Tuesday, March 07, 2006

What's a Google Anyway?

Okay, I was wrong several times in my original post. Corrections are in bold below.

I've noticed a large number of people assume Google's name is a nonsense word because it's funny sounding and it's never heard in it's original context. So let me provide my opinion for the world... as I'm sure all six billion of you are reading my blog...

Well, actually it very well may be a nonsense word because of the spelling, but it's pronounced exactly like 'googol', which is a real word that I can't help but think is one of two words Google(TM) had in mind when they named themselves. If you're my age (37) or older you may remember a TV series by Carl Sagan called "Cosmos." A very cool documentary about the science of the universe. Probably a little out of date now with the rise of chaos/complexity theory, string theory and the like. Anyway Carl liked to talk about really big numbers. He would say "Billions and Billions" a lot. He also took special care to explain the biggest number that can exist. The number is so big that a piece of paper with this number written on it, no matter how small you're hand writing, could not be stuffed into the known universe. How can this be? Here's what this number would look like; 100000000... now keep adding zeros for all eternity. One googolplex is a one followed by an infinite number of zeroes. (I wonder if this means that two googolplex is exactly the same number as one?) This word is derived from the word for the number googol, which is a one followed by a hundred zeroes.

Perhaps this is why when you do a search on Google.com the number of pages found in your search are indicated not only by numbers but also by an infinitely expandable number of o's in the word Google across the bottom.

The second word, which creates a brilliant double entendre, is that 'google' also describes wide staring eyes that roll around in different directions, like what you get after searching the internet for hours on end.