My recollection of the dream begins with me sitting in a classroom with my advisor drawing a graph on the board. She's explaining the coordinates of the points that the curve passes through so i can reproduce the curve in my notes. The curve starts a little above the origin and gradually converges on a straight line with slope 1. I'm trying to draw the graph on graph paper, but i get it wrong so i tear out the page and start again. On my next try, i label the axes wrong and tear out the page and start over yet again.
After a few tries, i look down and notice that my right foot has the big toe in the second position. This is a bit alarming! Hmm. I wiggle my toes to see whether the nerves for my big toe control the first toe, which looks like a small toe, or the second toe, which looks like a big toe. With some effort i wiggle my toes until i've switched them around and the big toe has moved back to the first position. Phew. Then i notice that the third toe looks like a big toe too. Panic! Now i don't know what to do.
I know. Google will save me! I'm sure there's a remedy on the Internet. So i pull up my browser and Google for "two big toes".
Up comes the Google logo... but instead of my search results, i get two pop-up ad windows! WHAT?!? How can this be? Oh, Google, how you have fallen. In disbelief, i reach for the close boxes on the pop-up windows... and before i can get the mouse pointer to them, they're swept away. Ah — it's a clever ruse: Google is showing off how it can get rid of pop-up windows for me. But that's not all. My browser window is swept away; my applications are swept away, one by one; everything is cleared off to the edges of the screen. Google patiently explains that now all of my applications can be suspended to Google storage. I can go to anyone else's computer and restore any application from where i left off. Nifty.
What about those search results i was looking for? Revealed behind everything that got swept away, i see a view of green hills rolling by. I'm looking out the window. I'm riding a bus. It's cramped inside, the light is dim, and there are four or five other passengers quietly seated. Each one represents one of the Google services: to get the news i have to talk to the guy with the hat, to get a map i have to talk to someone in the back. (YouTube is sitting over to one side; he just got on not long ago.)
At the front of the bus near the driver is a tiny old television. There are televisions near some of the other passengers too, but the one in front is displaying my search results. I try to read them, but it's hard because the image is small and fuzzy and unstable. I marvel at how well they simulated the imperfections of an old TV. But i can't read my results. And then i realize i can't make new windows. I don't have tabs. I don't even have a back button. Aaack! Will i ever have a back button again? I start to worry about how i'm going to get off this bus.
I am frustrated. I want my information. A fuzzy old colour TV is not the best way to present information. I start to compose an e-mail complaint in my head. Convinced that Google's user experience designers have really fouled up this time, i wake up.