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    Spiritually similar to Baudelaire and “the finest trick of the devil is to persuade you that he does not exist”, the biggest deception search engines played was switching the meaning of ‘search’ from ‘select from what it knows, that which bests matches the criterion you provided’ into ‘select from what it knows, influenced by what it knows about you, that which <some deity - advertisers, hostile governments, …> wants you to know’.

    The saving grace is still how embarrassingly crap they are at it ;-)

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      I think there are plenty of fair criticisms of “tailored” search strategies but I’m not convinced they’re underperforming with respect to where older strategies would be today. I use duckduckgo about as often as google, it’s acceptable and in tandem with not being google that’s enough to make me use it, but it’s really only once in a blue moon where it manages to outperform google at anything.

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        adblock + search tools -> verbatim

        then you can at least pretend you live on a better internet for a while.

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          Search only stinks online.

          I’ve started using notmuch for my email, and this is so true! I’d gotten used to how slow online search was with Inbox & Gmail — but with notmuch it’s effectively instantaneous. It’s a strong reminder of how powerful client applications can be.