analytical Q May-Aug 2000Sept-Dec 2000ContactDiscussion

The Diary
Anne Ku


9 September 2000 Saturday cloudy, drizzle


It occurred to me that we spend a lot of our time searching. We look for information to help us make decisions. We search for alternatives. We look for opportunities.

This past week for instance, not only was I looking for my lost wallet, I was also looking for material to meet my deadline. Every morning, I look in my closet for something to wear. I ravage the refrigerator for something to drink. I search my bookshelves for something to sightread. I surf the Internet looking for news.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could cut down the amount of time we spend searching? Wouldn't it be great if what we needed was at our finger tips? Wouldn't it be great to have a research assistant, a concierge, and a telepathic travel agent?

Be there when you need it. Electricity is like that. Water is like that. My address book stores the contact numbers I need. My memory stores my frequently used information. But the one-off decisions I have to make, the one-off curiosities I have to satisify -- those are the time-consuming searches. If websites were easily navigatable, if search engines were efficient, if I were resourceful, then perhaps I wouldn't have to spend so much time searching.