Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vaidhyanathan and his book in progress on Google

Siva Vaidhyanathan is working on a book called "The Googlization of Everything". The book project has a blog, where he invites people to comment on various postings related to Google. One of the topical areas in the blog is "Is Google a Library?" You can find his blog here.

Here is what he says in one of his first postings about what he is doing:

"As you can tell from the title of this blog, the book will be about Google and all they ways that Google is shaking up the world. Google is a transformative and revolutionary company. I hesitate to use terms like that. We live in an era of hyperbole. So I try my best to discount claims of historical transformation or communicative revolutions.

But in the case of Google, I am confident it is both.

Now, I am approaching this book as both a fan and a critic. I am in awe of all that Google has done and all it hopes to do. I am also wary of its ambition and power.

As I use this site to compose the manuscript (an archaic word that I love too much to discard) for the book The Googlization of Everything, I hope to do so with your help.

This is the latest in a series of “open book” experiments hosted and guided by The Institute for the Future of the Book. The Institute has been supportive of my work for years – long before I became affiliated with it as a fellow and certainly long before we thought up this project together. As with the other projects by Ken Wark and Mitch Stephens, this one will depend on reader criticism and feedback to work right. So this is an appeal for help. If you know something about Google, hip me to it. If you have an observation about how it works or how it affects our lives, write to me about it."

1 comment:

Martin Weiss said...

I happened to read this item at about the same time that I read this one from Nicholas Carr's blog.

Carr writes:

"The business model of today's internet giants might best be called vampiric. Their overriding goal is to know us, to transfer into their databases the informational life-blood of our selves. Their thirst is insatiable. To survive, they must uncover ever more intimate details of our lives and desires. And we are not averse to the seduction. We embrace these companies, welcome them into our homes, because we desire the gifts they bear and the conveniences they provide. We tilt our necks to them freely.

"Yet somewhere, in the depths, stirs that mysterious sense of a "loss of selfness." We fear that we are slowly being emptied, that we are beginning to blur at the edges. Is it any wonder that vampires have begun to crowd our waking dreams?