Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Google Wonder

Googolplex and infinity. What is googolplex? Well, I googled it. It’s defined as a number; the number one with the exponent of googol; googol is defined as the digit one followed by one hundred zeros. All of this is not to be confused with “infinity”, which is more of a concept than a number; the number that never ends.

What ever happened to those beautiful concepts; the ideas like infinity and creation, which allow us to use our brain cells to wonder about things? We are born to wonder; it’s how we learn. As infants, the learning process seems more intuitive and evolves as a process of trial and error, but somewhere post-toddler years and before school age years, the sense of wonder takes hold and a child’s imagination is born. Imaginary friends; imaginary situations; imaginary colors—all the stuff of blending what we already know with what is unknown. The unknown factor is what makes it interesting.

And then came google. How many colors are really in a rainbow?, I might ask at the dinner table one night. Out comes the blackberry and it’s googled. Answer found. What makes a bubble round?, I wonder. Out comes the blackberry and it’s googled. Answer found. How fast could a skier really fly down those moguls?, I say, as I watch the Olympics with wonder. It’s googled.

The googling has got to go. I wish for the wonder to return. I tire of the possibility of quick answers without thought. I prefer to wonder; to exchange ideas; to rediscover things that may have already been discovered and researched. And so, I prefer the number infinity. You can keep googolplex. How long would it take to write the number googolplex on paper? I wonder.


Where Books Begin said...

The same is true for counting calories. I see Google as a big refrigerator full of comfort facts rather than comfort foods. They distract us from the search for truth and wonder.

Lisa Tomarelli said...

Great point! I'll have to think about that (comfort facts vs comfort food) the next time I'm looking in the fridge for whatever-showed-up-in-there-since-the-last-time-I-looked!

Anonymous said...

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