Not Even Pataphysics Can Save the Internet

If you’ve been living in  a cave with a bear for the past century, then you may not know that Pataphysics is the imaginary solution to problems.* Like all art, its business is also the conception, gestation, and rearing of the future. The trouble is, any solution to a problem, unless discovered by chance (which many solutions are), must, by necessity, at some time be imagined. Indeed, a problem itself must be imagined in the first place; something cannot be a problem, without the imaginary classification of problem. It would still exist, but it wouldn't be a problem. After all, one person's problem is another's solution.

Wait a minute, wasn't Pataphysics originally just a way of writing hilarious French farces?**

Yes, but now Pataphysicists exist outside of an in-joke (or as part of a global, open in-joke) and sometimes they try to solve problems by doing the opposite of orthodoxy. Sadly, this sort of attitude cannot be creative, or particularly imaginative, because it may only imitate or innovate its original source; albeit in the form of a mirror image or reactionary opposite. 

But, what does this have to do with the internet?

Well, Pataphysicists have made a search engine, with the noble goal of making the internet a little more like it used to be, before it had to be indexed to be usable. (Or so we're told by the people who index it.)

Unfortunately—and unsurprisingly—they have only succeeded in creating a mirror image of Google and YouTube.

As you can see below, I used the search term "work" and the image source provided by the pataphysical search engine (if it isn't limited in such a way, it simply finds pornography) on Google and YouTube, as well as the pataphysical search engine, and the results are almost identical:

 A pataphysical image search for "work": all results are things directly related to, or assosciated with work.  Maybe people just work a lot?

A pataphysical image search for "work": all results are things directly related to, or assosciated with work.

Maybe people just work a lot?

 A google image search for "work" and "getty" which has not only turned up similar work-related themes to the pataphysical search, but its foremost image, like the Pataphysical search's, is of an exhausted woman with her head in her hands.  At least it includes the great idler, Prince Charles; 69 years of age, and still not a king. If anything, Google has given us a less relevant result than the Pataphysical search! 

A google image search for "work" and "getty" which has not only turned up similar work-related themes to the pataphysical search, but its foremost image, like the Pataphysical search's, is of an exhausted woman with her head in her hands.

At least it includes the great idler, Prince Charles; 69 years of age, and still not a king. If anything, Google has given us a less relevant result than the Pataphysical search! 

 Here the pataphysical search has found a bunch of music videos, some of which don't appear to be very related to work. Well done.

Here the pataphysical search has found a bunch of music videos, some of which don't appear to be very related to work. Well done.

 But a YouTube search also found a bunch of music videos, seemingly unrelated to work! Still, they all had work in their title or description...

But a YouTube search also found a bunch of music videos, seemingly unrelated to work! Still, they all had work in their title or description...

Maybe just try this map of the internet instead? You can find things you weren't looking for more easily (although, if I look up "work" on YouTube, I'm not looking for music, am I?); but you do have to wade through a lot of pornography websites. And it doesn't include GameUnder, the most interesting and unexpected site on the internet!

My own solution is that search engines allow you to tune the relevance of your results. Why not let us use the algorithm in reverse? Instead of the most related result, give us the least related. How about giving us the opposite of what we want? If we google "pizzagate", then give us websites on Russian collusion with the White House, and vice versa. Why not put everything into context? If we're googling "Ferguson", give us results on the LA Riots or the really scary original Red Scare. It won't have much effect on changing stupid beliefs (on the contrary, exposing an idiot to a poorly articulated argument against their idiocy is only likely to result in a greater devotion to their original idiotic belief), but it will make some people feel a little better.

It is another mirror solution...but at least I admit it's not very clever or creative. That's what people want, right?—mediocrity that admits it's mediocre, so we can all feel better about our own mediocrity.

*Originally it was a way for Alfred Jarry and his friends to make fun of their pretentious science teacher, and his made-up answers to their science-related questions.

**Download this and its subtitles now, as it's absolutely hilarious. Monty Python meets Macbeth. It's apparently the perfect time to watch it, as people say it's a great commentary on Donald Trump (just because Ubu is plump and likes fatty food?); but it isn't. I don't recall Donald Trump reaching the White House through a millitary coup (and it is a great commentary on military coups). Although, his debraining machine is as effective as Ubu's, but targets an entirely different audience.