The problem with Google…

My first Internet connexion? 1993. At this time, no Chrome, no Firefox, no Google, and a VERY slow modem (my first was a 33.6 kbit/s, with its delicious Krooooiiiii noise at the beginning).

What we call the “Web” was a big mess, Netscape (the browser) was crashing every twelve seconds, and to try to find things, you had to use Lycos or AltaVista. Both were pretty inaccurate. One great source of informations was the Usenet Newsgroups.

Google appeared in 1998 with a simple and great idea, which I just found in the wiki page :

While conventional search engines ranked results by counting how many times the search terms appeared on the page, the two theorized about a better system that analyzed the relationships among websites. They called this new technology PageRank; it determined a website’s relevance by the number of pages, and the importance of those pages that linked back to the original site.

Well, therefore, everybody used Google, which is very easy to understand : if you wanted to find the best page about canoes in California BEFORE Google, good luck! Results were a total mess, and the one you needed was lost in dozens of other things…

 

But AltaVista and Lycos had this : the ability to LOSE you in the web, on little hiking paths. You were constantly discovering little diaries, unknown collectors, fascinating people gathering infos on many subjects, smart web pages… Almost all searches were adventures… because, precisely, or thanks, to the “no ranking”.

This leads to a well known dial :

 Tout gain s’accompagne d’une perte – Every gain involves loss

 

Today, with Google and Facebook, we all navigate on highways. Most of the time, if you want to navigate on unbeaten tracks, you have to jump out off Google and find links pages, forums or… newsgroups (who use them today?).

 

Or this great answer to this little question : “How to discover new websites?”

https://www.stumbleupon.com/

 

Thanks for reading!

 

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Why do you blog? The mess of #motivation theories – #blogging

Ah that good question it is, “Why do you blog?”. You can pick another one if you want : Why to you run? Why do you paint? Why do you shop? Why do you have sex?

I use it as a pretext to write about Motivation Theories, which are a whole messy basket of attempts to explain why I do something.

Why do you blog? Well, it depends…

  • You want to grow, to accomplish something
  • You want new competences
  • You want to meet people, affiliation
  • You need to express yourself
  • You believe in it
  • You need more self-esteem
  • You want money, or a job
  • You want power, you want to influence people
  • You want to be rewarded, posititive feedbacks, recognition
  • You want to impress someone, or a group
  • You want to be heard, you want readers, followers
  • You think it’s a way to gain something else, to enter something
  • It’s interesting
  • You fear something, like punishment
  • You need a goal, a discipline, a frame, to push yourself
  • You are pulled, or triggered by something, orders for example
  • You need schedules, to be driven by something
  • You need to be busy, tasks
  • You need to forget something else
  • You want to reduce something 
  • Expectancy
  • You want to meet your future husband or your wife
  • Motivation needs to become words and expression
  • You want or need to explain yourself
  • You search something and you find it little by little
  • You need to be productive, to produce something, to have results
  • You like numbers, statistics, you count visitors, likes, followers
  • You’re drunk

If you want to find more, Google “Motivation“, that’s really funny to dig. At the end, I found one day a single way to express this mess (your reason you blog is a melting cheese of reasons, right?) that could be the ultimate height of social motivation :

You blog, because you want to be loved

Thanks for reading!

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Letters and Boxes – Hashtag “Old Times”

You write an email, it goes to Japan in one second. You can text people all around the world, you can call them, or even see them on your screen now, and talk. For HOURS. It’s free. It’s called Internet.

I was born in 1966, so when I was a young adult, say in 1986, there was no Internet. If you wanted to write to someone, you had to WRITE it, on paper, you had to POST it (should I say “ship”?). Stamp. Envelope. Write the address. You could put something in the envelope. You could perfume it. Yes you could, and you can.

Like Ernst Jünger says, “Tout gain s’accompagne d’une perte” – Every gain involves loss. At the age of Internet, we lost something about mail.

