The slow search engine

Mongol Rally 2018

Over the course of the summer we will be driving through approximately 21 countries in an almost 21 year old Micra. Our mission is to answer any question you may have about any country on route – without the help of the internet.

As Nugget the Micra rolled off the factory line in the summer of 1997, Larry Page and Sergey Brin were in the midst of a research project at the University of Stanford, and registered the domain A year later, Google Inc. was born.

Google in 1997Google in 1997

1996-98 Micra sales brochure
1996-98 Micra sales brochure

There’s no doubt this has changed the world. The term ‘Google’ has become synonymous with “finding an answer to something”. Before Google, if you wanted to know something you’d either have to read a book (if you could find the right book to read), or ask someone.

Access to knowledge has never been easier. But is it always good? Are we shying away from interacting with other humans and asking what might be perceived to be ‘stupid’ questions? It’s no longer good enough to say “I don’t know” because you can ‘Google it’. But do you make the time to understand it, or to check the sources? Or are we simply outsourcing our brains to the computer in our pocket?

Sam explains our Slow Search Engine challenge

With the recent uproar caused by ‘fake news’, and our unrelenting addition to the internet, we’re setting ourselves the challenge of being the slow search engine. Ask us a question about a place we are visiting, and we’ll do our best to find an answer, whether that involves asking the locals, visiting a museum, or taking the time to read a book.

So let us know your questions. All we ask is that you make a donation to the charities we’re supporting – an appropriate amount for the difficulty of the question 🙂  We’ll do our best to get you the answer. Even if we don’t, the attempt will make for a good story in itself.

Give us a question!

Make a donation on our Virgin Money Giving page and leave your question there! You can also post your question on our Facebook or Twittter, or drop us an email.

To see some of the questions we’ve been asked, check out the ‘donors’ section on our Virgin Money Giving page!

Donate and ask a question

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