Dear James Gleik,
Upon initially reading your article, I agreed Google has dominated us. Whenever I don't know the answer to something my first reaction is simply to just "Google it". A number of times have come up when I stared to type what I was looking for and Google was already spitting options at me. As you mentioned, "Type “what is th” and faster than you can find the e Google is sending choices back at you: what is the cloud? what is the mean? what is the american dream? what is the illuminati? Google is trying to read your mind." It truly is like Google is trying to read my mind. However, Google has adapted to individuals searches to really read their minds. Google personalizes its advertisements and searches based on the individual using Google. You make a valid point, "Do we want to be addressed as individuals or as neurons in the world brain? We get better search results and we see more appropriate advertising when we let Google know who we are. And we save a few keystrokes."
Google is definitely where everyone goes for answers. However, I never looked at it as, Google doesn't have the actual answers, it just provides the places where the answers are. I thought that was a really creative point you made. And that is accurate. Google doesn't necessarily give you the answer, Google redirects you to where the answer is. "Most of the time Google does not actually have the answers. When people say, “I looked it up on Google,” they are committing a solecism. When they try to erase their embarrassing personal histories “on Google,” they are barking up the wrong tree. It is seldom right to say that anything is true “according to Google.” Google is the oracle of redirection. Go there for “hamadryad,” and it points you to Wikipedia. Or the Free Online Dictionary." I mean after all, that is what search engines really are. The name Google has just become so transcribed into our minds it is automatic to think to go to Google for the answers. But, as I mentioned earlier, Google is more than just a search engine, it is a personalized search engine. That is why Google has dominated us.