Here is the big idea from the big thing that I have been working on for a long time, using only the ten hundred most used words, just like in Up-Goer Five:
This paper explains the two things we should do about search. Some serious people think that search should help people who talk get their words to other people. Other serious people think that the people who offer search talk for themselves and we should leave these people alone. All of these serious people are wrong, because the most important thing about search is that search helps you find things. Not someone else. You, and also me and everyone. It’s good when we can find things because it means we can learn, which is even more important than helping the people who talk or the people who offer search.
There are so many things we could look at that we need help to sort through them. So the first thing we should do about search is that we should usually leave the people who offer search alone so they will keep on helping us find things. Not always, because maybe sometimes the people who offer search will lie to us about what things there are or where those things are. That’s bad because it makes it hard for us to find things. So the second thing we should do about search is not let the people who offer search lie to us like that.
It’s important to think carefully about what it means to say the people who offer search “lied.” Sometimes the thing you want to find and the thing I want to find aren’t the same. I’m not wrong and you’re not wrong. We just want to read different things. There has to be room for us not to agree on what things are best, which means there also has to be room for the people who offer search to guess at what you and I want when we search. So a search answer isn’t a lie just because the thing it suggests isn’t the thing someone else wanted it to suggest. It’s only when the people who offer search really believe you’re looking for something and decide to show you something else instead that it’s a lie. When they do that, it’s right to be angry at them and we should make them stop lying.
These two things we should do about search also give answers to other questions about search. One of them is whether the people who offer search should be able to tell you about things even when the people who own those things don’t want them to? Yes, because telling you about a thing isn’t the same as giving you the thing. No one owns the facts about where things are, even when someone owns those things. Search’s job is to help you find things, not to help the people who own the things. This is still being nice to the people who own things because once you find a thing, you can talk to the person who owns the thing and you can only take it from them if they let you buy it.
There will be much more soon, I promise.
(With help from the thing that helps make sure you really do say only the ten hundred most used words.)