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The Internet Answer To Obvious Questions
November 19, 2008 8:02 AM   Subscribe

There are times when you are asked startlingly obvious questions - here is the all-purpose response.
posted by Happy Dave (38 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
http://www.google.ca/search?q=what+the+fuck

vs

http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=what+the+fuck

How is this easier?
posted by regicide is good for you at 8:06 AM on November 19, 2008


I always liked, "Just fucking Google it."
posted by Science! at 8:08 AM on November 19, 2008


regicide is good for you: "http://www.google.ca/search?q=what+the+fuck
vs
http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=what+the+fuck
How is this easier?
"

Not easier, snarkier.
posted by Memo at 8:08 AM on November 19, 2008


regicide: If someone asked you "what the fuck" you could send them the second link as a way of suggesting they should have just used google.
posted by null terminated at 8:08 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


whois letmegooglethatforyou.com
created Nov 18, 2008
host GoDaddy.com

Cease and desist coming from Google in 3... 2...
posted by lothar at 8:10 AM on November 19, 2008


http://letmegooglethatforyou.com/?q=what+the+fuck+is+metafilter%3F

34,400 hits. Surprisingly, about as many as I would expect.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:11 AM on November 19, 2008


How it is easier
posted by DU at 8:12 AM on November 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


The 3rd grade standardized tests in my state still have questions like this:

If you wanted to find out when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born, which type of reference book would you use?

A. Dictionary
B. Encyclopedia
C. Thesaurus
D. Atlas


Of course the correct answer is actually Google.

I assume in the future questions like those will be replaced with questions about how to properly use boolean operators to limit your search results.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:20 AM on November 19, 2008 [5 favorites]


I prefer just sending people to justfuckinggoogleit.com. Gets the point across.
posted by splice at 8:23 AM on November 19, 2008


One of the standardized Iowa tests had a question that went like this:

There is a 10 cent refund on bottles. You have 2.5 bottles. How much money will you get back?

A. 20 cents.
B. 25 cents.
C. 30 cents.


The kids all got it wrong for marking A. Which in any reality other than a word problem would be correct. People contested the question. Not sure if results were changed or if the question is still being used.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:28 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I prefer just sending people to fucking Google it.
posted by dawson at 8:30 AM on November 19, 2008


I don't think they will get a C+D letter from Google, because most anyone can implant Google search on their site, as long as you adhere to the terms.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:30 AM on November 19, 2008




I was prepared to dismissively snark, but when I clicked the button and it gave me the little animation with the 'was that so hard?' I realized that I was grinning and I had to give credit.

That, then is the point of this comment; to admit that it made me smile.

Unexpectedly so.
posted by quin at 8:36 AM on November 19, 2008


And I tried the site. Good god damn is that annoying.

Snarky: someone asks you a question and you send them a link to google.com
Snarkier: ... you send them a link to justfuckinggoogleit.com
Snarkiest: ... you send them a link to letmegooglethatforyou.com

JFGI is a basic site HTML website, nothing fancy. Yeah, they had to get that graphic, big whoop. But the other site took some time to code. Really, has your life been that full of obvious questions? Or are you that bored?
posted by filthy light thief at 8:36 AM on November 19, 2008


Next time before you post, click here.

But I'm at work, I can't be drunk!

Wait, why is my shoe on top of the filing cabinet?
posted by Happy Dave at 8:37 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I assume in the future questions like those will be replaced with questions about how to properly uese boolean operators to limit your search results.

I bet they would change the answers to something more like

A. Wiktionary
B. Google
C. Wikipedia
D. Either B or C
E. Yahoo!Search Toolbar

Where "E" would always be wrong.

And I would rejoice.

I run an LJ community for fiction-related research and it's depressing how many people, including young people who grew up with the internet, have no idea how to perform a basic search for basic information. I'm not even talking about boolean operators yet, but coming up with good search terms.

They really aren't being taught anywhere how to do it.
posted by Kutsuwamushi at 8:43 AM on November 19, 2008


Are we going to add this to AskMeFi?
posted by pracowity at 8:43 AM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought "No, actually I'm lying" was the Great Closer.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:48 AM on November 19, 2008




Are we going to add this to AskMeFi?

Where do you think ask.metafilter.com redirects when Matt's servers are down?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:52 AM on November 19, 2008


They really aren't being taught anywhere how to do it.

It's really startling. In one way you kind of figure that people would just pick it up along the way somewhere. But at the same time you know next to nobody is actually formally teaching this stuff. And if they are, a lot of people aren't taking the classes. And that's not even beginning to go into analyzing the results.
posted by cashman at 8:53 AM on November 19, 2008


burnmp3s: "The 3rd grade standardized tests in my state still have questions like this:

If you wanted to find out when Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born, which type of reference book would you use?

A. Dictionary
B. Encyclopedia
C. Thesaurus
D. Atlas


Of course the correct answer is actually Google.
"

Bonus points if you follow with, "WTF is an atlas?"
posted by Rhaomi at 9:03 AM on November 19, 2008


FOOLISH QUESTIONS

You've heard of foolish questions, and no doubt you've wondered why
A person who will ask them can expect the same reply
Did you ever take your girl a box of candy after tea
You notice how she grabs it, then says, "Is this for me?"

