Why Spock Can’t Grok

Spock.com showed up as a result while I was running searches with Google. I decided to find out what the site had going for it besides the eye-catching domain name.

It’s a new people search engine. Making the obvious test, I typed in my own name. Spock.com came up with a hit, with great confidence displaying a picture of “Mike Glyer” beside the text — who to my surprise appeared to be the identical twin of George R. R. Martin, right down to the green Archon 25 badge that read “George R. R. Martin.”

Now I was even more curious. I put in “Ben Yalow.” Spock.com found him too, sort of: with his entry was a photo of Priscilla Olson. Things were getting worse: at least George and I both have beards.

Still, mistakes happen. So the third time, I gave Spock.com every chance to succeed and typed in the name of the most famous fan I know, “Forrest J Ackerman.” Eureka! This time the image returned with the text was Forry, surrounded by his collection.

Why didn’t this seem to be working for us lesser mortals? I went back to re-run the “Ben Yalow” search, looking for clues. If nothing else, I intended to read the silly motto on Priscilla’s pullover and mention it in this article. But, no.  Now, next to Ben’s name was the picture of a toothbrush.

I can see why they call this beta software.