Friday, August 17, 2007

Intriguing Google findings

In the domain of Googling gurus, I think my friend Natacha must be some sort of a world champion. She's constantly discovering all kinds of weird things, including stuff about myself that I wouldn't even think of looking for. Latest example. There's a Google menu indicated as more, shown here, that puts you in contact with a tool called Books:

If you type in my name, you'll find a list of published documents that refer to me in one way or another. Well, I was amazed to see that the UK subsidiary of Amazon surrounds my name by stars and stripes and considers me as the author of a book on Iran, published in 1983!

Consequently, it would be perfectly plausible for George W Bush to consult me, one of these days, as a specialist on this complex corner of the globe, before he decides to attack Iran. Meanwhile, I'm starting to understand why I used to get interrogated and searched at length by security officials during my visits to Israel, because they might have imagined me as an Iranian agent. [No, on second thoughts, that couldn't possibly be the case, because the Internet and Amazon didn't even exist back in the days when I used to visit the Holy Land.]

There's only one minor discrepancy. It ain't me who wrote a book about Iran, but rather my former friend Jean Hureau, founder of the Jeune Afrique publishing house in Paris, which once employed me to write a relatively successful book about Great Britain. But, thanks to the diligence of Google and Amazon, this erroneous information will no doubt be recorded permanently on computers for posterity.

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