Research

Why is it that someone who wants to tell lies for a living has to spend so much energy trying to find out the truth?

Ugh!  Research!  I have to admit, research has gotten a  hell of a lot easier with the invention of the internet.  For those of you out there who never had to do any research before the invention of the internet… oh, god, you lucky little bastards!

Basically, whenever we had to research papers, the first thing we needed to do was schedule an outing to the library.  Some of us, myself included, had encyclopedias at home, but any time after elementary school our teachers were quite particular that we have a bibliography with four or five books in it.  So we went to the library and spent half an hour looking through a card catalog to get a list of books that might have what we wanted in it.  Of course, half the books we found weren’t available, and the other half were only nominally related to the subject we’d been assigned….

Trust me, it sucked.

But while the internet puts nearly limitless resources into your hands, the search engines of the world have not quite figured out how to sort through it all.  Or perhaps they have, but I haven’t quite figured out how to explain my requests well enough.  Probably a combination of the two.

Sometimes when I’m watching television or a movie there’ll be a scene where someone powerful will glance over at his or her assistant and tell them, ‘find out everything you can about her,’ or ‘get me the name of every corporation in the state that produces stool softeners for pregnant women,’ or demands some other random piece of bizarrely specific information.  One scene later they’ve got the list in hand.

Sure, what they do with the information is interesting, but what I want to know is how their assistant got all of that!  Is there a website somewhere with lists like that sitting around waiting for someone to ask?  Is there a guy you call?  My god, how do I get an assistant like that!

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