Wednesday, December 29

The Stories in the Queries

There's a little story behind every search query, and sometimes I like to imagine what circumstances led up the searches that bring people to this site. There are the obvious and boring ones, like a student looking for a little help on a school assignment searching for "a summary of the poem the spell of the yukon", or "the real meaning of O Captain, My Captain."

But what about the one from this morning: "rebecca is dumb"? Children fighting I suppose, perhaps over some new game system they got for Christmas. Rebecca is probably the oldest one, and the one who gets in trouble the least often, mostly because she's older and able to make it look like every fight is her younger brother's fault.

Maybe that's what happened. This morning's fight wasn't really all his fault, but once Rebecca told her side of the story--not really lying outright, but choosing her words carefully and leaving some important things out--it was Rebecca who won control over the game system, and younger brother (His name is probably something historical or biblical, but fairly common, like Christopher or Thomas; and the family uses whole names, rather than nicknames.) was left to find his own entertainment. He chooses the computer, but he really doesn't have any idea what to do there, so he idly types what he's thinking--"rebecca is dumb"--into the search box and my site is second on the list it brings up.

Of course, there's nothing that interests him in the post here that he's linked to. It just mentions a "dumb" quiz or something similar, and he moves on to the next result.

What might be the background for the query "A.W. Pink revealed as open thiest"? A discussion (argument?) of open theism? The open theist (or the one flirting with open theism) is losing the argument due to all the holes in the system. (Even open theists admit that their system isn't fully developed, being so recent, and that they haven't had time to come up with answers to all the arguments against them yet.) In a last desperate attempt to shut up his obnoxious reformed brother-in-law, and knowing that his brother-in-law really admires Arthur Pink, the open theist says, "A.W. Pink, you know, became an open theist in his later years." It works to stop the discussion, sending his brother-in-law off to the computer to prove him wrong.

And he is wrong, or else my site, which never mentions A.W. Pink at all, but does use the term "open theist" and mention the color pink, wouldn't come up in the first page of results. But it's an allegation that's hard to disprove, since there's nothing at all that directly speaks to A. W. Pink and open-theism. Of course there wouldn't be--couldn't be--since Mr. Pink died in 1952, before the term "open-theism" came into existence. But by now the steam is gone from the discussion, and the subject is dropped, at least for a half a day.

Why would someone search for "world's largest" and go through 38 pages of results in order to get to my post on the World's Largest Weather Vane? What's the story behind "what to do if there is discord in the church"? I'm guessing I don't want to know the answer to that one. How about "february God"? There are other things I should be thinking about, so I'll leave you to make up your own stories for these queries.