The Evolution of the Content Engine (Case Study: Cat Pictures)

  1. Cat pictures” returns a list of popular web pages featuring the words “cat” and “pictures.
  2. Cat pictures” returns a list of cat pictures from websites like the ones you frequent.
  3. Cat pictures” returns pictures auto-curated to your taste in cats, including ones you’ve taken.
  4. Cat pictures” generates pictures of customized cats based on others you’ve clicked in the past.
  5. Cat pictures” generates interactive cat simulations tailored to your tastes.
  6. Cat pictures” 3-D prints photorealistic models of your favorite simulated cats.
  7. Cat pictures” 3-D prints interactive models of simulated cats to suit your detected mood.
  8. Cat pictures” 3-D prints biological cats to your specifications, with tutorials for their care.
  9. Cat pictures” grants 3 wishes for cats, excluding wishes for more cat wishes.
  10. Cat pictures” grants unlimited wishes for cats.

Cats Suffer For Science

It is still hanging from the underside of the bed, yowling. I sit on the hardwood floor, streaked with claw marks and butter, staring into its yellow eyes. Were I inclined to anthropomorphism, I might read accusation. Certainly it is distressed. I consider putting it out of its misery, but as data, it is more compelling alive. And it will make me famous.

An experiment yields either a measurement, or a discovery. This holds even when forcing into opposition the immutable laws of nature. A cat always lands on its feet. Buttered bread always lands butter-down. In my first trials, no matter how tightly secured, the bread detached, or slipped from the cat’s back to its belly before landing. I’ll admit to being driven by frustration when I shaved the cat’s back and glued down the bread.

In the shadows I see the creature lower one limb to the floor before panicking and sinking its claws deeper into the fabric above. Hanging — a brilliant impromptu adaptation. I hear more yowling in the distance. I smile.

Hypothesis: when forcing two “immutable” natural laws into opposition, one will prevail, suggesting precedence — a relative degree of immutability. But instead my camera documented a transformation, legs twisting, cat to cat-prime: a creature landing simultaneously on its back and feet. From the yowling I hear in nearby apartments and the alley, the transformation was not isolated. Universal correction? So many questions and dangerous avenues of inquiry. And my discovery lies at the heart.