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June 06 , 2008

The Joy of Google



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The Science Class You Wish You Had (Revised Edition)

What does E=mc2 really mean? What is DNA? What was the big bang? These scientific concepts have changed our perception of the world…but for many of us they remain mysteries, bits and pieces of information retained from classroom lectures but never truly understood.Now we can finally grasp the grandeur and complexity of these ideas, and…

It’s like reaching into a teeming sea of language, scooping up a handful and seeing what’s there. Always there are surprises. We have ideas of our own about each search phrase, our own ways of completing the thought it begins; other people have other ways, contradicting as well as underscoring ours. Together, the results compose a kind of poetry of crowds, in which we can see a little of the world and a little of ourselves at the same time.

The pieces have been selected for a variety of reasons. Some are simple inventories, diverse if partial. Perhaps only a few succeed as poems. All seem most alive when read out loud, evoking mantras, litanies, theatrics. Throughout, there is an absence of conclusiveness—the suppression of sense exactly where one most expects to find it—which I hope will titillate more than irk, and even deliver curious moments of cognitive relief. For those of us who live day to day amid strident polemical crossfire, slowing down the rate of incoming certitude can be both tonic and provocative. Freed from their original matrices, facets of meaning flash and feint, the bulk of their intent submerged; and the key phrases tease out fresh completions in the mind.

Here are the rules I followed when searching and editing the results: 1) The search phrases were entered inside quotation marks, in order to generate only exact matches; 2) The order in which the results appear is the exact order in which they appeared when the matches were returned; 3) All matches appear in this text. In cases where the searched phrase yielded duplicate returns, the repetitions have either been reduced to one appearance, or all have been included.

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