur time . Ok,though not funny it was joke. If you had taken it seriously, you should stop browsing and go to a doctor first !!!


Hey! What do people(like me)who are not familiar with either the brain or SE do? ;) Ok, this was an interesting post! Waiting for the next one. :)
if (daily chores)
brain = search engine;
else if (intellectual)
brain = wikipedia
no brain.
I concur. In my opinion the basic operation of the brain is the 'hashing' operation , which is not different from what you suggest, indexing.

This is analogous to how add, load,store... are the building blocks of any processor.

btw, balaji enna pethirka??
vijay, agree with u. brain's job is to build the best hashmap and to extrapolate those data(creativity).
btw, I can't understand Balaji's comment too.
I dont think creativity is a process of extrapollation as far as the brain is concerned. I think "creativity" is a misnomer in this sense.
Why do u think creativity is a misnomer in this context?
the reason why i think creativity is extrapolation is based on my "assumption" that creativity is way of making new inferences from the data and thier relationship, the brain has learned thru its time. I also consider emotions(also data) to come from the brain. I think emotions probably plays a very big role in creativty. You can only "create" things, based on what ur brain has learnt/can understand.
Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to
him. Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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