19.574 is Google a good thing?

From: Humanist Discussion Group (by way of Willard McCarty willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 08:56:57 +0000

               Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 19, No. 574.
       Centre for Computing in the Humanities, King's College London
                     Submit to: humanist_at_princeton.edu

         Date: Wed, 25 Jan 2006 08:11:38 +0000
         From: Willard McCarty <willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk>
         Subject: is Google a good thing?

Allow me to recommend to your attention the lead article in the
latest issue of the London Review of Books: John Lanchester, "The
Global Id", a review of The Google Story by David Vise and The
Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and
Transformed Our Culture by John Battelle (LRB 28.2, 26 January 2006),

"Putting all this together", Lanchester writes in closing his review,
"we reach the conclusion that, on the one hand, Google is cool. On
the other hand, Google has the potential to destroy the publishing
industry, the newspaper business, high street retailing and our
privacy. Not that it will necessarily do any of these things, but for
the first time, considered soberly, these things are technologically
possible. The company is rich and determined and is not going away
any time soon. They know what they are doing technologically;
socially, though, they can't possibly know, and I don't think anyone
else can either. These are the earliest days in a process of what may
turn out to be radical change. The best historical analogy for where
Google is today probably comes from the time when the railroads were
being built. Everyone knew that trains and railways would change the
world, but no one predicted the invention of suburbs. Google, and the
increased flow of information on which it rides and from which it
benefits, is the railway. I don't think we've yet seen the first suburbs."



Dr Willard McCarty | Reader in Humanities Computing | Centre for
Computing in the Humanities | King's College London | Kay House, 7
Arundel Street | London WC2R 3DX | U.K. | +44 (0)20 7848-2784 fax:
-2980 || willard.mccarty_at_kcl.ac.uk www.kcl.ac.uk/humanities/cch/wlm/
Received on Wed Jan 25 2006 - 04:19:11 EST

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