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Re^2: What will Google do next?

by december (Pilgrim)
on Apr 12, 2006 at 03:11 UTC ( #542736=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: What will Google do next?
in thread What will Google do next?

They could also do that in the Dark Ages, allbeit in a much more painful way... ;)

I feel that's more a complaint about governments than about technology (checking... you seem to live in the US, that clears things up). Governments always have, always had and always will have ways to find out information. That's what power does.

There is no stopping the future, the question is not even boolean, for that matter. The real question is how the balance will go between the positive versus the negative uses of technology.

People from all walks of life have now access to more knowledge than ever dreamt of by kings and fascist governments. There are, for instance, free encyclopedia's, operating systems and other software that enable people to use them and study them -- this site is one of them. There are more sources of news than ever before -- anything that happens around the world can be found out in mere minutes -- and it is more likely that those who care can come up with a rather unbiased view from all these sources.

In my opinion, the most important question is if people will learn to benefit more from the good sides of having so much information available, and to select wisely and truthfully from all that data, than end up misusing or misinterpreting it -- no matter how relative some of these terms often are. There will always be abusers, in any way, in any time, of any system.

In the end, it all comes down to whether or not you have faith in humanity.

The internet, Google and search engines are about as relevant to 'good' and 'evil' as the first time someone melted metal and made a purposeful object out of it (feel free to fill in any other lame comparison). Is a metal 'good' or 'evil'?

Google will do things that are generally liked, and most probably, also things that are generally disliked... Because they can. That's human nature. Just on a big, $500 billion scale. :)

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Re^3: What will Google do next?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Apr 12, 2006 at 22:36 UTC
    In the end, it all comes down to whether or not you have faith in humanity.

    Well, in the past century we had the worst acts of genocide ever committed, millions of people slaughtered for the crime of being who they were. In many of these atrocities, those with power to stop it allowed it to go on without much more than official disapproval. We began this century with some folks thinking it would be a great idea to fly some jets into buildings, killing unarmed and helpless people; and the US responded by killing a bunch of unarmed and helpless people, as well as the occasional armed soldier. Those were probably "collateral damage". And the genocides and famines continue without much interference from anyone.

    Without wishing to sound in any way pessimistic, there are times when my faith in humanity is not rock solid.

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