weird ways of getting the news
Thu, 15 Oct 1998 21:56:51 +1000 (EST)
My web server logs are tracked for trends and interesting events, so I
noticed a huge spike (more than 200 times the usual hit rate) over the
last 30 hours or so in accesses to one of my book reviews -- of Amartya
Sen's _Inequality Reexamined_. Curious as to what could be causing this,
I looked more carefully at the logs, only to find that the hits were
coming from all the search engines and from all around the world, with
search queries along the lines of "Amartya Sen". This ruled out my first
guesses at an explanation, which were that a robot had run amok, that the
work had been set as a course text somewhere, or that one of the search
engines had decided to return that page first on some common search.
Anyway, I just asked someone if Amartya Sen had been in the news lately,
and was told he's just won the Nobel Prize for economics! Not that
exciting, but it's a very weird way to find out.