Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Google Nation

Yesterday's story in the Los Angeles Times, "The One Bit of Info Google Withholds: How It Works," illustrates why many, like Siva Vaidhyanathan, are concerned about the secrecy also surrounding the Google Book search initiative.

At the same time, according to the Library Journal, the Institute for the Future of the Book is exploring non-commercial alternatives to digital print. On the IFB website you can read innovative webtexts that encourage interactive reading like GAM3R 7H3ORY by McKenzie Wark.

Of course, Google has completely infiltrated the lexicon of our information culture to such an extent that "Google" is no longer merely a verb: it is a series of compound verbs. For example, you can read about "google jockeying" in which students with laptops keep up with lecturing professors who introduce unfamiliar terms or concepts. As someone in front of the whiteboard, I have to say it is nice to have less silence in my wired classroom when I ask a question.

Ironically, there is now a big Google office in my neighborhood. I walk by it several times a week, but it seems to be a bit like Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory: no one comes in and no one goes out.

Labels: ,


Post a Comment

<< Home