Friday, September 05, 2003

No Maps

Futurballa recently saw the movie No Maps For These Territories, which follows author William Gibson on a car trip from Los Angeles to his home in Vancouver, though he never seems to completely leave Los Angeles. If you are not familar with William Gibson, he is the author of the seminal Cyberpunk Science Fiction novel Neuromancer. His most recent work Pattern Recognition sits at this moment in the stack of books that exceed the time Futurballa has for leisure reading, but it is near the top.

Gibson is the man who coined the phrase Cyberspace, and is considered something of a visionary. The conversations in the film are wide ranging, discussing the sixties, drugs, William S. Burroughs, technology, pornography, and his writings. At one point Gibson says, (and I probably paraphrase) "The internet is where we go to find things". This got me to thinking, could the internet be our I Ching? Is Google the Map for this new territory? What if I plugged in the concepts that man has been searching for for all eternity and hit, "I'm Feeling Lucky"? Would this be the map for this territory? Or would it lead me to more penis enlargements, herbal viagra, and working at home schemes?

The list I came up with, in the highly scientific manner of making it up is as follows; love, sex, food, happiness, peace, health, companionship, and God. I rated them on a scale of 1 to 10 on my Map Index, with 1 being No Map, and 10 being a Map for this territory. Let's go...

Love: The Love Calculator, enter the name of two persons and Dr. Love will tell you if they are compatible. I'd give this a 8 on the Map index.
Sex: To my surprise, not a porn site, but a site on using condoms. A fairly postive rating on the Map Index, shall we say a 7.
Food: The Food Network. Give it a 9, chock full of recipes.
Peace: Greenpeace. Make a donation while you are there. An 8.
Happiness: The site of a magazine that seems to feature white, southern, blonde, christian people being happy and moral etc. Did not particularly make me Happy, but might be someone's cup of tea. I'll give it a 2.
Health: The National Institute of Health. Some useful info, not commercial, run by government, reminds me of The Secret of the Nimh. Give it a 6.
Companionship: This article on Mastiffs as companions. Not much help for those of us not looking to purchase a Mastiff. I'll give it a 3, because this might be the map to companionship for any Mastiff lovers amongst us.
God: Redirects to an MP3 site called, where supposedly, according to the redirect message, you can download the New Testament on MP3. The home page does not have a readily visible link to religeous texts on MP3. Gotta give it a 0. God is better sought within.

The average score of this highly scientific survey was 4.7, which seems pretty average and makes Google's I'm Feeling Lucky method, no better or worse a Map for These Territories than any other fairly random device for decision making.

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