| At the Corner of Technology and Culture


Very interesting article in today’s Guardian,16376,1580142,00.html

on the future of Google, fastest growing company in history, apparently. I’ve been thinking quite a bit lately about the way the ‘real’ world and the online world have been merging. An obvious example is the way gaming culture is evolving into a live action/virtual hybrid. It’s also been turning up in a strange way over the course of the lockout, as people picket, pick up information, strike pay hours, camaraderie, and then return home to post photos from the line, share information, and offer up their ‘real’ thoughts, more real perhaps than what they feel comfortable sharing face to face. Or, for instance, when I ran into Tod on the picket line in Toronto, and he was passed a notice that was circulating around the Broadcast Centre, and posted it from his hiptop to his site while he was standing beside me, a post I knew I would reread later. Which of those experiences is more ‘real’?

The Guardian bit that caught my attention is this:

“…forget about a computer on every desk. Instead, the world needs to become computerised. And to many observers, that is exactly what Google is out to take advantage of.…..What is “information” anyway? In the end, it is data that describes something. Maybe it’s a document on the web, but to think that is where it ends is to think small. Perhaps it is the location of your car, or the cost of a box of Pampers in a store in suburban Miami….Thinking about the merger of the physical world with the world wide web might make your head hurt, but after you have reached for the aspirin, Google’s mission starts to resonate with larger ambitions. Information is all around us, but how might the company make it accessible?”

The author is John Battelle, who has written a book on Google. Here’s his blog. Haven’t had a chance to look at it:

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