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So anyways as I enacted the above dramatic procedure at 10pm in the night sitting near my father, a certain question popped at me from the register. What is the difference between an AC and the Refrigerator? So I googled this and after about 3 links I found my answer. Guess what my dad did when I asked him the same question? He looked up the book lying beside me and gave me the detailed answer.
That’s the point. It struck me strange that looking up a textbook didn’t even strike me. The first and the only thing I did was to open Google and check. The practice of going through catalogues, pulling down books from Library bookshelves and then searching the index for queries now seems too cumbersome for me. But then I have the gut feeling that it’s not just me.
Google has become like instant noodles. It’s fast, convenient and easily available just like Maggi is. But if you have ever eaten a lot of raw noodles, you would have felt a painful stomach ache. Similarly try eating Maggi everyday for all meals for 2 weeks. If you are prudent enough, you will never do it. Why? Because it’s a nutritional disaster.
The same is with Google. More than ¾ of the information out there is unverified or half-cooked. Also its never the entire information- and half knowledge is worse than ignorance. You read what somebody has written and you trust it. However, long proof-reading and verification processes are not religiously followed at all websites.
Unlike the deepest suspicions that you might be harboring by now, I am not going to ask you to throw your modem down from your fifth floor balcony. Nor will I ask you to deposit your wireless netconnect in the district park dustbin.
It’s just this: Be aware that what you reading from the net could be wrong. Always supplement this information from other sources (preferably those in print). Remember it takes 2 minutes for a chewing-gum chewing teenager to put up an article on his cheesy blog. It can take more than 4 years for an author to suffer the publisher’s scrutinizing eye and get his article in print. Rely on newspaper and journal websites directly for factual information and not on the news available on blogs that show up on Google’s search results.
No doubt, Google certainly has several advantages that far supercede its handicaps. It’s so much easier to find stuff that you always wanted to know about but could never find it before. It organizes search results with relevance to your search word and saves immense time. One doesn’t need to trudge to British Council to read that amazing book. In fact, the world is at one’s fingertips.
And while Google is helpful, it still isn’t authority and this is the reason I believe books are irreplaceable. Written by reputed and experienced authors, books are mostly written in a clear format, explaining the very basics at the beginning and then building upon those crucial foundations. Googled results in comparison are jumbled and disorganized.
They are not meant for your research work and solid fundamentals, it’s meant for your general enlightenment. So use it like a sauce or hot butter on your wheat based parantha. Just don’t end up eating wheat sprinkled on butter.
II year, DTU