Thursday, October 28, 2010

Satori Redux

Almost a year ago -- on October 30, 2009, to be exact -- I wrote about the Japanese concept of satori in this post. Now, I have had one.

I suddenly realized something recently (and am about to share it with you) about how Blogger (or google, or something) works. I happened to look at my Feedjit Live Traffic Feed list and saw that it included the following text next to a little flag of The Netherlands:

Leidschendam, Zuid-Holland arrived from on “rhymeswithplague: East is east, and west is west, and the wrong one I have chose.**” by searching for jaroussky philippe. 05:58:41

jaroussky philippe?

“East is east, and west is west, and the wrong one I have chose.**” was the title of my then-latest post, but it contained nothing at all about either jaroussky philippe or, as he is more commonly known, philippe jaroussky. However, I remembered that back on July 29th of this year I published a post entitled “Stabat Mater” in which not only did I mention the French countertenor Philippe Jaroussky but
I also included a video clip of his singing and (here’s the frosting on the cake) typed his name in the Labels section at the end of the post.

Aha! Or as Archimedes once screamed, “Eureka!” (which means
“I have found it!” in Greek). [Editor's note. For the record, what Archimedes actually screamed was “εὕρηκα”. --RWP]

So the thing I suddenly realized, in a quasi-Archimedean, satori sort of way, is that sometimes when a person has searched for something that happens to be a label somewhere in your blog, Blogger (or google, or something) will bring that person to your most recent post, even if that particular post has nothing whatsoever to do with the person’s search criteria (for example, “East is east, and west is west, and the wrong one I have chose.**”), and stop.

It’s as though Blogger (or google, or something) is saying, “I have gone this far but I will go no further. I brought you to the threshold. What you’re searching for is in there somewhere. Do I have to do all the work? The rest is up to you, Meathead.”

Conversely, if you yourself have typed in a search for something, say “Dietrich Buxtehude” or “the Malay archipelago,” and you land on a post in someone’s blog but it doesn’t seem to have anything to do with Dietrich Buxtehude or the Malay archipelago, if you see a sidebar list of labels associated with that particular blog and scroll down into it you may find yourself, like Archimedes, screaming “Eureka!” [Editor’s note. Running naked through the streets at this point also has historical precedent, but I am not recommending that you do it. --RWP]

Live and learn.

P.S. -- You needn’t waste time trying to find Dietrich Buxtehude or the Malay archipelago in the randomly selected blog in the paragraph above. They aren’t there. I didn’t mean to imply that they were.


  1. You are too funny today, RWP. I see you cleverly put the not-to-be-found names in your tags. All that being said, I usually learn something heretofore unknown to me when reading your posts; today was no exception - the information on search engines was enlightening. I don't have Feedjit, but I've often wondered why I receive some Anonymous comments. They must have zeroed in on a tag.
    Wishing you and Mrs. RWP a pleasant day. It's quite windy, but otherwise beautiful here.

  2. I think I'm cracking up, I read your post and all that kept coming into my head was the lyrics of a song in an old Bob Hope Western "East is east and west is west and the wrong one I have chose". Isn't that a line in "Buttons and Bows"? If not then that just confirms my first sentence above. I can only put this down to a trying day with broadband supplier today who thinks it is fun to keep blocking my access!!!

  3. I will break my recently self-imposed rule about not commenting on my own posts to tell Masia Mum that if she clicks right here to read my "East is east, and west is west, and the wrong one I have chose.**" post, and turns her sound up, and clicks on the words "Watching this" inside that post, she will have a pleasant little surprise.

    P.S. - Hello, my Arkansas friend!

  4. When someone arrives at your blog - after a search - they can commence a second search - this time of your blog by typing the keyword in the blog's search box - top left hand corner.
    I have never attached tags or labels to posts but you have made me think that I should try it.