26 November, 2020

How Google Has Changed Our Lives: Is Life Without It Even Possible Anymore?

What if Google suddenly ceased to be? What would going back to an older time look like?

Illustration by Rajat Baran
How Google Has Changed Our Lives: Is Life Without It Even Possible Anymore?

God...or Google. Someone actually makes that comparison in this story: “We don’t know God, but Google.” As you’d notice in its slightly odd phrasing, it could mean either of two things, depending on whether you’re using the noun or the verb. “We don’t know God, but we know SOMEONE/SOMETHING like God…as omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent…that’s Google.” Alter­natively, “We don’t know God, but of course we could always Google for him/her.” Either way, the name looms like some rival cosmic force. The kind of ambition it expresses is not new in human history—to know everything that exists. They’ve all partaken of that fantasy, from medieval encyclopaedias, to the part-comic Book of Lists, to the inexhaustible catalogues of the US Library of Congress. Or should that be Borges’s Library of Babel, which contained: “Everything: the minutely detailed history of the future…all that is given to express, in all languages.”

But it’s Google that...



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