Comments: Google: 1, Michael Gorman: 0

Yes, thanks for cutting through my mockery to the real problem. Plenty of people might say "If you can't Google it, it doesn't exist" without meaning it literally, or implying that it is a good thing. Plenty of librarians might say such a thing ironically or to argue for better findability of non-digital resources on the web.

Posted by Steve Lawson at June 20, 2007 12:34 AM

Now, does this qualify as research? ;)
Thanks for looking into it further.

Posted by Carlos at June 20, 2007 11:05 AM

Congrats on getting your Wikipedia issue sorted out. I know that was a big thorn in your shoe...

We STILL have not clarified this between ourselves:

You call it "work for free" or "free labor". That assumes money is the only currency, no? These people who "toil" do it for a reason... just because money's not the main reason, doesn't mean they're getting nothing out of it. Discuss?

Citing: Malinowski's "Kula" etc.

Posted by hugh macleod at June 20, 2007 11:51 AM

PS. I don't have a problem with "If it isn't on Google, it doesn't exist". At least not in that context.

At least, no more than I have a problem with somebody saying "If it doesn't make it past my filters, it doesn't exist". While that might be empirically untrue, all sentinent and semi-sentinent creatures have filters of one sort or another. Google acts as just one big filter for some people.

Posted by hugh macleod at June 20, 2007 11:56 AM

After reading your weblog post, I was interested in finding out more about this critical thinking thing. So I searched for it on Google:

The number one result? Wikipedia:

So it goes.

Posted by Rogers Cadenhead at June 20, 2007 12:46 PM

Steve: Yes. My core argument is that Gorman is being very superficial.

Carlos: You're welcome.

Hugh: That's an unfalsifiable rhetorical stance. If anyone does anything, by definition they can be said to be getting something out of it. Yet exploitation has a meaning. Obviously the cultists who sell flowers at airports get "something" out of it (e.g. cult approval). Yet I'd say they're working for free.

Rogers: Oh, the irony :-)

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at June 20, 2007 04:48 PM

Maybe he's thinking of AltaVista's claim (in 1999): "If you can't find it, it probably doesn't exist."

Posted by John Hubbard at June 20, 2007 06:58 PM

Anyone who does research in the humanities knows how very little useful academic research CAN be found through google.

Posted by daniel at June 21, 2007 12:58 AM

Sour grapes here.

Wikipedia deletes *lots* of stuff. People move articles around (or delete and then re-submit an article), thus deleting the history of submission/edits.

Things that are in Google get deleted as well. Not notable. Too trivial. Whatever trumped up reason they wish to give. Articles get deleted to be made into redirects to articles of different subjects. Cross-links get removed.

Posted by ~ender at June 21, 2007 01:24 PM