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The Pequod
Dr Alistair Brown | Associate lecturer in English Literature; researching video games and literature

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New Essay

Through exploring the psychopathology of Capgras syndrome, in which a patient mistakes a loved one for an imposter, The Echo Maker offers a sustained meditation on the ways in which we project our own problems onto other people. As a reflection on the mysteries of consciousness, the novel offers some interesting if not especially new insights into the fuzzy boundaries between scientific and literary interpretations of the mind. Read more


Google Exists!

Friday, December 08, 2006

On occasions such as Halloween or Christmas, when you visit the Google home page you will see that famous logo modified slightly, in reflection of the events in the calendar. It is a nice touch, because it reminds that behind this simple interface, through which so much of the world's information comes pouring into your experience, are real human beings.

In the digital age, "to Google" something has become a verb, replacing those traditional words that imply an embodied act of discovery: to search, to find, to explore. Though I find it wonderful, it is also slightly strange that now my knowledge appears, instantaneously, through no more physical an act than the tap of a key, and the flick of an eye. So I was quite happy today when, in the post, I received my Google Adwords security pin. Here was a letter, stamped from America, a tangible piece of proof that Google is more than an algorithm, a method and a name, but is a real company in a real building, at which physical people work, even if only folding envelopes. Today, at least, my interactions with Google were sensual, not simulated: the flutter of paper onto the doormat, the satisfying rip of a finger against glue, the unfolding of the creased pages.

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Posted by Alistair at 2:49 pm

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