On the Origin of the Google Search Algorithm

Al'Khwarizmi - the word algorithm2

 

 

 

Many were the Arab gifts to modern man
Wisdom of the shrewd Semitic scholars past;
Poets Rumi, Ibn ‘Arabi and Khayyam
Geometric art in rhythmic patterns vast.
Studies of the night sky with rare comet flights;
Arabesque anatomy and medicine;
Belly-dancing; sorbet; The Arabian Nights;
Algorithms and decimal ciphering.
Spreading all this knowledge, all this intellect
Like the wild Sirocco scatters grains of sand,
Learning filled the cracks so cultures could connect
Such were gifts of Arabs to Renaissance man.
Google’s algorithm searches everything;
If we search for peace perhaps we’ll share again.

Living Large

adobemac november-10-2006-flickr-creative-commons

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes when living large we meet a squall
Or turbulence perturbs our arrowed aim,
Quite commonly some barrier forestalls
Or vague hint that our path might end in pain.
At other times approaching zenith nigh
The altitude has queer effect on sight,
We squint to see if we have gone awry
And then we find a stop-sign glaring bright.
Instead of hedonistic fame and power
A better gauge to measure life’s success,
Would calculate time used to smell a flower
And calibrate health, love and happiness.
A barrier can serve us to remind
We’ve left the purpose of our course behind.

Big Sur

by Jack Kerouac

cover

Big Sur – wild and organic with a unique ecosystem and microclimate caused by its asperous profile. That description could just as easily characterise Jack Kerouac himself.

Located a couple of hours south of San Francisco, this land area of spectacular forest and coastal beauty was termed ‘El Sur Grande’ by the Spanish (The Big South). Kerouac installed himself there in Bixby Canyon for six weeks in 1960 to escape the attention and fame his book On The Road brought to his life. Continue reading

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

dostoyevsky-brothers-karamazov-bookcover

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Translation by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Finishing the last page of Dostoyevsky’s last book can be regarded as a personal milestone. You are entitled to congratulate yourself for having had the courage to tackle it in the first place (no such kudos for finishing though – that’s a given). In attempting to write a review however, the milestone becomes a millstone. Many have shared their opinions before you – Kafka liked it and Hemingway did not; atheists and Popes have applauded it antithetically; historians and ethicists have polarised and galvanised opinions while many persons of universally accepted wisdom have referred to it has the greatest book ever written.

Descriptions of the story abound so I will not retell it – it is merely the pinhead on which Dostoyevsky’s angels dance. The plot is only the portent of the themes and these are exposed by the players. To convey what he seeks to deliver, Dostoyevsky uses his exceptional gift for characterisation to portray the contradictions of the human condition. Continue reading