Douwe Osinga's Blog: Do the Google Dance

Thursday, August 5, 2004

Once every so long, Google would push out a new algorithm to its servers and the rankings of sites would vary for a while, depending on whether you had reached a server that had the new algorithm or one that was still on the old. This period of instability, of dancing rankings was called the Google Dance. It no longer works like this, though the big changes are still called Google Dance. But once a year there is a real world Google Dance - people moving on music.

Of course most engineers believe in two things: Real men don't use Pascal and Real men don't dance. However throw in some beers and things start to change. Suddenly hardcore C++ coders will admit that actually Delphi, which is Pascal on steroids, is a pretty nice environment for developing applications and some will even start to swaying a bit somewhat congruent with the music. Add some females from the near by Search Engine Marketing & Optimization conference and the Google food and you got yourself a party.

For the die hard non dancers, there were some old-time computer games and a foosball table. A couple of bars kept dehydration at bay and for those who wouldn't feel right without access to the Internet at all time, there were a couple of tables with connected laptops. Gmail accounts all around!

An interesting puzzle came up: 5 pirates are sitting in a boat. They want to divide 500 pieces of gold in the tradional pirate way. The youngest gets to make a proposal. If his proposal gets more than 50% of the votes, the proposed way of dividing the loot will be accepted. If not, he will be thrown overboard and the next youngest pirate gets to make a proposal. This process is repeated until a proposal is passed. All pirates are rational and want to maximize their money, but like to throw others overboard all things equal and would like to avoid that fate. How will they divide the money? (I guess that gives away my position on the dancing/non dancing issue).

After the party some people went to Palo Alto, which hasn't that much of a night life, but it beats Mountain View and well, I had had a beer or two, so it seemed like a good idea at that time. It was, but when the bar closed our ride has gone. We were considering a taxi when it turned out that the girl standing next to us lived in Mountain View and more over was willing to take us there. She only had to pick up this guy with a bike.

When he brought in the bike I swear it was my bike that was stolen. But yeah, a ride is a ride. Still it was a nice bike.