Most Read This Week
Google - More Than Just a Search Engine, More a Way of Life
But beware "Google padding" by students, says professor.
By: Jeremy Geelan
Mar. 15, 2004 12:00 AM
In a remarkable article at the weekend in the New York Times, Google has broken a new record: it's become the subject, not of technology journalism, but of lifestyle journalism.
Writing in the "Fashion & Style" section of the Times, writer David Hochman rattles through the usual Google success stories, such as the recovery of no fewer than 4 of the 5 left-handed electric guitars stolen from Robert McLaughlin that, when Googled, turned out to be on sale by the thief in a live auction. But much more interesting is his escursion into the realms of philosphy, such as when he quotes Esther Dyson, publisher of Release 1.0 and technology uber-guru:
When Hochman asked Craig Silverstein, mind you - Google's director of technology and its first employee - whether Google changes the world, he wasn't quite as convinced as Dyson. "Not necessarily," he replied. "But we think Google makes conversations richer and more fruitful. With it, you improve the quality of discourse. Or at least have bar arguments that are more well-informed."
Very down-to-earth for a director of technology.
Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin and Larry Page, both of whom Forbes magazine added to its list of the world's richest people this month, is equally candid that Google is not yet a philospher's stone, and will go on improving:
Another drawback familiar to us all was underlined in the article by Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College and music director of the American Symphony Orchestra.
"That you found it on Google doesn't make it right," he tells Hochman, adding that he's concerned Google is a ticket to procrastination, a vehicle for intellectual fakery, and a forum for crackpots and conspiracy theorists.
"Its algorithm for indexing search results is based on popularity," writes Hochman, "not necessarily accuracy." He continues:
Here's how Leon Botstein expresses it:
Reader Feedback: Page 1 of 1
Subscribe to the World's Most Powerful Newsletters
Today's Top Reads