Asking doubts and getting clarifications are activities which start very early in one's life. My lil grandsons do ask innumerable questions, wanted and unwanted, right from the morning which may or may not have answers.
My wife also asks so many questions day in and day out. I had only made one request to her, not to ask questions for which we do not have any answers or the answers are already known to her and she wanted it to be heard from me......!
During our younger days as students, we used to have very learned and dependable teachers and intelligent friends who could clarify the doubts without referring to any book. One such classmate earned a nickname as " logarithm " since he remembered even the most difficult formulas in Trigonometry and Algebra. Another friend was called "walking encyclopedia " for he was almost mobile reference book for any subject.
That reminds me of certain friends of mine who specialized in asking doubts in the class just for the heck of it. When the nice looking Hindi teacher once openly offered to clarify doubts, he started asking the meanings of the film titles eg. " Pyar ka mausam " " Pyar ki so se hota hai " etc. Needless to add that the teacher stopped clarifying doubts from the next class.
But whenever I had any genuine doubts to be clarified, I went to the library next to the college and sit in the reference section. The most dependable books were Encyclopedia Britannica and Americana. These reference books were very costly too. Later in life, I have seen certain people proudly displaying the full set of it in their living rooms though they never dare to open it for reference.
In today's world, the technology revolution has changed the scenario of seeking information and clarification. The widespread availability of internet and search engines like Google has made a sea change. Today Google is so omnipresent and omnipotent like " Narayana" referred in the Narasimhavatara of Prahlada story.
The use of search engines like Google is universally prevalent for anything and everything. The usage has also becoming so friendly that even information can be elucidated by talking to the instrument as if talking to your spouse or friend. Let me make a confession that I seldom use the heavy dictionary book to learn more about new words, these days......!
If you have used your cell phone or computer in sending E-mails or participated in social media like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. many of the personal data get stored in various sites. It can be retrieved by anyone if it is properly secured.
In the near future, one could know more about oneself by asking Google .....!
The height of dependency of the present generation on the information available on the internet was brought out when I had a dialogue with my grandson sometime last month. While taking about the solar system, he asked about the distance between the Moon and Earth. When I fumbled and told I would refer to some book and tell, he quipped " it's 238,900 miles....." . When I questioned about the source of information, he said that he asked Google.....!
The ubiquitous status of internet search engine was revealed once again this morning. We were in a queue in the local infirmary in connection with some minor treatment. There was one little child aged about four and a lady (apparently his mother) ahead of us. The counter staff was filling the form ascertaining details from her. After the name of the patient, the name of the father was asked. Apparently the lady got busy with some message on her cell phone. The boy asked her " Are you referring to Google.......for the exact name ? "
Will you ask for a better proof to substantiate my earlier statement that Google has attained a status of being omnipotent, pervasive and universal ..........?