Monday, June 04, 2007

Search can create what it seeks and transform how it finds

More about the relation of data and metadata, spurred by David Weinbergers' book, Everything is Miscellaneous, and spinning out of miscellaneous conversations, e.g. here and here:

Query/search can precede data:
“When there is a blackout in New York, the first articles appear in 15 minutes; we get queries in two seconds,” he says. (He is Mr. Singhal, at Google.) #
So the search for data that does not yet exist becomes metadata that helps to create the new data it is proleptically about.
And Google does more than simply build an outsized, digital table of contents for the Web. Instead, it actually makes a copy of the entire Internet — every word on every page — that it stores in each of its huge customized data centers so it can comb through the information faster. Google recently developed a new system that can hold far more data and search through it far faster than the company could before.
The instrument created to search the Net replicates the Net over and over. Is the Internet different because of this? Is it different because its performance transforms what it is?

And, duh, the question that first occurred: Are the replicants of the Net data or metadata?

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