Thursday, February 25, 2016

You can't go wrong heading to the Holland Lodge, but you can't go Dutch

Bas-relief at Holland Lodge
Ok, here we go again. Another lame play on words, but rest assured, it's all for the greater good of mankind: putting Google's indexing algorithm to the test by trying to confuse him with tongue-in-cheek word choices, double-entendres, and multiple meanings of the less risque kind. All with the worthy aspiration of educating and improving him: Algo. With AI and improved humanoid robots on the march, we might as well call "it" a him. Gendering him as a he should be less controversial than a she as long as we have good cause to find him to be - well - dumb. Or at least dumber than we deem ourselves. And Algo's doppelgänger, the one that places places on the map and classifies them. Him too. 

4911 Montrose Blvd., Houston, TX, United States
Holland Lodge 
Anyhow, this time around, the joke is already on Google. None of a snarky or mischievous Innerlooper's doing. 

So here is the trivium of the day for a bit of Schadenfreude to be relished by participants in the map-making project who fancy themselves as members of the homo sapiens segment of the intelligentsia; the segment that is decidedly non-artificial, live and alive, but ultimately -- unlike successful corporations and their evolving technological knowhow, not to mention their amassed artificial intelligence -- perishable:
Thanks to Algo, GoogleMaps has the stately Masonic lodge on Montrose down as a lodge alright, but as a lodge in the lodging category, with the otherwise helpful cute-little-bed icon as a non-language-dependent descriptor. Like for the Zaza down the street. 

For current map, click here 

A highly predictable error, to be sure, but also a flag signalling that there is still room for improvement in algorithm-aided map-making, even if there is no room at the Masonic lodge. Not that kind of room anyhow. And perhaps there is room for humans to still play a useful role even after the grand masters of chess had their Deep Blue moment and after Watson took on Jeopardy! ... Tough the progression to the point of gray-matter obsolescence may only be a question of time. 


Even if you won't get to spend the night at the Holland Lodge at Algo's suggestion, it's still worth a visit, of course. 
Algo es algo; menos es nada. In this case, nice art deco building, with impressive bas-relief imagery on the façade that faces the Fourth Church of Christ on the other side of Montrose. Texas Historical Commission Marker planted out front, lest anyone passing by miss the historical significance of the structure. 
   Not enough to plan a date around, but good enough to put on the itinerary for a wholesome walk in the Museum District on a nice day, along with the peek into the pit that has replaced the Glassell School of Art, a stroll through the surviving sculpture garden, and a visit to the CAMH with its stack of glassy books in the fountain and the metal palm tree looming over its top. 

Holland Lodge No. 1 on Montrose Blvd - Texas Historical Commission Marker

Note: The imagery on the facade is best appreciated (and photographed) when the sun comes in at an angle that creates a solid shadow and enhances the contrast.


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