Friday, February 17, 2012

ON ASKING OTHERS TO DO YOUR GOOGLING


When seeking answers use dictionary.com, weather.com, or Google instead of asking someone. If you ask someone there’s a chance they’ll need to Google it themselves to find the answer, making it a situation where you’re simply and belligerently telling people to do things for you. Refrain from utilizing someone as your “information desk” even if you plan on qualifying your request, in an inconsiderate attempt to convey you aren’t inconsiderate, with “I could look it up myself but I’m too lazy” or “I tried but gave up,” sentiments you should instead use privately as motivational statements to stop being lazy and stop giving up, rather than as “ends” to utilize as explanations to deliver, with what can seem like pride, to the people you’re targeting.

If you know the other person knows the answer to your question, and can provide it faster than the internet, it’s still recommended that you use the internet. People will appreciate you’ve considered their time, resources, priorities and chosen to refrain from interrupting their lives; these people, in the future, may appreciate your considerateness to such a degree that they feel the desire to preemptively ask if they can help you with anything—ultimately actually saving you time in the long-term (as a considerate person, however, you won’t care, ideally, about [saving time in a one-person situation], arguably an “inherently inconsiderate” concept).
Accepting no

Additionally, categorically eliminating [interrupt someone else's existence] as an option in your never-ending quest, as a conscious being, to get what you want can have the effect of increasing your levels of patience, self-control, acceptance—qualities that (1) can make it easier for you to be considerate (2) will ultimately increase your ability to get what you want.

Finally, it has been shown that with advanced forms of considerateness, often resulting less from wanting to be nice than from feeling bored by conventional goals in life, people will actually feel excited, or something like excitement—it’s been described by some, simply, as a feeling of “artistic satisfaction”—to successfully occupy a worldview that allows them to earnestly prefer [spending 90 minutes learning how to underline text in Photoshop] over [spending 30 seconds learning how to underline text in Photoshop] if the first option does not involve interrupting anyone else’s existence. (continued)


-Tao Lin 

14 comments:

SugarSpunHun said...

WORD! Huge pet peeve when people ask questions on social media sites that can easily be answered by opening a new tab and using Google or any of the other means you mentioned above. I don't understand it. Are they looking for a conversation? I'm sure there are many ways to start a conversation other than making oneself look like a complete idiot. UGH!!

psychotropicwhale said...

This is a great resource for deterring that kind of behaviour.

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=let+me+google+that+for+you

Row HRLYCRDNS said...

In 2010, you sent a reply to me that stated I should use google scholar as a reference in answering questions. Thank you!

This is out of the blue, but I recently asked in facebook what current projects you were working on, which I've now come to realize is a very invasive question to ask. I'm sorry. I also typed out Mamilton Horris, as a joke, in that same post. I'm sorry about that as well.

Hamilton Morris said...

Asking me what projects I am working on is not invasive and is a good example of a question that cannot be answered by google. The worst questions are ones that cannot be answered by google OR me e.g. "what did I take?" questions where a very small amount of vague information is offered about the subjective effects of a drug and I am asked to identify the chemical composition of the material.

Most often, people could receive answers to the questions they ask FASTER if asked on google. I am not trying to discourage people from contacting me or asking me questions if there is something they honestly and thoughtfully wish to ask or communicate, I am simply hoping that people will learn to cultivate an attitude of mutual time-respect in this age of unlimited information.

Hamilton Morris said...
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FR said...

if you look something up on google instead of asking someone, that someone won't know that you made a point of not asking them. They won;t be able to keep this in mind and in future ask you if you need help.
some people actually to be asked questions, makes them feel useful. people like that.

Hamilton Morris said...

True re the askee not knowing that the asker respected their time by finding the answer on their own, but many kind deeds go unnoticed. Yes, some people do like being asked questions and like feeling useful, but nobody likes being asked useless questions that do nothing but illustrate the fact that the asker does not respect their time.

This all said if, for example, I go to medical school or enroll in some kind of a PhD program and stop making my show and/or writing articles I will doubtlessly miss being asked 5-10 questions each day by strangers.

Miwah said...

It gets redundant if the question has been asked numerous of times. Even facebook and other social media website tells enough to where people do not need to ask basic questions over and over again. I most of the time have too much pride to do so.

ron stark said...

But does this place way too much faith and emphasis on google and the internet? And render insignificant the notion of an "expert" and the accumulated body of work? I don't get this at all, this sounds like a personal peeve more so than anything else. sure, age of endless information, but age of endless (mis)information as well. The internet allows for quick dissemination of idiocy, and If possible I defer to someone whose body of work I respect. I vastly prefer (and trust) this human element more than whatever gets posted on the filter-less intern-net. Ha, i just made a funny. It seems like if people inquiring bothers one so, they are in the wrong line of work. If ya don't want idiots asking questions, stop posting answers maybe.

Hamilton Morris said...

You "don't get this at all"? The idea that someone would wish to have their time respected and not be bothered by an endless stream of thoughtless questions that could be instantly answered on google is confusing? Too much faith in google? If you don't have faith in google why would you have faith in any single person? I have enormous faith in the collective intelligence of the world's writers and scientists indexed by google books and google scholar but obviously there are certain questions google cannot answer, that is when I decide to contact people.

I ask a lot of questions. The only reason I keep this blog is so that I can ask questions and hope that someone with an answer stumbles upon it, hence the question mark in the title. As a "journalist" I am constantly in the position of asking experts for their opinions and information. For a recent Vice article I contacted dozens of anthropologists and cactologists but I always made sure to read their books and online publications out of respect. When you ask someone a question and indicate you have already struggled with the problem independently it communicates that you are not lazy and makes it more likely you will get a thoughtful response.

Wrong line of work? Journalists write, anthropologists do field work, scientists conduct experiments, that is the work. I answer questions because I like to and I make a point of answering (almost) every question people send me, it is for this reason I think people should pose them thoughtfully.

Roquentin said...

hello
http://koalavillage.blogspot.com/
unrelated but I think you're great, just a link to my blog, quite contradictory in the sense that by asking you to read I am essentially being selfish and wasting your time. sorry.

Unknown said...

I just emailed you a for serious question after hours of googling.

sravanthi srinivas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sravanthi srinivas said...

Asking help for others in different ways. This is good idea and different to ask.Nice advices and have lot of fun to see this pics....Dude there are Amazing Ways to Asking Help