What’s Klingon for “Google”?

11Jun09

[First, thanks to everyone who sent me words of encouragement!  Second, due to a combination of over-eagerness and lack of prior blogging experience, I neglected to include an RSS Feed link for this blog.  Look to the right – you’ll see that has been fixed.  If you use Internet Explorer, your “Favorites Center” enables you to view RSS Feeds.  Click that orange icon and my blog will be added to your list of Feeds.  Just check there to see if I’ve posted a new entry.  FYI – I’m aiming to post something weekly.]

Some of those same people who were telling me that I should blog (June 2, 2009 post) have recently been telling me “Google yourself.” 

At first I thought they were misquoting Dick Cheney’s “suggestion” to Patrick Leahy.1

My next inclination was to say something like, “Won’t that make me go blind?”

As with blogging, when I asked “Why the @#$% should I Google myself?” I’d get a range of answers. 

  • On the serious side, Training and Security consultant Thomas Lenzo said:  “I advise folks to Google themselves on a regular basis to see what is out there about them.  Doing so, you might find negative content that could affect you professionally.  As for identity theft, there may be enough about you on the web that a person can create a fake identity via that data.  You can also Google your personal identifiers such as Social Security number and drivers license number and see if they appear anywhere.”
  • Others, who shall remain nameless, tell me they do it for fun.  Other terms for this pastime include “ego surfing” and “vanity searches.”  Time Online described it as the “digital age’s premiere guilty pleasure.”2 [Guilty pleasure – Maybe.  Premiere guilty pleasure – Heh heh, I don’t think so!] 

Either way, that’s fine for some people.  However, it overlooks one issue:  I’ve got the same name as someone famous – or at least kind of famous. 

When I Google myself, I don’t find out anything about ME.  I just did it, and in .34 seconds, I got about 251,000 results.  Scrolling through the first 15 pages, 98+% of the listings are for the actor Michael Dorn – best known as Lieutenant Worf on Star Trek: The Next Generation.  None are for me

Michael Dorn versus Michael Dorn – Compare and contrast.

mjdorn

Worf

 

 

 

Not that being named Michael Dorn and living in the Greater Los Angeles area hasn’t provided some interesting moments: 

  • The actor Michael Dorn got his first big break in 1979, playing Officer Jebediah Turner on the TV series CHiPs.  I didn’t watch that show, but I soon heard about my namesake – my friend Seth Winston even sent me Dorn’s headshot.  Then, in the very early 1980, a couple of messages were left on my answer machine… basically, “Michael, why haven’t you called me?”  I laughed it off, though Robin (my girlfriend at that time, now my wife) was not amused. 
  • Star Trek: TNG came on the air in September 1987.  I did watch that show and was surprised to see that Michael Dorn was now a Klingon – and virtually unrecognizable.  Then, in 1993, I discovered the Internet and subscribed to the online service Prodigy.  Without thinking, I listed my full name on what was known back then as a message board.  The next day, I found that my inbox was full of the emails asking, “Are you Worf?”  I immediate changed my listing to M. J. Dorn. 
  • Star Trek: TNG ended in May 1994 and within a few weeks I got a couple of phone calls about his jet leases (he likes to fly planes).  Since then, I’ve gotten a few more calls about his jets – I suspect the calls indicate dips in Mr. Dorn’s career, but I don’t have any real evidence to support this.

So… what can we learn from this?  

  • Don’t lease a jet airplane to anyone without getting his phone number. 
  • If you go ego surfing, you might wipe out. 

Later…

1.  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A3699-2004Jun24.html

2.  http://www.time.com/time/business/article/0,8599,1893965,00.html

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2 Responses to “What’s Klingon for “Google”?”

  1. 1 Jim Laffan

    Dorn: I’m with your Training and Security expert: post BOTH your name and social security number on Google. That way those identity thieves will see that you are not a Klingon with a Gulf Stream jet, merely an earthling with a peculiar idea of fun and possibly a few credit cards that still haven’t reached their credit limit. To narrow the Google search even more, post your home address and the hours you are usually out of the house. (A necessary precaution since other guys who already stole your identity back in the 90’s have time shares in your home during certain daylight hours. Sensing there would be a market for this type of real estate, I started condo-izing my friends houses years ago–interestingly, the most popular site is living at Jacques’ home in Malibu after the kids have gone to school and Maria is at the gym–five hours every weekday! with no extra charge for sharing your home with a buxom Hispanic maid!)
    Anyway, back to security–take another look at the “other” MD in Klingon drag and ask yourself: Is the big forehead and acne scarring just an attempt by a shameless identity thief to look EXACTLY like me, an attempt that went terribly wrong becuase the guy couldn’t afford a high price Beverly Hills cosmetic surgeon?
    Mike, you are NOT paranoid! These are totally valid questions I ask myself every day! Luckily, I don’t even have identity papers to be in the USA in the first place: my identity is TOTALLY secure. s/A Friend

    • First of all, I’m glad to see that the I in your name is no longer capitalized… capital I’s lasting more than 4 hours require immediate medical attention!

      Thanks for the security tips… however, you neglected to mention disarming my alarm system and leaving a key in the front door.

      I also like the timeshare idea — kind of like beds in a U-boat or office space in the movie “Being John Malkovich.” Let me remind you that, sadly, I have never been to Chez Beugelmans in Malibu… this condo arrangement may be my only opportunity to see it. My preference would be to go when Jacques is at home, but if that maid is REALLY buxom, I could be persuaded otherwise. In fact, I might need to start writing my name “MIchael.”

      Please continue posting comments. They add a “Borat”-like element that is otherwise missing in this blog and also will aid the Department of Homeland Security in locating and capturing you.


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