Monday, April 23, 2012

Google and beyond

Dear James Gleick,
Your article on Google was one that I found to be very interesting. As an avid fan of “futurists”, I’ve often playfully followed what many people like Raymond Kurzweil have had to say on what the future of technology holds, and how it may impact us. Therefore I particularly enjoyed the bit about nanotechnology you included in your article, when it was essentially predicted that Google would one day live in our brains(crazy!)
                I was also very interested in hearing about how PageRank worked as this was a concept that was brought up in my class. It also did indeed force me to hearken back to the days of a strangely desolate cyberworld where most websites were still under construction or just terrible in terms of content. It is therefore very interesting to see what essentially changed the fact, and what makes Google such an efficient and impressive application. It also spoke to Danah Boyd’s article a great deal since it helps provide some context into the politics of how companies attempt to increase their page rank. Lastly, the most interesting part of the article in my opinion was seeing how Google obtained information and used it to personalize ads to the person. I can see how many would find this to be a breach of ethics, but I personally have no problem with it. As long as the information obtained is posted on public domains, or even private social media networks(which is not really private), then I see it as fair game.
                The Danah Boyd article certainly brought up many issues that I had not considered before, and it made me realize just how complex online identity can really be. Ownership of accounts and even domain names is quite a tricky issue, even more so when the individual is a representative or extension of a company. Overall the article seemed to spiral further and further into this issue until it made my head spin, but having Gleick’s article as context certainly helped the issue.

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