may serve as the beginning of mapping all sorts of searches.
He says that:
Searching is like finding a needle in a haystack, but not all searches are the
same. "Finding a needle in a haystack" can mean:
- A known needle in a known haystack
- A known needle in an unknown haystack
- An unknown needle in an unknown haystack
- Any needle in a haystack
- The sharpest needle in a haystack
- Most of the sharpest needles in a haystack
- All the needles in a haystack
- Affirmation of no needles in the haystack
- Things like needles in any haystack
- Let me know whenever a new needle shows up
- Where are the haystacks?
- Needles, haystacks – whatever
I tried to find an example for each sort of search and decided that:
- Looking for Parents home in Herzliya is a known needle in the Yellow pages which are a known haystack.
- Looking for a banana that has an apple flavor is a known needle in the WWW which is a known haystack.
- Looking for Air pollution in the Haifa bay area in Israel is an example for all the needles in a haystack since it is for an academic research and you can't submit your paper unless you know all the publications in your field of research.
- Looking for a similar patent to Qtsaver patent is an unknown needle in an unknown haystack and I'll know it for sure only when we get the patent (Now it's pending).
- "Let me know whenever a new needle shows up" is what Google Alert and RSS feeds do.
Martin Lessard adds on
Wrong query for a needle in a haystack, and finding something anyway - That's
what is called serendipity.