Why Google is Taking Over the World (of Ideas)


I had just written the post to end all posts–seamlessly interweaving commentary on Fauxlovean grading, Cute Overload, Yochai Benkler, Ze Frank, reality television, Posner as Richard E. Neumann, The NYT Mag. Ideas of 2006 edition, and assorted oddities.

But then I accidentally hit the “back arrow” button, and it was gone.

Had this post been composed in Gmail, a draft would have been there. I cannot tell you how many times that feature has saved me from losing some rapid-fire composition to clumsy hands. Perhaps the auto-draft-save is only a way to assure that Google’s commercial database perpetually records, not only what I write about, but what I’m thinking writing about. But whatever sacrifice of privacy that entails seems rather minor compared to the infuriating experience of watching the winged words of e-conversation drift into the digital ether.

And now comes Google Patent Search, a nice improvement over the already useful USPTO interface.

So however much I may worry about Google, I have to admit, they are masters at organizing information. Governmental regulation here (such as this interesting Finnish intervention) has to take into account any potential drain of resources from a company that’s doing immense good. Geoff Rapp has worked out cognate ideas on “roundabout redistribution” here.

Photo Credit: greenergrassdesigns (great gift ideas here!)

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