educate equip enable
The Google search box has become the new oracle for many of us, the thing we consult before all major undertakings. How do I know this?
Through Google Suggest, of course. For those who don't know how Suggest works, this sums it up nicely:
Google Suggest is, essentially, a list of the most popular queries that start with a given prefix, generated from recent search activity. A suggestion-enabled search is like an instant popularity contest. Just type in a couple of letters, and you've got access to oodles of data on what your fellow Web surfers are hunting for.
Google Suggest is a helpful feature. It's a little sliver of the collective mind. It's also a lot of fun to mess with.
However, the internet has lots of great examples of misfires served by Google. For example, if you type in "I am extremely", amongst other suggestions, you will find, "I am extremely terrified of Chinese people." But one thing I did find very interesting, was an article which uses Google for some armchair sociolinguistic analysis. The graphic compares "less intelligent" queries with "more intelligent" queries, such as "how 2" with "how might one."
Typing in 'how 2' will get results like:
But if you type in 'how might one', instead of "how 2", here are some Google suggestions:
You can spend entire afternoons duplicating this experiment. If you type in 'what is up with', you might find some suggestions like:
But if you type in "how is it that", Google suggests:
Grammar also seems to make a difference.
Try typing "you is" and you get:
But if you type "you are", you get:
Perhaps "less intelligent" vs. "more intelligent" isn't the kindest or most accurate way to classify these queries. Some of the "more intelligent" queries are clearly high-schoolers desperately trying to get their homework done. And some of the "less intelligent" queries are no doubt very smart people distracting themselves with Google in an idle moment.
But thinking about this, I realised that this is not that far removed from the meaning of communion. That God, sending His only Son to remove our sin by dying for us, has made a search function available to us - a direct line between us and God.
Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. (8) For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened."
Matthew 26:26-28: And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, "Take, eat; this is My body." (27) Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, "Drink from it, all of you. (28) For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins."
Let's take a moment to remember why we are celebrating communion this morning.
Let's eat and drink.