Optimization is the enemy.

Google used to be useful. Yesterday, sitting in my car outside my apartment, I googled "who invented parallel parking" and got an incomprehensible jumble of information about a lumberjack who invented a specialized device to help with parallel parking, and then some unrelated stuff, and then a Quora page where a guy theorized that parallel parking had something to do with how people used to park horse-drawn wagons. Most of the answer was hidden behind a paywall, but that was good enough for me. I still don't know the origins of parallel parking.

I briefly freelanced as a social media and SEO "expert" to make rent in college, and that killed any sense of wonder that the world wide web had instilled in me. Anything you google ("backed up kitchen sink," "who invented parallel parking") just returns 1. Wikipedia 2. a bunch of stupid long "blogs" from random companies written by randos sourcing other stupid blogs written by randos that are full of stupid invasive ads. Sometimes you're lucky if you get a Wikipedia page. Sometimes I wish I had a question that those little freaks in the Wikihow illustrations could walk me through.

The blogs are identical, inane, and awful to navigate. Almost all websites are awful to navigate. Every news website is overloaded with media content and popups. All of the stupid blogs have ridiculous headings scattered throughout them, and are also overloaded with media content and popups.

In the early 2000s, my mom had a website where she would post a picture of her fridge and let readers submit poems written using the words in her set of magnets. Then she would create the poem on the fridge and post a new picture. Analog, baby. It got written up in the Washington Post.

Websites are all responsive now. I guess that's fine for device accessibility. But have you ever tried to look at a website on your phone? It's awful. Even on desktop, every time you move the page, some menu bar shrinks or twitches, and the content tries to rearrange itself. Not only is searching for information a fight to actually find useful information, the information you can find is physically trying to dodge you.

If you find a link to another page on a website that's a few years old, you can expect that link doesn't go anywhere. The article it's linking to was moved from "/blog/posts/2013/december/trail-mix-or-whatever.html" to "/info/articles/does-trail-mix-cause-cancer-just-asking-questions.php" and now that original link just puts you back on the homepage.

I've decided I think that's okay. We have enough access to information. That feels sacriligeous to say, since I work in a library, but since I work in a library I know how much information there is available in the world for free. And we don't even have a very strong collection.

I don't have a strong conclusion here. Just some bratty thoughts I wrote at work because websites are bad to look at.