Dec 19

Information and Usefulness

I just Googled myself and the results are inter­est­ing. I did not expect to find any earth-​shattering infor­ma­tion but I was a lit­tle sur­prised at what I did find.

First I just typed James Keesey in the Google search. The third item on the results page was indeed mine but it is my TWiki home page. I reg­is­tered for this in April of 2005 and I haven’t touched it since. I only reg­is­tered so that I could get some infor­ma­tion for work (which uses TWiki). That job passed to anoth­er so I have not touched it. Yet this is the only item that is relat­ed to me on the front page. Google sure knows how to deflate an ego!

Next I typed “James Keesey” in the search. Now the first two (three if you count the sec­ond item which is a sub-​item of the first) relate to me. The first item is a web page that was cre­at­ed by one of my teach­ers at SJSU to show off a project I did for his class. Now I got a good grade (A) for the project but still it is an under­grad­u­ate project and hard­ly rep­re­sents me, my life, or my accom­plish­ments. The sec­ond item is that sil­ly TWiki page again.

Next I typed “James L Keesey” in the search. Now things get inter­est­ing. There is only one result on the page. This result does relate to me and in fact points to one of the four patents that I have been award­ed as inven­tor or co-​inventor. So just search­ing for James Keesey puts on the first page a TWiki home page but not a ref­er­ence to a patent? BTW I’m try­ing to sug­gest that my patents are hyper impor­tant (they are not) but Google has no way to deter­mine this–at least I don’t think they do. Even more inter­est­ing is that there is a link on the page which says that very sim­i­lar hits have been hid­den. I click on that and now there are two items both of which are my patents. Why would Google hide one also matched item that is for a dif­fer­ent patent? Strange.

Next I typed “James Louis Keesey” (which is my full name) in the search. This finds one item as well which is anoth­er of my patents. But only one item is found. This is bizarre.

So depend­ing on what vari­a­tion of my name I type in I get dif­fer­ent answers and none of them show all of my patents nor the three patent appli­ca­tions that are in the sys­tem. You can find these through per­se­ver­ance at the Patent Office pages but it takes many dif­fer­ent search­es just like these.

So appar­ent­ly the most impor­tant infor­ma­tion about me in Google’s eyes in that I once reg­is­tered with the TWiki site. I find this strange and a lit­tle dis­turb­ing. With the way that the world is mov­ing, it seems as if Google is the major infor­ma­tion source for just about every­thing, but as this lit­tle demon­stra­tion shows, Google is very selec­tive in what it records in its data­base let alone what it reports. When we do a search, how are we to know just what infor­ma­tion is left unfound? Given the size of the Google data­base just how can we be sure that we are find­ing rel­e­vant infor­ma­tion?

Dec 19

My Pig Ripley

RipleyThis is my guinea pig Ripley. Unfortunately she is dying. She has can­cer. The last few months have been hard on my wife and I as well as Ripley. She is hap­py and acts nor­mal­ly about 95% of the time which makes us hap­py but the oth­er 5% is unpleas­ant. The can­cer metas­ta­sized from her ovaries though out her body and has begun to affect her uri­nary tract and intestines. Every time she has to pee or poo it caus­es her dis­com­fort. Sometimes it seems very painful. To top it off we have to give her antibi­ot­ic shots three times a week to hold off infec­tions brought on by the caner invad­ing her sys­tem.

So what do we do? Do we look at it as she’s most­ly hap­py and do the best we can to make her remain­ing time as enjoy­able as pos­si­ble or do we say that she should­n’t suf­fer and that she should be put to sleep?

When is the dis­com­fort too much? Deciding the fate of a poor inno­cent and unaware ani­mal seems wrong but if we don’t who will? The thought of her dying in agony is unac­cept­able yet I don’t want to short­en the bright points. I real­ly don’t want to make this deci­sion and yet I don’t know of any­one I would trust to pass this respon­si­bil­i­ty on to.

Dec 19

My First Blog Entry

This is my first Blog entry. I have resist­ed doing this for quite a while now as I nor­mal­ly do not think of myself as hav­ing much to say that oth­ers might want to read. Then I thought about it and real­ized that a Blog is not nec­es­sar­i­ly just for oth­ers but as a way for me to express ideas, thoughts, rants, raves, and gen­er­al goofi­ness that can be cathar­tic as well as help devel­op new ideas. So here I am. If luck holds out and I actu­al­ly do have some­thing to say then hope­ful­ly this blog will not just lan­guish into noth­ing­ness.