"Googlewhacking" [1] is the sport of finding a unique web page in response to a two-word Google [2] search. (Note that in a genuine googlewhack the two words must be legitimate dictionary entries, the search must be performed boolean-AND fashion rather than as a quoted phrase, and the one-of-a-kind result must not be a word list, encyclopædia, dictionary, or other unnatural collection of strings.)

A fortnight ago Matthew Whyndham [3] --- fast marathoner, space physicist, and fascinating fellow --- introduced me to googlewhacking with the news that his quest for magnetohydrodynamic aphorism had led him to the singular hit ^zhurnal v.0.33 [4]. (Of course, posting that fact here will render it nugatory as soon as Google indexes this page. Tough luck!)

By pure coincidence, in a message yesterday Amanda Williams [5] used the word reify, one of many splendidly arcane philosophical terms that tickle my inner ear whenever I see them. Hitherto reification hasn't appeared in the ^zhurnal. (It's the act, or fallacy, of treating an abstract concept as if it were a concrete thing. Now I've mentioned it; check that box off.) Another philosopher's term-of-art that I dearly like the sound of is supererogatory --- describing acts that go beyond what can be required or expected of one. Amanda's kind note triggered some neurons to fire in the old cranium, and a few mental-clock-cycles later a search for reifies supererogation led me to the googlewhackish "Environment, Beauty and Bible", by F. Gerald Downing [6]. (Sorry, it won't be a unique Google result once I've posted this.)

Downing's fascinating essay begins with a bit of heavy theology but picks up speed as it progresses. His discussion of Biblical poetry and of the Song of Solomon in particular is happy, thoughtful, and lovely. "Imagining a young couple imagining unrestrained delight in one another opens up a vision of the ordinary world surpassed." So sweet, and so true.

But alas, "Environment, Beauty and Bible" as currently posted is marred by a distracting typo in the second sentence of the Abstract:

Is 'beauty' an 'ecotheological' issue? Or, specifically, is the Cod of the Judaeo-Christian Bible concerned only with the 'goodness' of creation, not its beauty? ...


(I've attempted to notify the site administrator; perhaps it will be fixed soon. See also OnSupererogation (18 Dec 1999), InkBlots (18 Sep 2001), RainpostsAndGodrays (23 Sep 2002), FlyingFinn (18 May 2003), ... )

TopicLanguage - TopicZhurnal - TopicHumor - TopicFaith - TopicPhilosophy - TopicPersonalHistory - Datetag20050306

(correlates: Periodic Tables, AnAcknowledgement, SemiAstrophysicist, ...)