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From Tom Friedman back in 2003:

... Since 9/11 the world has felt increasingly fragmented. Reading the papers, one senses that many Americans are emotionally withdrawing from the world and that the world is drifting away from America. The powerful sense of integration that the go-go-globalizing 1990's created, the sense that the world was shrinking from a size medium to a size small, feels over now. ....

Like everything Friedman writes, this is profoundly dumb. But it's worth musing about just for the headline.

Doug Coupland asked a similar question here:

TIME: In JPod you compare Google to God. Why?

DC: Not so much Google itself, but the way you feel after using it really intensely for a long time. Suddenly you know the answer to everything. I used to be one of those people who was going through the reference section of the local library. I used to phone up Merriam-Webster in Springfield, Massachusetts — by the way, they loved it — and ask a question about a neologism or something. Now you just burn out on knowing the answer to everything. This is what God must be like knowing everything. How many times have I been in a restaurant and wanted to clap my hands and have Google come down from ceiling and solve an argument?

And the pretty unhinged Ray Kurzweil, who never met a technofantasy he didn't like, also has written something similar.

And, predictably, there is a "Church of Google" as well.

We at the Church of Google believe the search engine Google is the closest humankind has ever come to directly experiencing an actual God (as typically defined). We believe there is much more evidence in favor of Google's divinity than there is for the divinity of other more traditional gods.

We reject supernatural gods on the notion they are not scientifically provable. Thus, Googlists believe Google should rightfully be given the title of "God", as She exhibits a great many of the characteristics traditionally associated with such Deities in a scientifically provable manner.

We have compiled a list of nine proofs which definitively prove Google is the closest thing to a "god" human beings have ever directly experienced.

Thanks to Kevin Arthur for the tip!

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A book in progress by

Siva Vaidhyanathan

Siva Vaidhyanathan

This blog, the result of a collaboration between myself and the Institute for the Future of the Book, is dedicated to exploring the process of writing a critical interpretation of the actions and intentions behind the cultural behemoth that is Google, Inc. The book will answer three key questions: What does the world look like through the lens of Google?; How is Google's ubiquity affecting the production and dissemination of knowledge?; and how has the corporation altered the rules and practices that govern other companies, institutions, and states? [more]

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Topics

Like the Mind of God (22 posts)

All the World's Information (26 posts)

What If Big Ads Don't Work (10 posts)

Don't Be Evil (9 posts)

Is Google a Library? (43 posts)

Challenging Big Media (18 posts)

The Dossier (19 posts)

Global Google (3 posts)

Google Earth (3 posts)

A Public Utility? (19 posts)

About this Book (16 posts)

Other books by Siva:


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Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007)


The Anarchist in the Library (Basic Books, 2004)


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Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001)

Links

  • Sivacracy.net
  • if:book
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