My absolute best tip for writers: the incognito search window

#1
As you're writing speculative fiction of any type, it's inevitable that you need to do a little research for realism. Sometimes, this is no big deal, like when you're trying to find out how much weight an average human adult can lift.  Other times, you're searching things you really, really, really don't want Google AdSense to start deciding you're interested in.

I made the mistake of searching for some information about military ranks in my normal browser window, and now Google keeps serving me Army recruitment ads. That's livable, but thank goodness I used the incognito window when I was researching:
  • How constrictor snakes kill people
  • How much blood loss an adult human can sustain
  • Why are gut wounds so dangerous and exactly how they kill people
  • The mechanisms of consciousness loss
  • The internal workings of a TASER
  • The internal workings of a stun gun, which is not the same as a TASER (the gun is the melee range one, go figure)
And so many more.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever needed to know about for your story?

Re: My absolute best tip for writers: the incognito search window

#14

Quote:What's the weirdest thing you've ever needed to know about for your story?

Well, I don't know about weird, but I definitely have experienced the problem that you were talking about. I spen an awful lot of time researching language structures and evolution for my book(specifically that of Gaelic, Russian, and Arabic: don't ask why those three in particular.). After doing that my internet browser now thinks I am trying to learn three to four different languages, so I get ads for Rosetta Stone, or Babel or the like all the time. I also devoted a healthy amount of time to studying the way that physical growth effects scar tissue in children, which led to me getting ads for plastic surgeons.... but yeah, other than that, I haven't had to look up anything too terribly odd yet.

Re: My absolute best tip for writers: the incognito search window

#16

300YearOldMagician Wrote: As you're writing speculative fiction of any type, it's inevitable that you need to do a little research for realism. Sometimes, this is no big deal, like when you're trying to find out how much weight an average human adult can lift.  Other times, you're searching things you really, really, really don't want Google AdSense to start deciding you're interested in.

I made the mistake of searching for some information about military ranks in my normal browser window, and now Google keeps serving me Army recruitment ads. That's livable, but thank goodness I used the incognito window when I was researching:
  • How constrictor snakes kill people
  • How much blood loss an adult human can sustain
  • Why are gut wounds so dangerous and exactly how they kill people
  • The mechanisms of consciousness loss
  • The internal workings of a TASER
  • The internal workings of a stun gun, which is not the same as a TASER (the gun is the melee range one, go figure)
And so many more.

What's the weirdest thing you've ever needed to know about for your story?


Just harden your browser against google and against tracking then... And stop using google while at it, there are other search engines.

Re: My absolute best tip for writers: the incognito search window

#17
some of the weirder though harmless ones are "how much would a 13 million carat ruby weigh", or "Which vans retain the most retail value after being converted to mobile homes"

On the shadier side of things are stuff like "How do female inmates receive mail", or "Which types of brain are safe for human consumption", or "How large an explosion is necessary to strip the earth of its atmosphere"