Foolish questions! You should answer when you can
"No, the candy's for your father or your mother or John, the hired hand
I just wanted you to see it, and now I'm gonna take it away"
Now there's a foolish question that you'll hear most every day

And then most every morning, there is someone 'round the place
who sees you take the shaving brush and lather up your face
And as you give the razor a preliminary wave
This fool will always ask you, "Are you going to take a shave?"

Foolish questions! And your answer is, I hope
"No! I ain't prepared for shaving. I just like the taste of soap!
I just like to take my shaving brush and paint myself this way"
Now there's a foolish question. You'll hear 'em most every day

And then you all have met the man who stops you on your way
He asks you where you're going, and listens while you say
"I'm going to the funeral of poor old Uncle Ned"
As soon as you have told him, he will say, "Why, is he dead?"

Foolish questions! And you might as well reply
"No! He always thought at first he'd have the funeral. Then after a while he'd die.
Uncle Ned was so original, he wanted it that way"
Now there's a foolish question that you'll hear most every day

Now suppose the elevator guy should forget to close the door
And you should tumble down, oh say forty-seven floors
And when you reach the bottom and you're lying there inert
Some fool will come walking up and ask, "Are you hurt?"

Foolish Questions! Your dying words are
"No! I was in an awful hurry and that elevator's just too slow
Usually saves a lot of time, you know, comin' down this way"
Now wasn't that a Foolish Question? You'll hear 'em everyday!

posted by christopherious at 9:07 AM on November 19, 2008 [3 favorites]


There is a 10 cent refund on bottles. You have 2.5 bottles. How much money will you get back?

The correct answer is D, all available money. Because you will use the broken half-bottle to threaten the store clerk's life.
posted by naju at 9:20 AM on November 19, 2008 [6 favorites]


Whatever happened to "I'm not your damn search engine"?
posted by ceribus peribus at 9:33 AM on November 19, 2008


Can I just say how annoying it is when I'm trying to solve a problem and the first five hits are always someone with my exact question with the response "Try searching google". The next five hits are generally commercial sites for software that doesn't solve my problem, followed by a bunch of broken links. If you going to take a paragraph to tell me to google it (some people seriously do this), howzabout you consider that maybe I tried it already and don't know the correct term to look for, and you can say something like "Searching google finds this page" with a link and a cut-and-paste of the money paragraph or two. Takes about as much time and now there's useful info on the page.

I have sometimes told people to go to google myself, but this is generally on questions like, "What hotels are there in city x".

Here's the rule: If you cut and paste the asker's exact question into google, and the answer is in the first five results, then you are allowed to snark.

Otherwise, assume he searched google using those terms and come up with bubkes because he was using the wrong search term. It happens to the best of us, particularly when we don't know about the subject, which is why we asked a person instead of google Sheesh.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:43 AM on November 19, 2008


There's also shutupandgoogleit.com, a Richard Stevens creation. (Metafilter's own rstevens, BTW.)
posted by soundofsuburbia at 9:50 AM on November 19, 2008


As a lecturer I disapprove of this post ;-)
posted by i_cola at 10:20 AM on November 19, 2008


How incredibly snarky and passive aggressive
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 10:24 AM on November 19, 2008


Metafilter: incredibly snarky and passive aggressive
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:51 AM on November 19, 2008


The other day I overheard a coworker on the phone with his dad, who had a computer question. He had to spell "google" five times.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 12:38 PM on November 19, 2008


He had to spell "google" five times.

And that's when you send your dad to Yahoo!.
posted by davejay at 1:09 PM on November 19, 2008


I can now say, Let me ask Google for you and then whip out my iPhone and tap the Google Mobile app and ask it. Jaws drop, women swoon, children rejoice and questions are answered. Unless the app crashes.
posted by fenriq at 1:39 PM on November 19, 2008 [1 favorite]


My wife will sometimes ask me where such and such streets are in Chicago. She'll ask me while she's on her laptop, connecetd to the internet, her cursor practically hovering over the bookmark I made for her to Google Maps. I still love her though. It doesn't annoy me anymore when she asks me a question despite having the internet at her fingertips. She still values my advice over what she could find on the web.

It doesn't really bother me any more when anyone does it. I think I understand why people still ask other flesh and blood people for answers rather than a search engine.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 3:51 PM on November 19, 2008


The site does nothing. I will stick with fuckinggoogleit.com (the just is unnecessary and inefficient).
posted by Eideteker at 3:58 PM on November 19, 2008


Whatever happened to "I'm not your damn search engine"?

It got beat up by "Stop being a prick and answer the fucking question."
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 4:23 PM on November 19, 2008


Stupid.

On the general question of Google's utility in researching, the reality of the matter is extremely complicated. Generally speaking, I would say that seven years ago Google was a better research tool than it is today, and I am learning about alternative searching techniques.

BUT there are questions for which you can find good answers from Google in 30 seconds that would take 30 minutes in the library, and, conversely, there are questions which would take an hour to find through Google and two minutes in the library.

Now that the "library" has become more and more Internetized (see today's...yesterday's?) Metafilter post about the top 100 YouTube librarian sites, the research question has become even more complicated.
posted by kozad at 5:26 PM on November 19, 2008


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