Ever sat down at your friend’s computer, began to type “why” in the search engine, and found Google completing a question you didn’t exactly expect but are happy to know the answer to: “does some poop float and some poop sink?”
Well, of course you have, and former Editor-in-Chief of the satirical newspaper The Georgetown Heckler Jack Stuef (COL ’10) recently started a weekly advice column for New York Magazine’s blog, The Cut, to interpret the thousands of results Google will produce from a simple search. Call him the “Google Whisperer,” he says in his first post.
Confused? Here’s how it works. Stuef receives questions from readers. Using Google, he analyzes the different results to form the most apropriate response. He is, essentially, doing the dirty work and saving us the embarrassment of a strange search history.
“I’m probably the last person anybody should be going to for advice, but if there’s anything worse at it than me, it’s got to be search engines,” Stuef wrote in an email to Vox. ”Yet I think people these days probably consult Google more than any other source of advice, often with bizarre or hilariously poor results. I guess the idea behind the column is to explore that.”
In one of the entries, Stuef takes a question (“My drug dealer keeps asking me out. I don’t want to date him, but I really like him as a dealer. What should I do?”) responds candidly:
Begin to enter “drug dealer wants” into Google, and it will guess you’re typing “drug dealer wants to kill me.” Consider yourself lucky you’re not one of the people looking for help with that.
During Stuef’s time as editor of the Heckler, the student satire magazine ran a controversial article with a picture of Hoya staff members holding a Ku Klux Klan-like crossburning. Another article satirizing the Black Student Union led to a student forum on the issue of “Racism and Satire”, as well as a response from Vice President of Student Affairs Todd Olson condemning the Heckler‘s articles and emphasizing the University’s disassociation with the magazine.
At the time, Stuef argued that the article was intended to satire The Hoya‘s controversial April Fool’s 2009 Issue, which many students believed contained material offensive to minorities. ”Since graduating, I have not once been called into Todd Olson’s office,” Steuf wrote, when asked whether or not he has run into any controversies in his post-graduate journalism career.
Stuef encourages Georgetown students to submit their questions too. “The column is brand new, so when a get a query, you’ll likely see it answered,” he wrote, “An advice column is only as good as the hubristic monsters and self-oblivious victims that write into it. If that sounds like you, please, don’t hesitate to send a question to email@example.com.”
Screenshot of NYMag website