When I was young, I wondered about the White Hart, that mythical creature sent by the gods to the brave hunter on a quest for something more. I encountered the White Hart story in many a tale, a creature hovering at the edge of vision, a heartbeat from despair and failure. Clay Burell seeks the White Hart, which he characterizes like this:

My hard drive has dozens and dozens of carefully selected ebooks about my areas of interest right now — primarily World History and Chinese History. I’ve invested a good bit of cash into this because I want a “searchable academic library” on my laptop, out of the following heretical conviction: academic ebooks on a hard drive are a better resource than the internet…it would be even more magical if my hard drive search results looked more like Google’s, and less like Mac’s

I thought that probably I could be the hunter on a journey to save his people (in this case, a fellow edublogger), seeking out the divine wisdom (Google), with only my strength, wits, and the mercy from above (search engine results) to find that which the people need.

Since then, since I began my search, I’ve begun to despair that what I’ve found is truly worthwhile. What if the solution I’ve found isn’t the right one? Perhaps, it is merely an illusion, a false trail laid by no one, and I’ve wasted precious moments down the wrong trail to a box canyon? What if Google Quick Search isn’t the right answer? When I installed Google Quick Search on my Mac running OS X.6 Leopard, it gave me these results when I searched on Moodle, the start of many a PDF document on my machine:

All I really need to know now is if this is the solution that Clay had in mind when he began searching. Gradually, I hope that desktop search tools will become better integrated and the tools work well.

A Note about this post: I wrote it using Kernel Essay approach from Gretchen Bernabi, author of Why We Must Run with Scissors. The approach is quite simple. You start writing with these sentences stubs and finish them off:

  1. When I was little/young, I wondered about…
  2. I thought that probably….
  3. Since then….
  4. All I really need to know now is….
  5. Gradually….
At the end of the writing activity, you just read the results without any explaining. Fun!

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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin’s blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure