Thursday, November 8, 2012


I’ll try to be modest about this, but, well, humility be damned, the fact is I have about 40 pages of Google devoted to my humble self. I didn’t even know I was this famous. It comes as a total surprise, and unaccustomed as I am to public speaking, I thought I’d say a few words…

First and foremost, a big shout-out to the Google elves who labored through the seasons to gather this wealth of information about me. Thank you, elves. I am unworthy. I don’t know how you found out about the interview I gave following the Algonkian Writer Conference held in 2004, and why the interview is posted more than eight times. Perhaps you thought I voiced some truly meaningful things, but I think it more likely that the redundancy elf may have taken time off that day.  

There’s the standard stuff listed—books published and for sale on Amazon for a penny plus shipping; a couple of Washington Post stories from the last millennium; some World Bank documents from the decade I spent there; and a review I wrote of a cheaply made slide guitar. There’s where I live, and since I am a member of a couple of car clubs, what I drive.

I was fascinated by the entry titled Meaning of Thierry Sagnier if only because this is something I have spent months, no, years, trying to figure out. Imagine my excitement as I clicked the site—someone had done their research on the meaning of me—and my subsequent disappointment at the tag: No Results. Does this mean Google has decided there is no meaning to my life? And how did Google know I’ve felt this way from time to time? Does this mean my occasional feelings of less-than are vindicated?

I also discovered I am a supplier of manufactured precast concrete products in Sarasota, Florida. This took me by surprise. I have a vague inkling as to what precast concrete is, but it’s obvious I have been leading a double life, unbeknownst even to myself, messing around with cement and other hard substances.

I was pleased to see my European heritage was represented.  There are numerous entries in French, and some, I am sad to say, lead to impostors. Gonzales Sagnier Thierry lives in La Rochelle, a port city in France, and appears to be an attorney. Another Thierry Sagnier lives in Aubagne. He is 39 and seems to be in much better shape than me, but I have a lot more hair. My most surprising find was a porn site with revealing shots of actresses Melanie Thierry and Ludivine Sagnier. I was not featured.

I really didn’t count the entries, but I estimate that, at ten per page and some 40 Google pages, there are approximately 400 of them. That’s downright scary since I am unable to conceive of 400 interesting things about myself.

As much as I appreciate my blogs being mentioned and disseminated, I’m beginning to wonder what’s next.  Google, I know, is trying to gather as much information as possible on every one of its users. We—Googlers—individually and together are a multi-million dollar database. I know that, using Google Map, I can check on whether my car is indeed in my driveway. I suppose that within a year or two, I should be able to see whether I left the stove on or forgot to turn off the shower.

In a way, I suppose, we have come full circle, back to the villages or neighborhoods of our ancestors, where everyone knew what everyone else was doing and there was very little privacy to be had.  Now, it’s on a worldwide basis.

I’m not sure this is good. I am toying with the idea of creating an alternate personality and seeing how quickly Google can catch on. I have a feeling the elves aren’t quite as smart as they think they are. 



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