July 18, 2007

"The Googlization of Everything" - Siva Vaidhyanathan

"The Googlization of Everything" is a new book in the works by Siva Vaidhyanathan. I'm going to get a jump by echoing it before the crowd (any resemblance between this post and Google manipulation is purely ironic ...).
[n.b. note the picture in the first link - "Snared in the Web 2.0 ... "User-generated content" is just another name for massive corporate data collection, mining, and profiling"]

Per the The Institute for the Future of the Book's fellow announcement:

Siva is one of just a handful of writers to have leveled a consistent and coherent critique of Google's expansionist policies, arguing not from the usual kneejerk copyright conservatism that has dominated the debate but from a broader cultural and historical perspective: what does it mean for one company to control so much of the world's knowledge?

As I keep saying, there's a shift, but it's from one set of gatekeepers to another set of gatekeepers.

Or, as put in a talk note

His premise was that we've come to talk about Google in theological terms, and that the Google folks themselves encourage this through their familiar "don't be evil"-type approach to their public communications. He thinks their stated aim to eventually provide universal access to all information is basically cynical at worst, unrealizable at best.

More talk elaboration:

Siva concludes his talk with a plea against technofundamentalism - the Google logic that you can always fix the problem by tweaking and innovating. This is also a plea against the myth of technological neutrality. Google is not neutral, he says, and politics are built into the black boxes of their search engines. Finally, this is a plea for Critical Information Studies - a nice start to the conference, then.

Shorter: You can't fix a social problem with a technological solution?

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in google | on July 18, 2007 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink)
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

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