As of Today 13416 Blog Posts

posted on 05.20.09

Lately I have been thinking a lot about how easy it is to answer a question these days.  When was the last time you went into a library and didn't use the internet?  When was the last time you went into a Library? 

My iPhone tells me everything: the weather, my horoscope, directions to the nearest gyro shop, what artist is showing work this weekend, where to get tickets to my favorit band (hell I can buy them on the damn thing).    Now I don't even have to type my questions, with Google Voice I just ask them directly to the little machine.  (Note: Google knows I just typed that, this too).  Information is so readily available that production of thought is almost impossible without a technological crutch.   When was the last time you won a trivial arguement without someone pulling out a laptop or smartphone and plugging in the question at hand?  To write this post I have four browser tabs open!

So, in the interest of never being wrong again, here are two new resources that provide you with yet more information:

First:

Wolfram|Alpha @ http://www51.wolframalpha.com/

Description:

"Today's Wolfram|Alpha is the first step in an ambitious, long-term project to make all systematic knowledge immediately computable by anyone.  You enter your question or calculation, and Wolfram|Alpha uses its built-in algorithms and growing collection of data to compute the answer." 

It will do your math homework for you, calculate the population of China, or tell you how old you are down to the moment.  But don't ask it HOW the people in Europe are FEELING.  It does not deal in the subjective

For that head over to.........

We Feel Fine  @  http://wefeelfine.org/  (thanks to Shireen Lohrasbe for pointing me in this direction)

Description:

"The result is a database of several million human feelings, increasing by 15,000 - 20,000 new feelings per day. Using a series of playful interfaces, the feelings can be searched and sorted across a number of demographic slices, offering responses to specific questions like: do Europeans feel sad more often than Americans? Do women feel fat more often than men?"



Here, you get all the subjective you can handle.  Even the visuals are emotional.  With clouds of color miandering across an aimless feild, point your curser to one of them for a random feeling from someones blog all over the world.  Or, if you really are trying to prove the subjective, type in your question.  No matter what it is, there is an answer out there.  They even break all the data down and provide you with the metrics.  So you really can see how many people in Europe are singing the blues.

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Shireen Lohrasbe