Strangely, when I read this article, I didn’t see the monolithic corporation vying for all our attention. I read between the lines a little and recognized a true value of cataloged information. Wasn’t there once an alien film where an advanced alien race had access to moments in time? They could rearrange events on their transparent blue walls to make for a more harmonious world. Did I dream that?
Google is learning. Storing, collecting, referencing, cross referencing. It might be scary to you, but to me it’s like the beginning of understanding a little bit more about our imaginations and limitations (or lack thereof). Reading the footnotes was inspiring to me. I’m led to believe that if we are informed, we can respond. If we can know about sickness, we can learn about cures. Sure, Google is a monolithic corporation that can use the data to its own ends, but what if it really doesn’t want to do evil? What if Google is trying to get our information accessible so that we as a species can evolve, grow, learn?
What if Google’s mistakes are just a reflection of how hard it is to live in the structures of the past? What if in its participation in today’s world and how some of Google’s actions are perceived as “wrong” is just a relic from the collective brain we used to have.
Frankly, web technologies wouldn’t be where they are today if it weren’t for Google. They do a lot of open sourcing. Ok, they don’t release their search algorithms or their cloud technology, but they have to play in the market or be swallowed by it.
Are we really Google’s product, as so many are fond to point out? Google has to make money to have research funds available for the next advancement, so doesn’t it stand to reason that the targeted ads and data collection are just the way in which the research is funded.
Maybe Google is the scribe of our time. Maybe Google has made itself responsible for keeping track of what we’re doing and thinking so that the future can arrive.
I am open to the possibility that Google really doesn’t want to be evil. Just because I know sensitive information about this or that company or person, doesn’t mean that I’m going to spill the beans, sell the information, stab the person who trusted me in the back. Just because Google knows who we are, what we do, where we are, doesn’t mean that they are going to use that data for a dark and twisted purpose.
Maybe Google is trying to do something that we don’t understand. Maybe they’re trying to discover things that haven’t yet been discovered, learn what is too complicated to learn, change that what needs to be changed.
Either way, evil Google or nice Google, I still believe that privacy is for chumps.