Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Google Revolution Was Not Televised

I love Google. But I fear Google.

Google is everything The Technophile Luddite is about. Google is the whole thing in a nutshell, if a comprehensive global information indexing, storage, and retrieval system can fit in a nutshell. It's a bold step to call anything truly comprehensive, but I believe that the definition of "comprehensive" is expanding according to Google's increasing capabilities. If Google Maps was not comprehensive when it merely showed all geopolitical boundaries and paved road systems on the globe, it certainly attained that status when it integrated satellite pictures fine enough to display individual automobiles for much of the surface area of Earth, and expanded the meaning of comprehensive mapping with its street-level photography project.

And that is but one of Google's multitudes of projects, all revolving around collecting, organizing, and storing data. The Internet is a global computer network we are all logging into, and every single thing we do on that network is potentially traceable, with Google at the forefront of Internet user data collection.

Author William Gibson discusses how Google may qualify as an Artificial Intelligence, and just appear so different from representations in popular culture (2001: A Space Odyssey, BladeRunner, etc.) that it goes unrecognized. I find my attraction to this concept more than a little disturbing. Once again my twin sides have to fight it out, Technophile vs Luddite, and so I begrudgingly and lovingly Google everything, while keeping a mistrustful and watchful eye on the deity on my altar: God Google.