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'Google is a Religion' - Economist article

     
7:14 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Paul Saffo at Silicon Valley's Institute for the Future says that “Google is a religion posing as a company.”

[economist.com...]

8:00 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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deus ex googlea
8:36 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Read the story- more worship of Page? They didn't invent anything. Just "improved" on what was already out there.
8:55 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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To overextend the religious parallels, Google seems most like the Hindu god Agni, an elemental messenger who gained such popularity it was eventually deified and worshiped over all other dieties. Google is just a messenger, an organizer of information, as Page said, more than a creator, yet it is treated as one. Google isn't looking to be God; it's the people who are so eager to be worshipers. Thus the ridiculous, hopeful, rumors of a Google OS.
11:27 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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.

11:42 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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From the article:

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.

11:53 pm on Jan 15, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I guess it wouldn't be fun at all for the folks at plex, if the words "Google is a religion" start spreading across certain parts of this planet ;-)
12:10 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Breaking News!

MS sues all local, state and federal government entities in the US using Google over the seperation of Google and State.

sorry, couldnt resist ;)

12:12 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Read the story- more worship of Page? They didn't invent anything. Just "improved" on what was already out there

Well, you could say the same thing about most other religions and their Gods or prophets. :-)

12:19 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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?

1:43 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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They will never be able to make it larf or troll ..or use other than already assimilated data ..or avoid the "lying about what is /isn't /may be /may not be" syndrome in order to keep its "priests" in idleness /luxury /power .. nor people in subjugation or enforced ignorance ..or try to help some one with a flat tire ( or appropriate simili ) from nothing other than a random "why not" feeling ..or "wow she's cute" .. so I'm safe ...)..

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]

1:43 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Bill Gates fears them..."

[www-db.stanford.edu...]

:)

2:28 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I presume you dont do adsense ;) ( nor wish to in the future )..congrats on the liathróidi ..and your use of "search" ;)
3:20 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Next thing ya know, they'll be announcing googlegulp, the refreshing rejuvenating drink of googlers everywhere, made possible by their buyout of SGI, the one-time manufacturer of Soylent Green. :)
3:51 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Edwin, I've had similar thoughts.

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."
[edge.org...]

4:35 am on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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If you can get Grandma using Windows anything is possible.

Hey, a lot of us grannies switched from DOS to Windows just fine. ;)

1:35 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google is a good search engine and yes their other products are good.

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.

2:09 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Give us this day our daily...earnings."

;-)

4:11 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google a religion, I guess Federal Government workers in the USA will need to start using MSN and Yahoo, to comply with separation of church and state :)
4:26 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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A religion where AOL sits at the right hand of the Father?

I don't think so!

7:00 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google a religion, I guess Federal Government workers in the USA will need to start using MSN and Yahoo, to comply with separation of church and state :)

As long as the Google religion doesn't endorse evolution or abortion, it's probably safe. :-)

7:54 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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According to Richard Dawkins, religion is the root of all evil... Part Two on UK TV tonight (starts in five minutes).
9:18 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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As long as the Google religion doesn't endorse evolution or abortion, it's probably safe.

It endorses the evolution of the algorithm in order to perpetuate the abortion of SEO.

9:31 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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This thread will self-destruct in: 5, 4, 3...
10:17 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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we know Google exsists..we have definite proof...all religeon requires blind faith therefore Google is not a religeon....
10:34 pm on Jan 16, 2006 (gmt 0)

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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.

With zero tech support, this setup = done.

11:21 pm on Jan 17, 2006 (gmt 0)

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"Well, you could say the same thing about most other religions and their Gods or prophets. :-) "
The usual Google Zeelot and apologiser:-)
3:48 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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S. Hawking said that the goal of theoretical physics is to read the mind of God. Many who visit these forums spend lots of time trying to figure out the algo (with about as much success as science has had figuring out God, but bless 'em for the effort).

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).

11:40 pm on Jan 18, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Cast aspersions on the Googlers and they will search you out and cast upon you a spell
4:00 pm on Jan 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Google a religion? More like the anti-christ.
This 31 message thread spans 2 pages: 31