Here’s an excellent, very relevant article from The New Yorker on “how the Internet gets inside us” — or: the Never-Betters vs. the Better-Nevers vs. the Ever-Wasers, and why Hermione Granger is stuck in the library. Some quotations: “There is, for instance, a simple, spooky sense in which the Internet is just a loud and unlimited library in which we now live—as if one went to sleep every night in the college stacks, surrounded by pamphlets and polemics and possibilities.” And: “Everything once inside is outside, a click away; much that used to be outside is inside, experienced in solitude. And so the peacefulness, the serenity that we feel away from the Internet, and which all the Better-Nevers rightly testify to, has less to do with being no longer harried by others than with being less oppressed by the force of your own inner life. Shut off your computer, and your self stops raging quite as much or quite as loud.”

And from The New York Times on optimized searching: “The Dirty Little Secrets of Search.”