[extropy-chat] Evolution questions

Herb Martin HerbM at learnquick.com
Sun Mar 5 07:49:39 UTC 2006


From: Robert Bradbury

On 3/4/06, spike <spike66 at comcast.net> wrote:

Google is your friend.

Sometimes... It depends on how much one knows and how narrow the topic is.
If you have precise keywords I think Wikipedia is a better place to start.
If you hand "politics" to Google it gets you 900 million references.  Even
"artificial intelligence" gets you 90 million.  ... <snip>

I agree -- with both of you:  Google IS your friend AND sometimes Wikipedia
a better place to start.... 

Google Scholar solves some of this ...<snip> 
 Where it will become easier is when one can have topic-map displays of
collections of information based on the concepts of "local attractors".
This is similar to the "related articles" selection in PubMed but I think
they had to use a supercomputer to do the groupings (on a database which
only has something like 10 million short abstracts).  I think I have seen it
on one or more news sites as well (CNET perhaps?) but I think they confined
it to their own news articles which is a small dataset.  I don't think even
Google has the computer power to map the document family intersections for
all of the documents on the web.  If anyone knows of sites which do a
particularly good job on this, particularly if they display the information
as a visual graph, please let me know.  

Google does have SOME tools ALONG these lines although they probably
don't meet the requirements you  had specifically in mind above:
Both the [ Link:www.example.com ] and the [ related:www.example.com ] 
allow one to focus on related sites -- 'related' is obvious and 'link'
finds pages with links to the site in question which is often useful when
searching for a locus of related sites.

Very few people know all (or even most of the very useful) Google
search criteria (Google's cheat sheet is appended below) but when
used in combination with modifiers such as '~' (synonyms or similar
meaning, and '-' (NEGATE word in search, find pages without this
word or not matching this search term) the searches can be refined
quite nicely in many cases.
     [ link:www.absoluteastronomy.com ]
But the above tends to return a lot of pages at the same site,
so using the negation with the  [ -site:absoluteastronomy.com ]  
term focuses on linked pages that are NOT AT  a particular

     [ link:www.absoluteastronomy.com -site:absoluteastronomy.com ]
BTW: I used AbsoluteAstronomy because for math and (some science)
it may give better or comparable results to WikiPedia which I use 
frequently too.  Also useful for math are Wolfram's (Mathematica) 
 <http://mathworld.wolfram.com> http://mathworld.wolfram.com and Maple's

Oddly enough, it is usually better to use Google to search
AbsoluteAstronomy.com  -- since the site does anyway and
browsing on the site is screwy unless you are following
pages linked [profusely] to an article you have already found, i.e.:
I particularly like the [ site: ] keyword when looking for academic
information since it can be as simple as:   site:edu or as specific
as you like (and combined with other terms of course), e.g.:
    [ site:uts.cc.utexas.edu cenozoic evolution human ]
Very few people ever use the "inurl:"  "intitle:" or similar and 
keywords even though they can tend to focus much more directly
on pages relevant to your search terms (rather than those which
just happen to use the terms in the text body.)
Perhaps surprisingly using the "filetype:pdf" terms can help quite
often as well, searching for pdf, xls, ppt, or doc (Word) files can
often obtain more 'formal' (and sometimes more useless <grin>)
information, especially if combined with one of the other tricks 
such as only searching site:edu etc.
The two search modifiers I use most often are actually the '|' (OR, but
the word OR requires capitilization while the bar symbol is simpler), 
and using quoted phrases, e.g., [ "evolution during the cenozoic" ] -- 
this also illustrates a problem with quoted phrases in that you may not
know the word 'between' your key ideas and therefore Google offers
the '*' wildcard operator, e.g., compare results of:
    [ "evolution during the cenozoic" human ]
    [ "evolution during the * cenozoic" human ]

(The latter matches phrases containing the longer phrases
such as:  "early", "late" and even "Mesozoic and" Cenozoic.)
Sometimes Google ignores common and very short words, e.g.,
'the', I (roman numeral or pronoun) and so putting a '+' (required,
or exact) symbol in front of the +keyword OR in front of +"the quoted
phrase" can help if you require matching common words or 
require an exact match.
Most sources (including the excellent book "Google Hacks") claim that
Google has a "ten word limit" on searches but I suspect that this 
restriction has been quietly removed or expanded as searches such
as the following search (now) finds the terms listed at the end:
  [-enroll -enrolled -climate -three -four -five -six -seven -eight -nine
-ten human evolution cenozoic ]
Google even has "special collections" for topics such as [ microsoft: ] or
[ linux: ] (ending ':' is required for these collections).  Combining the
[ microsoft: ] collection with the negated [ -site:microsoft.com ] can find
information that is NOT located at the microsoft website but does 
pertain to 'Microsoft stuff'.
    [ microsoft: -site:microsoft.com DHCP | DNS  ]
Longer guides (than below):
Herb Martin

 Google <http://www.google.com/images/google_sm.gif> 

 Google Help : Cheat Sheet	
vacation hawaii	  	 the words vacation and Hawaii .	
Maui OR Hawaii	  	 either the word Maui or the word Hawaii	
"To each his own"	  	 the exact phrase to each his own	
virus -computer	  	 the word virus but NOT the word computer	
Star Wars Episode +I	  	 This movie title, including the roman
numeral I	
~auto loan	  	 loan info for both the word auto and its synonyms:
truck, car, etc.	
define:computer	  	 definitions of the word computer from around the
red * blue	  	 the words red and blue separated by one or more
+	  	 addition	  	 45 + 39	
-	  	 subtraction	  	 45 - 39 	
*	  	 multiplication	  	 45 * 39	
/	  	 division	  	 45 / 39	
% of 	 	 percentage of	  	 45% of 39	
^	  	 raise to a power	  	 2^5 
(2 to the 5th power) 	
site:	  	 Search only one website	  	 admission
(Search Stanford Univ. site for admissions info.) 	
[#].[#]	  	 Search within a 
range of numbers	  	 DVD player $100..150
(Search for DVD players between $100 and $150) 	
date:	  	 Search only a 
range of months	  	 Olympics date: 3 
(Search for Olympics references within past 3 months; 6 and 12-month
date-restrict options also available)	
safesearch:	  	 Exclude adult-content	  	 safesearch: sex
(Search for sex education material without returning adult sites) 	
link:	  	 linked pages	  	 link:www.stanford.edu
(Find pages that link to the Stanford University website.) 	
info:	  	 Info about a page	  	 info:www.stanford.edu
(Find information about the Stanford University website.) 	
related:	  	 Related pages	  	 related:www.stanford.edu
(Find websites related to the Stanford University website.) 	


Google Images	  	 images.google.com	  	 Find images related
to your search term.	
Google News	  	 news.google.com	  	 Read the most
up-to-date news stories about your search term.	
Froogle	  	 www.froogle.com	  	 Find sites selling the
exact product you're looking for.	
Google Groups	  	 groups.google.com	  	 Usenet discussion
group archive dating back to 1981.	
Google Catalogs	  	 catalogs.google.com	  	 Search hundreds of
online catalogs.	
Google Labs	  	 labs.google.com	  	 Test-drive
potential future Google products and services.	
Blogger	  	 www.blogger.com	  	 Start your own online
journal (or 'blog') with this free 
self-publishing service.	

C2005 Google
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