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<nettime> The Googlization of Everything ... by Siva Vidyanathan
Frederick Noronha [फ़रेदरिक नोरोनया] on Fri, 21 Mar 2008 12:55:21 +0100 (CET)


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<nettime> The Googlization of Everything ... by Siva Vidyanathan


 How one company is disrupting culture, commerce and commerce ... and
 why we should worry!

 This blog, the result of a collaboration between myself and the
 Institute for the Future of the Book, is dedicated to exploring the
 process of writing a critical interpretation of the actions and
 intentions behind the cultural behemoth that is Google, Inc. The book
 will answer three key questions: What does the world look like through
 the lens of Google?; How is Google's ubiquity affecting the production
 and dissemination of knowledge?; and how has the corporation altered
 the rules and practices that govern other companies, institutions, and
 states? [more]

 * * *

 Hi. Welcome to my book.

 Hi. Welcome to my new book. Well, it's not a book yet. In fact, it
 will not be a real book for a long time.

 As you can tell from the title of this blog, the book will be about
 Google and all they ways that Google is shaking up the world. Google
 is a transformative and revolutionary company. I hesitate to use terms
 like that. We live in an era of hyperbole. So I try my best to
 discount claims of historical transformation or communicative
 revolutions.

 But in the case of Google, I am confident it is both.

 Now, I am approaching this book as both a fan and a critic. I am in
 awe of all that Google has done and all it hopes to do. I am also wary
 of its ambition and power.

 As I use this site to compose the manuscript (an archaic word that I
 love too much to discard) for the book The Googlization of Everything,
 I hope to do so with your help.

 This is the latest in a series of "open book" experiments hosted and
 guided by The Institute for the Future of the Book. The Institute has
 been supportive of my work for years -- long before I became
 affiliated with it as a fellow and certainly long before we thought up
 this project together. As with the other projects by Ken Wark and
 Mitch Stephens, this one will depend on reader criticism and feedback
 to work right. So this is an appeal for help. If you know something
 about Google, hip me to it. If you have an observation about how it
 works or how it affects our lives, write to me about it.

 On occasion, I will post an open question on this blog. Please help me
 answer it.

 I have never tried to write a book this way. Few have. Writing has
 been a lonely, selfish pursuit for me so far. I tend to wall myself
 off from the world (and my loved ones) for days at a time in fits and
 spurts when I get into a writing groove. I don't shave. I order pizza.
 I grumble. I ignore emails from my mother.

 I tend to comb through and revise every sentence five or six times
 (although I am not sure that actually shows up in the quality of my
 prose). Only when I am sure that I have not embarrassed myself (or
 when the editor calls to threaten me with a canceled contract ???
 whichever comes first) do I show anyone what I have written. Now, this
 is not an uncommon process. Closed composition is the default among
 writers. We go to great lengths to develop trusted networks of readers
 and other writers with whom we can workshop ??? or as I prefer to call
 it because it's what the jazz musicians do, woodshed our work.

 Well, I am going to do my best to woodshed in public. As I compose
 bits and pieces of work, I will post them here. They might be very
 brief bits. They might never make it into the manuscript. But they
 will be up here for you to rip up or smooth over.

 That's the thing. For a number of years now I have made my bones in
 the intellectual world trumpeting the virtues of openness and the
 values of connectivity. I was an early proponent of applying "open
 source" models to scholarship, journalism, and lots of other things.

 And, more to the point: One of my key concerns with Google is that it
 is a black box. Something that means so much to us reveals so little
 of itself.

 So I would be a hypocrite if I wrote this book any other way. This
 book will not be a black box.

 Of course, it could get ugly in here. I could make tremendous
 mistakes. I could shoot something out there that shuts all doors at
 Google. I could undermine my ultimate market (but I seriously doubt
 that I could). I could just write myself into a corner.

 In my next post I will share a rough chapter outline. And I will give
 some sense of the basic questions and major issues that I hope to
 tackle in this work.

 Ok. As Sgt. Phil used to say, "Let's roll. And let's be careful out there."

 Send me links, questions and ideas:
 siva [at] googlizationofeverything [dot] com

 http://www.googlizationofeverything.com/2007/09/hi_welcome_to_my_book.php

 * * *

 Like the Mind of God (6 posts)

 All the World's Information (5 posts)

 What If Big Ads Don't Work (4 posts)

 Don't Be Evil (3 posts)

 Is Google a Library? (15 posts)

 Challenging Big Media (11 posts)

 The Dossier (3 posts)

 Global Google (1 post)

 Google Earth (no posts)

 A Public Utility? (7 posts)

 About this Book (7 post

 Siva Vaidhyanathan
 (how do you pronounce that?)


 Siva Vaidhyanathan I am a cultural historian and media scholar at the
 University of Virginia. I have written two previous books: Copyrights
 and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens
 Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the
 Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real
 World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). Most recently I
 edited (with Carolyn de la Pena) the collection, Rewiring the Nation:
 The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University
 Press, 2007).

 I've written for many periodicals, including American Scholar, The
 Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.COM,
 Salon.com, openDemocracy.net, Columbia Journalism Review, and The
 Nation. I also blog at SIVACRACY.NET.

 After five years as a professional journalist, I earned a Ph.D. in
 American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. I've taught
 at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison,
 Columbia University, New York University, and is this fall began as an
 associate professor of Media Studies and Law at the University of
 Virginia. I'm also a fellow at the New York Institute for the
 Humanities and the Institute for the Future of the Book.
 --
 ----------------------------------------------------------
 Frederick 'FN' Noronha   | Ym/Gmailtalk: fredericknoronha
 http://fn.goa-india.org     | fred {AT} bytesforall.org
 Independent Journalist   | +91(832)2409490 Cell 9970157402
 ----------------------------------------------------------





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