Have you been Googled?

The Boston Globe Online wrote a story in Feb 2003 of how the world’s most preferred search engine – Google – is changing what we can find out about one another…The first tool truly to make sense of the white noise that is the Internet, Google has become essential research for everyone…But somewhere along the path toward changing our daily lives, Google changed our concept of time as well. It has helped make our past – or oddly refracted shards of it – present and permanent.

The Boston Globe Online wrote a story in Feb 2003 of how the world’s most preferred search engine – Google – is changing what we can find out about one another.

Excerpt from the cover story :

Michael is a clean-cut 34-year-old working in a professional job at a Boston medical school. You’d never know he did time for burglary and is a former drug addict. Well, actually, you would if you Googled him… The search, Google proudly notes, takes just a 10th of a second…

Michael has never hidden from his past, and in his 20s, he even wrote for a few specialized publications about his brief stint behind bars as a 17-year-old. He was happy to share his exploits with that sliver of the population genuinely interested in the issues of incarceration. But Michael never saw Google coming…

The first tool truly to make sense of the white noise that is the Internet, Google has become essential research for everyone…But somewhere along the path toward changing our daily lives, Google changed our concept of time as well. It has helped make our past – or oddly refracted shards of it – present and permanent. That’s a radical notion for a medium usually defined by its ability to constantly update itself.

In fact, a search on Google for “google big brother” will also throw up a few links to pages dedicated towards unearthing the other unethical issues affecting the search engine.

While no one can deny the role Google has played in making our now-connected lives easier, thanks to an amazingly accurate and efficient search facility, I think the article does raise some very valid concerns about the role of Technology and the limits it should follow.

After all, we all have something in our pasts that we wish we could have done differently, don’t we? 😉

Emergic Freedom

Emergic.com … The basic premise is that of using low-end (but perfectly useable) computers, bundled with open-source (and hence, resource-friendly) software based on Linux, to enable cheap access to millions of people all over the world. That means, the dream of an internet-enabled PC in every hospital room, in every hotel room, in every school and college.. can soon become a reality !

The “Emergic Blog“is what inspired me to start a blog of my own. The most interesting thing about it was that the people behind it, headed by Rajesh Jain, were actually trying to use available technology in radical ways to essentially improve the quality of life!

Now, I have been a strong proponent of Linux for a long time. Always believed that there was bound to be an alternative to paying big bucks for continual upgrades of hardware (as in Intel) that is meant to run the continually-upgraded versions of software (as in Microsoft) that basically doesn’t work very well (as in crashes, errors, security bugs, virus problems, etc. etc. etc.).

I have also been a big believer in Internet technologies, and have a lot of faith in its power to bring information…communication abilities…empowerment…to the common man. But the fact is that most modern technology is out of bounds for 90% of the world population, simply because it is too expensive.

Well, it looks like there is finally a way out … The basic premise is that of using low-end (but perfectly useable) computers, bundled with open-source (and hence, resource-friendly) software based on Linux, to enable cheap access to millions of people all over the world. That means, the dream of an internet-enabled PC in every hospital room, in every hotel room, in every school and college.. can soon become a reality !

I know the path ahead for Emergic is far more difficult than it seems. And I wish them all the best in their endeavour. If they succeed, we all will.

See The Emergic Website for more details… And, join the revolution !!!