What is Google Becoming?
By Contributing Editor, GuyverV
The old scruffy men who hold the signs that say, “repent” or “the end is nigh” probably haven’t used a computer in quite some time. If they had, I wonder if they’d be running up and down the streets on fire, shoving their signs down our throats.
In a tweet last year, I pondered a simple thought: by 2011, Google, via Android will be running on pads, notebooks, TVs and phones. Taken individually, none of this seems like a lot, but put together, you have infinite potential for incredible technological convergence, or total Armageddon (though the ideas aren’t mutually exclusive). As a society, it’s important we consider what this means. Of course we probably won’t. Humans generally are only concerned with whether or not we can do a thing, rather than should we. Reckless disregard is one of the pillars of humanity.
As the parallels between Skynet and Google begin to blur (and how apt is it that their vanguard is dubbed, “Android?”), Google’s corporate motto of “don’t be evil” will take on a more significant meaning because they will, as John Connor put it, “have us by the balls.” This convergence is particularly interesting as Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, recently opined that "technology is moving faster than society can answer the questions it raises". In light of these comments, his company better starting thinking fast as they’re the ones leading us down an interesting path.
It has also been speculated that Verizon and Google have been in secret talks to end net neutrality. As net neutrality is a term that is popping up more and more, here’s the definition via Wikipedia: a principle proposed for user access networks participating in the internet that advocates no restrictions on content, sites, or platforms, on the kinds of equipment that may be attached, and on the modes of communication allowed.
Allegedly, the talks between Google and Verizon would allow them to boost the speed of certain content from the web. Google has since denied these allegations. If true, however, picking and choosing the delivery speed of information is a slippery slope with wide reaching implications. With Google making inroads into every device and software outlet possible (in point of fact, this is being composed in Google Docs), as well as tightening its ties with the government, both state and federal, we should be cautious.
It’s truly an interesting time. As Google forges ahead and attempts to become a technological hegemonic power, the likes of which have never been seen on this earth, I have to ask, does this engender you with hope or fear?