There's maybe no more raw glimpse at humanity's exposed underbelly than Google's annual Zeitgeist, a report that shows what we searched for in a given 12 months. This year, our thoughts ran disturbingly towards death and destruction.
What's interesting about the top news searches, other than being the perfect blend of terrible and tawdry, is that they're exactly the kind of events you need to use Google repeatedly for. Mass confusion, constant updates, reversals, long timelines; those are the characteristics that bind events as disparate as the Boston Marathon, the Trayvon Martin shooting, even the government shutdown.
Note that you won't find Edward Snowden among the top people of 2013. While he did forever alter our view of the national security landscape, and redefine our relationship with privacy, the internet, and our government, he failed to drop a new album.
You also won't see the NSA among the top trending trends that trended in 2013, or among its top events. Which is curious, for conspiracy theorists, or just plan disappointing for the rational humanists. Either way!
I was actually okay with this list until I got to Labor, and then remembered that you should never use the Internet as your doctor. We can barely trust Google with our email; you really want it to handle your lupus?
So there you have it! Our year in Google. Next time let's hope they open it up to incognito searches; I suspect there's a lot of disturbing pornography going unrecognized here, despite Miley's prominent positioning.