youfoundjake: I would presume that Eric is coming from a place mathematically, where there is only one real answer, something that can be defined and verified by it's peers.
not so, in fact having studied higher math both of them should know Gödel's incompleteness theorems - that any system based on axioms - i.e. Google - can't possibly have the right answers to everything. And evenmore, there should be always more wrong answers than right.
whitenight: I don't know what's more disappointing... That Eric wants to turn Goog into a Borg-like entity or that he wants to "reinvent the Wikipedia" and turn Goog into (it)
I do know what's most disappointing here. It is one more G$$gle's quest for content, so they can keep users on G$$gle instead of sending them of to our sites. So G$$gle can make more money via Adwords rather than Adsense. YEAH, THAT WOULD HELP USERS. A LOT.
But, if G could 'provide the right answer' via 'summary' or some other means, and only sent visitors to adwords advertisers, would they make more money? Only G mgmt can answer the question
You have a $1. In case of Adsense, you have to give 30 cents to advertiser. In case of Adwords you don't. See, that was an easy answer.
Seriously, if one receives a desired and acceptable answer to a query, won't they then feel less of a need to click on an advertisement? How will Google make a profit from that approach?
If there possibly ever is a right answer to this user's question, it is very likely to be a non-commercial query, and hence Google would unlikely make any profit on it regardless. But if you keep a user on G-property, you will increase chances of her hitting Adwords ad.