Let Me X That For You

It happened.

I asked a technical question in a forum. A day later, someone I don’t know responded “would this work?”, with a short link to them copying my query directly to a text-based AI. The AI’s response was completely irrelevant and unusable, despite giving the standard “verbose confident technical” aesthetic.

10-15 years ago, it was considered somewhat rude to ask a question, or profess ignorance of something, that could be easily googled, or looked up directly on Wikipedia. That’s just laziness. It’s informational littering. It’s not cleaning up a drink you spilled on a table others are using.

There’s even a website, to direct someone to if they text you a question they should have just pasted into Google. Passive aggressively, this alerts the asker that they should not be using you when a faster, smarter and less-easily-distracted repository of information is available: https://letmegooglethat.com/?q=is+toronto+bigger+than+montreal

In this arc of time, we have switched from how useful extra information is. In some contrived scenario where I had an analog phone but no internet, I could see in the past calling a total stranger to ask them to look something up for me. I’m not sure that would be a useful exercise any more.

“I asked my 8 ball to help you and here’s what it shat out. You’re welcome”

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