See also Britannica's point by point response to the Nature article that suggested Whacky-Packia is 
as useful/truthful as Britannica (

Search engines are just as bad as Whacky-Packia in perpetuating the Internet as echo chamber for 
rumors, half-truths and out-of-contexts. Most search engines return results based on being paid to 
favor some pages over others (do some digging and you'll find that just about all of them have this 
practice -- a "favored return" or something like that). And since kids are not being taught to 
discriminate about sources and context, to them all results are equally valid. Plus, if one is 
searching for very specific information, even after years of tuning search engines, you better know 
some very specific keywords or you will spend hours wading through garbage.

Now, I'm no Luddite (I prefer "traditionalist ;) ) but I think one needs to approach real research 
on the Internet, as opposed to leisurely pursuit of curiosity, with great care and caution. And, as 
I spent a good hour explaining to my niece recently, just because 10 pages say the same wrong thing 
doesn't mean it will ever be right.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Alec McLane" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, March 29, 2006 2:55 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] Zits cartoon strip (trying to get back to matters archival)

It might have been this op-ed piece from the NY Times:

OPINION   | March 26, 2006
Contributor:  Searching for Dummies
Are search engines making today's students dumber?

Alec McLane

At 09:59 AM 3/29/2006, Lou Judson wrote:
>I'm sorry I did not save a link to something I read recently about some kind of test or survey that 
>indicated kids who use the internet can only find things with search engines, not with boook and 
>brains... I do not assume this meant discrimination, rather use of resources if not organized by 
>algorithms. If I find it I'll post it, if not then this is just one of those "I read it on the net" 
>Lou Judson . Intuitive Audio
>On Mar 29, 2006, at 5:56 AM, Karl Miller wrote:
>>On Tue, 28 Mar 2006, Lou Judson wrote:
>>>On the other hand, kids these days are able to search but barely to
>>I assume you mean the ability to discriminate? How does one tell the good
>>from the bad and how do you tell what is "real" and what is not in the
>>digital world.

Alec McLane
Scores & Recordings/
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