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(Courtesy of fravia's advanced searching lores)

(¯`·.¸ How luck works with searching ¸.·´¯)
by event=horizon
published at fravia's searchlores in April 2000

Slightly edited by fravia+
Luck, fate, destiny, case... can we reverse such entities? Are Götter (or whatever name assume the forces that decide our future) really so difficult to beat black and blue? We'r reverser after all... REVERSERS! Hybris is our 'daily diet' and, moreover, Fortuna ius in morem homins non (should) habet. You can enjoy here an interesting essay about the role of luck when searching. The old greeks understand luck as a woman without any hairs at all on her back. No way to catch her from behind, hehe. If you miss your luck when passing by, there is no way to grasp fortuna later on. Enjoy! Don't forget, allerdings, that Faber est suae quisque fortunae!


by event=horizon

So, we're getting into something rather mystical. I don't even know if it is the right place & time to write about something that is related to a certain "state of accepting and rejecting things" - in German i would call it "Haltung" - when other premises are far more important when you start to search. By "premises" I mean the basics: defining the key-concepts, getting to know search-engines, knowing logical operators, knowing how to parse through the pages and also when to stop the search. Now, if you know all these things (you can find them anyway in the basic & in the advanced pages) theoretically you should be able to find (and d/l :-) all the data you might EVER want from the internet. If this is the case stop reading, you wouldn't need my words anyway.

If not, now what might the reason be you don't get the things?
Because somewhere has to be a reason why you cannot find something you KNOW it's somewhere on the web. And then you see people that "have" the information, that "have" the data and you think "hey, what a lucky guy".
Believe me, he/she didn't get lucky because she sent a "Don't-worry-be-happy" -chainletter to several other innocent people:-]

And also there is no magic involved (well... this depends on the definition of magic:-), and NO, neither your browser nor your computer has a "cheat button" you just didn't find yet *g*.

The cause lies usually in the way we see things, or respectively we think them to be. Now when you hear this sentence you don't say "wow, what a mystery". "Mysteries" and "secrets" do not lie beyond a firewall, yet are so tricky that the more you hear about them the less you believe them. So first of all - what has luck to do with search?

In the first place, you came to a place where you can LEARN how to search (so where all the background elements (and even more) are explained. In fact most of the pages you'll ever find in the internet say:"stay here, i'll give you what you want" while the pages you are reading provide information that teaches you how to "fly away" :-).
Now there are several ways you might have found this site (and i should hope you didn't come here pulled by the red-hair-beauty [metatext] in the classroom-section :-D. You found searchlores through a link, a search-engine, a tip, a newsgroup or either an advertisment-banner you had to click on (hehe, just joking J/K).
You can interpret this as pure chance or as luck - but hey, you have to live in the world you build by the names you use, don't you?

So how do I define luck? When you learn to search you do it by rules, but when you start searching you have to forget them. Because everything that matters is to FIND the things you search for, and for this purpose you don't care which means you use for searching: it is better to find what you want by a quick and dirty search than to look sadly into the screen because you didn't find anything, even if you did it by the book. When you look for something you follow your guessing or your intuition. Now how can you define these concepts? Intuition is not some chapter in a perl-programming-manual. Yet by reading that manual you might develop "intuition" in that field as well.
Intuition is when you find something, but you don't know why on earth you used links you should or would normally not use.
Luck is when you experience the same but you don't feel that this was intuition.

Hmmmm ... now that was a weird definition. But intuition has something that makes it plausible while luck hasn't got this quality. You "explain" intuition somehow (by synchronicity for example: two people think of the same thing in the same time, or two events happen at the same time, for instance: "your-searching" and "the- document-being-at-the-place-you-just-search). For luck you don't find such explanation. But it's not easy to find something for "intuition" because you cannot "USE" it. And here there are two things to be said:

First: you cannot "use" intuition, or you cannot "handle" it, or it's not there when you "need" it: This makes it something that doesn't belong to an "explained" and "determined" world and for this very reason people don't take it usually into account. You won't find in a manual: "use that code when you feel it's ok" or "look into that file, i can feel it's all right" To say you search by what you "feel" has no pragmatical background and therefore it's banned as some silly curiosity even if there might be a psychological - or even a factual - background for that.
Second: there is a - let's say - "moral" background in all this, and that's why i highlighted the word "USE" and, at the beginning of this essay, the word "HAVE".

People want to USE, and they want to HAVE. Yet one thing is to "have" with a purpose and another and different thing is to "have" just for the sake of it.
People usually want to have without asking if they really need an object, or a document, or an information. By doing so they are blinded and cannot see the true meaning of what they are really looking for. They might even get what they "need" but they don't "see" it, they don't realise it.
An example: you can see this happen when you get a lot of irrelevant information by not using the right keywords: you didn't try to think too much about your query,you just entered some words and then you have millions of "try-me-buy-me-trust-me-consume-me"-infos. It doesn't mean the search-engine is bad, but you got what you were trying to get, and you "did" try to get this stuff by entering exactly those keywords.

Now here lies the core of any search: it's not that you don't get what you want: the stress lies on "want" and not on "get". Yes, you get what you "want", you get what you "deserve" (or better say, hm - "auto-deserve"). Luck is when you "auto-deserve" so much without knowing it, that the data almost comes to you "all by itself".

There is a saying that "the answer lies in the root of the question". Computers are made by people, networks are made by people, and they have a lot of logics behind their almost magical appearance. Therefore when you search you do not search for "THINGS" or "MATTERS" but for "LOGIC" and thus, of course, for the "MIND" behind. You can find this for instance in the [guessing] section: when you search, you don't search for a file named "erdcmndr.exe" but for the way some people may have stored - with some functions in mind - some binary information somewhere. Don't get too close to "names", you should rather try to get close to "meanings".

So, and then it starts. Intuition is developed by seing small things: the information that is hidden inside the information. Note that that is at the same time the incredible power of "being able to reverse". Let's say you want to learn how you can search. You start to think what methods you might need to know, you combine the methods and you make a list with "what i need to know in order to perform searches". By "make a list" I mean really "make it", i. e. "write it down". And now let's see, is this all? Let's compare. You go to the essay-section, to Robin Hoods Lessons and from here to ZERO where you have an overview. But hey, there is something more: an outline. Now let's compare, do these two lists match? Is there something you might have forgotten? Is there something you have found in your notes that's not in that list? Some words seem to be just minor details, but in fact they are HINTs.

You might think only some things in the search-list are important. But that's because you perceive these elements as being important and you will focus therefore in your search on them and you will get only that information that is similar to the method and to the meaning behind the method you use. Your search stands and falls with the meaning behind it.

With time there comes a "feeling" for seeing minor details. And then there comes the intuition behind it. You "feel", you "guess" where to look at. And sometimes, you just get a bonus. Just like that. That's called "Luck". Luck is when you get something but you realise only in the moment you get it that you actually di need it badly :-)
It's a gift. (Well, for some people is not a gift but rather a *.gif :-)

So, luck is not just the reverse of bad luck. But would'nt it be *really* nice if we could start some "reversing" on this too, eh? :-)

e=h (2000)

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