Saturday, 13 December 2014

Putting my own name into Google Books search

The complete Chinese translation of "Canon and Reason" remains difficult to find online, so I decided to reformat it and to try uploading it to Google Books (as a mere 50 page "book", for free download, of course). [Update: click here for the finished product.]

It still is available from Medium, but that website changed the way that one story links to another, and so you'd now need to be able to find the following page (within this blog) in order to really read the thing:

Every so often, I do see indications that people are (still) reading and responding to that essay, but I also notice that they seem to be sharing old PDF versions of it (apparently unaware of the other formats, still using an incomplete Chinese translation… and who can blame them?).

So, Google Books will be an experiment, perhaps resulting in an easier-to-find (and easier to use) format, perhaps not.

As the thing is now supposedly available online under the title 南傳佛教研究中的“經典”與“理性”問題, I tried searching Google Books to find it.  No salient results (yet).  So, I then tried searching for my own name.

The results include a number of books that mention me (by name) that I was unaware of (e.g., I'm referred to as "the anthropologist Eisel Mazard" in The Indigenous World… and apparently I somehow managed to get cited in a book titled Difference and Disability in the Medieval Islamic World).  Others I did know about (e.g., I was actually paid for my contribution to The Last Lingua Franca, although the author is not really honest about the extent to which he relied on myself and my old website as his sources of seeming-expertise on Pali).

Even more strange to behold, Google Books also lists (under my name) books that I have merely discussed, i.e., books that do not contain my name, nor any other explicit link to me.  It's remarkable to see, e.g., a book by Robert Jay Lifton given as a search result (for "Eisel Mazard") on the basis of my merely having written a blog entry discussing his work (click).

The essay's listing on Google Books, with the process complete.