If there's a URL addition or method that gives back the old system, I'd absolutely love to hear it.
[ EDIT: Add &start=10&sa=N to the URL and it will skip to Page 2 and be in normal mode. I just found this workaround from going to a Page 2 tab I had open before the change.
The start value has to be 10 (which thereby skips it to Page 2), not less. Either a lower start value or setting sa's value to N without a start value will revert to infinite scrolling despite the fact that you set sa's value to N. Use multiples of 10 to skip to the respective page you want: &start=20 for Page 3, etc. (PageNumber - 1) * 10.
Going back to Page 1 from Page 2 will also revert to infinite scrolling.
The values for &biw and &bih in a url are just height and width, so they don't affect whether infinite scrolling is on or off.
Sure, it sucks that you can't go to Page 1 without infinite scrolling, but the whole point of disabling infinite scrolling is getting to the other lower-SEO results on Page 2+. But it sucks anyway. Knowing Google, they will make bad changes like this permanent no matter how much public outcry there is (remember, the initial draw of Google over Yahoo was a clean, non-resource-greedy interface), secure in the knowledge that Google and YouTube have virtual monopolies in a way that the early-90s monoliths like AOL didn't have. ]
This ensures that results other than the first page are now much harder to get to without a browser crash (remember, mobile devices are far more memory-limited than PCs). Nothing in the Google search URL indicates usage of the mobile version, which therefore eliminates the means of turning this damn feature off.
It's a consistent pattern. Just like we saw with Google Plus forced integration, Google changing their classic logo to an ugly block-letter logo, and most recently the various draconian implementations of demonetization and censorship for the most frivolous of reasons. The Voat change I hate, like reducing the comment time-window and fucking up the mailbox and thereby making Reddit's orangered mailbox not only more psychologically addictive but downright superior for non-moderators, are nothing in comparison.
Bad UX/UI changes are like taking a dick up the ass: it's exponentially more unpleasant when it's forced on you without your consent. Also like taking a dick up the ass, having blacks forced on you makes you hate blacks when you didn't before.
Remember when the Google motto was "don't be evil?" Pepperidge Farm remembers. How Google employees can care about [insert left-wing pet cause related to race or gender here] but not be even remotely bothered by governments oppressing their citizens--aided by Google freely sharing data with them--is beyond me.
Especially because Google could easily use malicious compliance (like what the Danish police did when the German occupation demanded a list of all Danish Jews) and give the Chinese, German and Saudi government corrupted data, late data, etc. That would be actual, good activism on Google's part. Instead of being provincially focused on Western "hate speech" that harms no one--much less causes nearly the harm caused by Google giving good, accurate information to repressive governments. Who usually repress the same groups Leftists claim to care about.
Not only is this most true of Islamist theocracies, this is even the case with the SJW German government--Germany didn't allow gay civil marital rights until 2017, and race traitor Angela Merkel voted against the bill because "marriage is between a man and a woman."
Or "accidentally" lose incriminating data, like how corrupt police departments (exhibit A: Midland, Texas) "accidentally" lose incriminating dashcam footage showing that the cop bashed a victim's head open and the victim wasn't "resisting arrest" as charged (that was from IRL--the victim in question was a nonviolent white woman pulled over for outstanding traffic tickets the courthouse had previously claimed she didn't have).
That is real police brutality and real injustice. Not what happened to Rodney King (King's black fellow passenger was completely unharmed). And why I'd rather have White Lives Matter than Blue Lives Matter as a bumper sticker. Only blue lives I give a flying shit about are the cops who aren't evil like Midland PD. More power to them!
Want another example of insitutional injustice that's real and not invisible nonexistent "institutional racism" niggers bitch about? One lady I know has a felony conviction because she told a doctor she has another pain med prescription, he filled hers anyway, and then reported her. Unbeknownst to her, having multiple pain med prescriptions is a felony in Texas (it isn't illegal in Nebraska). Her lawyer didn't do shit, and the doctor's ass didn't get in any trouble despite the fact that he was the one who knowingly filled the prescription, which should theoretically make him culpable in the crime. So she gets to have all the job stigma of a felony conviction while low-IQ incompetents don't.