We lost the wait. The DELICIOUS and painful and exciting wait of a letter. All this implied so many things! You could write pages before you got the letter (of your lover, silly!), you could add words when you got a response, you could send a letter before you got one, inventing a double-ping-pong. It was exciting. It was BLISS.

Tools : 

Every gain involves loss. Never forget this. Apply and think to anything you find a “progress”. What did you lose, dear?

You CAN go back to old times. You love someone? As a friend? A lover? Send her a LETTER. Send a box. Send an object. A card. A symbol. Written words. Paper. Perfumed. Colored papers. Write. Draw. Add little objects. Stamps. Images. Symbols. Treasures. A petal. Do it! It’s old school? Perfect.

Think. When someone ships you something, it means something. It’s an object. It’s real. It’s life. It’s a choice. It’s out of virtuality. It’s important.

Thanks for reading!

Constantly Random is an Instagram flaw

Instagram is a great funny app to use and to watch.

I noticed that if you want many followers, you have to be… persistent. If you take pictures of street art, or portraits of homeless people, or pot plants in black and white, dancers in NYC or “I see beauty in dirty ruins”, macro insects or abstract pieces of wood minimalism, you will get many followers.

If, like me, you take “constantly random” pictures and you wander in all kind of “styles”, you’re done. Many people won’t understand what you’re doing, and the few followers you get will quickly unfollow because they dislike you post a happy bee after a blu-ray movie, a wall texture before a black & white dead tree, a HDR sky next to a symmetrical French architecture.

There are some tools, dials and levers to pick, here.

Dial : What kind of spirit are you ? Are you, like a deep-sea diver, exploring a small territory, or are you, like a bee-air forager, smelling and exploring all that you find (from the art of warfare to linguistics, electronic music to Prussia history, American painters to Russian short stories) ?

Lever : Where do you put the lever, from “I show what I love to show” (with the random effect consequences) to “I focus on one thing only” (with the purpose to be more readable and get more audience) ? What is your blog about ? Food ? Or poetry, images, weather, books, music and politics ?

Tool : Play this game : try to find the hidden pattern behind the apparent randomness. Yeah, dear, bend over this caldron and detect it. The forager bee draws interesting patterns in the air.

https://www.instagram.com/jprobocat/

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Tout gain s’accompagne d’une perte – Every gain involves loss

OK I’m french. My english is a frenglish, it’s rusty and wobbly, et voilà. Try me, though. I’ll do my best. I promise. If sometimes it’s too bad, just laugh at me or roll you eyes.

Every gain involves loss ?

Ça pourrait être : Economy. Or some Levi Strauss. Or Beckett maybe ?

Peut-être…

When I was a student, I read something about Prokofiev. It was before the Internet, so I walked in the city (the mood of the sky ? See picture below – I remember it), entered the library, found a Deutsch Grammophon CD – Ozawa ! – borrowed it and I brought it home.

I read the booklet, and listened to the 2 CDs for two weeks. Many, many times. I explored it. It was precious ! Of course, as a 20 years old young man, I was moved by the Montagues And Capulets strange modulations zigzagguing music.

What about today ? Que se passe-t-il, aujourd’hui ?

A young female student hears that music in a movie, ohhhh ! She just writes “Prokofiev” in YouTube and get 408.000 results. If she’s smart, she tries the Russian way to write it : “Прокофьев“, to get… 42.100 more movies.

See me coming, don’t you ? The whole thing is just here. But… do we focus the same way, when the choice is that big ? No ! No no no, and no. Every gain involves loss. You just wander into the océan of the musique de Prokofiev, et voilà pour vous.

This “dial/lever/tool” text is not about scale of knowledge and the blissfull possibilité to get lost in it. I should write another one, un autre jour.

Dial/Lever/Tool : Observe what you have. Imagine you’re 30 years before. How would it be, then ? What if you put something aside ? What if you close some possibilities ? What if, as a photographer, you get back to film ? If every gain involves loss, what have you lost, then, with the vast “new thing” ? What will you do to recover that ? What if you had to keep 100 books in your shelves.

Is “Every loss involves gain” right ?

And what is the way to link this concept to the Wrong Way Up ?

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