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Thus the ridiculous, hopeful, rumors of a Google OS
If you can get Grandma using Windows anything is possible.
Slap a simplied Google UI on XWindows/Linux - ship with Open Office, FireFox and Thunderbid in the box, add some snazzy wizards to make setup so simple an 8 year old could install it- done.
If Google is a religion, what is its God? It would have to be The Algorithm.
Bingo -- their amazing dedication to creating an algorithm that works like human judgment about web pages, but then scales... and scales... and scales. They've got almost religios zeal and passion for this exact possibility.
More precisely it's their Holy Grail and not really a God. Still their faith that all human information CAN be organized is rather astounding, given how broad that concept really is.
Eventually, says Mr Saffo, “they're trying to build the machine that will pass the Turing test”—in other words, an artificial intelligence that can pass as a human in written conversations.
That's what I've thought more than once. Google's custom distributed OS seems to make incredibly efficient use of hundreds of thousands of cheap PCs of (I presume) all kinds of specs, so what happens when the Nth iteration of that OS is married with the super-fast networks of the future, such that every PC on the planet could be integrated into the distributed super-super-computer that is the then Google?
strangely enough ..these criteria apply with equal aptness to all other "religions" ..
maybe why I didn't ( and nor should you ) "buy in" to them either ..
[edited by: Leosghost at 1:43 am (utc) on Jan. 16, 2006]
There is no real evidence stated to back that up but the Economist appears to be one of the few publications to pick up on George Dyson's November essay in Edge, "Turning's Cathedral". (coincidence of "religion" and "cathedral" metaphor?).
In that essay Dyson claims he was told by a Google engineer: "We are not scanning all those books to be read by people," explained one of my hosts after my talk. "We are scanning them to be read by an AI."
But google has to be one of the most overhyped companies the world has ever seen. If their search engine is so good why is it not the defacto standard ( ie most people with any brain use more than one search engine during their internet searching).
The google lovers are always saying google is going to revolutionise this, revolutionise that but everyone of their tools was already in the market place before they created an alternative. Just as one time altavista, yahoo,askjeeves,northernlight, fast etc were "revolutionary and going to be top dog for ever" google will be just another search engine in a few years time.
The mighty algo seems to have much in common with diety: its ways are inscrutible, it requires a priesthood (who reside in a church, the Googleplex) to intervene on we mere mortals' behalf, and all prayers are one-way communications that disappear into the ether (at least, my supplications to the great algo via the Googlers have not been answered).