Googlewhackers: Two Words, One Hit, reprinted here from the Boston Globe

Crazy as it sounds, Googlewhacking may be good for your mental health.

“It’s excellent exercise for many brain centers,” says Allen D. Bragdon, founding editor of Games magazine and author of a number of books on enhancing brain function, including “Exercises for the Whole Brain.”

“It requires a high order of a cognitive skill called ‘theory of mind,’ ” he says. “That is the ability to imagine what another person is thinking. . . . A whacker has to project his or her understanding of the rules of human behavior into the minds of Google programmers and into the minds of other Internet search practitioners. The words become iconographic symbols of other people’s non-interest, how they don’t think. So, it’s more a psychological diagnostic exercise than a language puzzle.”

Iconographic symbols of other people’s non-interest. How other people don’t think. Cool.

Me, I think the most interesting thing about Googlewhacking is that it’s a self-defeating game:

The elation at discovery of a Googlewhack is brief, for registering the phrase on the Googlewhack site means, by definition, that it appears on two Web pages and, therefore, is no longer a Googlewhack.