Journal: Google Good, Bad, & Ugly


Missing Information Part IGoogle Ugly: Google “broccoli casserole” and make the first recipe you find. I guarantee it will be disappointing. The world needs fewer opinions and more thoughtful expertise — the kind that comes from real experience.  Contrast with Gourmet to All That and the death of expertise in the public interest.

Google Bad: The above image is accurate.  Google is one of 75+ search engines, and barely scratches the surface.  Worse, Google now offers results based on who pays for what you see, not on what you need or wish to see.

Missing Information Part IIGoogle Good: We like this essay from Sergei.  He and Larry are engineers with zero ethical grounding, but their heart is in the right place and with some strong public oversight they might yet be a foundation for the World Brain.

Full Op-Ed Online
Full Op-Ed Online

A Library to Last Forever

Published: October 8, 2009

Mountain View, Calif.

Books written after 1923 quickly disappear into a literary black hole. With rare exceptions, one can buy them only for the small number of years they are in print. After that, they are found only in a vanishing number of libraries and used book stores. As the years pass, contracts get lost and forgotten, authors and publishers disappear, the rights holders become impossible to track down.

Inevitably, the few remaining copies of the books are left to deteriorate slowly or are lost to fires, floods and other disasters. While I was at Stanford in 1998, floods damaged or destroyed tens of thousands of books. Unfortunately, such events are not uncommon — a similar flood happened at Stanford just 20 years prior. You could read about it in The Stanford-Lockheed Meyer Library Flood Report, published in 1980, but this book itself is no longer available.

Phi Beta Iota: Read the entire Op-Ed.  These guys have two things going for them: computational mathematics that are literally “out of this world” on a plane no one in Washington (or Boston) understands; and billions in fantasy cash from believing investors.  What they do NOT have is a willingness to focus on analysis and the public interest.  It is our view that the U.S. Government should call for an international regulatory body for Google; should establish a Computational Mathematics Consortium to do both oversight and extention; and should work with Google to create the World Brain with embedded EarthGame.  Absent adult leadership, Google will continue to be a vacuum cleaner, just as useless as the secret intelligence community, where one must struggle to find the gold speck amidst all the crap.

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