When the Information Age Morphed Into The MIS-Information Age

I was recently adding some information to my Linux Tips & Tricks page on the usage of adduser vs useradd and what started as a explanation into why there should be a clear and concise answer as to when and where one should use each command, quickly turned into a rant expressing my frustrations with finding unambiguous information these days.

It started with the usage of 2 similar commands in Linux that create user accounts. Simple enough.
You can find the page we have available on the most upto date information I could find reguarding the two commands here: LINK TO ADDUSER-USERADD PAGE


The main reason I want to clear the air about the usage of the adduser vs useradd commands is because of the number of other “helpful guides” on the Internet that recommend using the useradd command.

Now I know these pages may be old, but when 3 of the measly 5 organic search results the Google provides us these days link to pages that technically contain outdated or mis-information….well that’s a problem.

Entry level system admins will see these results and take them as gospel. In fact, I’ve already noticed some effects of this seemingly minor issue of which command is preferred in tutorials that have been written this year.

There have been at least 2 occasions where I was reading a tutorial that was created recently and the author’s used the useradd command in a way that didn’t make sense to use it over adduser.

Well, it didn’t make sense until I did a Google search trying to see if there was a reason the usage of a command that’s usage is outdated (as far as the context in which it was being used in these tutorials.)

Here’s what I think is happening. Google is making us dumb.

That’s it, end of blog…

But in all seriousness it’s true. Try to think to way back….5, even 10 years ago… I know it’s hard, but really try to work that melon on top of your shoulders…

Remember how easily you could find information that was current and accurate to what you searched for. You know, around the time the term ‘Google it’ became a thing.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I seem to remember searching not triggering a fit of rage.

Now a days we get 5 organic search results per page, which at least 50% of  those 5 contain outdated information because I’m guessing Google’s page-rank system puts too much emphasis on who long a page has been active.

By my highly scientific mathematic calculations I have come to the following conclusion:

On a good day we can expect 2.5 organic search results on the first results page from Google that may contain information that isn’t garbage.

Well that sucks more than I though. I also know my highly scientific analysis is more like a general observation,  but I ask you to ask your self how much time do you spend trying to sift through garbage information and find a answer to the question you had to begin with that triggered the search.

Google is too busy mining all of our data instead of improving search. Why improve search if you can improve that click-through ratio on ads by having developers optimize code for ad revenue  rather than quality of search results?

What do you think shareholders want?

So what’s the solution? Well I don’t have the answer, but who ever does is going to be the next billionaire unicorn to come up with the ‘next Google’

In the mean time, good luck out there & stay safe.


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