Geert Lovink on Thu, 27 Dec 2007 15:20:18 +0100 (CET)

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Re: <nettime> "Google distorts reality"

Thanks, Florian, for your brilliant comments. I posted this snippet to 
nettime not because I agreed with it, but because I found it 
interesting, a Google criticism coming from the heart of continental 
Europe. What could that be other then the usual complaint after the 
Demise of the West (West here has to be read as the furthest West you 
can get from old Europe: California).

I also posted it to to challenge myself, and others. The critique of 
Euro pessimism, about the ever dropping values in society, is 
wellknown. I practice it myself. The question really is: what is a 
progressive answer to the ever growing power of Google? Is it enough to 
complain about the monopoly position of this one corporation, as we did 
with Microsoft in the 1990s? As Christian Fuchs writes, this can hardly 
be an anti-capitalist stand, to cry for fair markets.

One could get into the habit of using another search engine. But which 
one? Wait for open search or Wikipedia? Is this merely a 
question of individual 'consumer' choice? How does one ungoogle? What 
we need here are coachers and change managers. If google is a habit, 
then get rid of it. If you can quit smoking, then it must also be 
possible to degooglize society.

But that's all early days. There are still only a handful of Google 
critics such as Nicolas Carr ( and Siva's 
Googlization of Everything ( 
However, on the level of books that one recommends students to read, 
there is not all that much, except for the corporate agitprop of Vise 
and Battelle. Or am I wrong?

Is there a European answer to Google, or is this is wrong question to 
start with? The conference where Florian spoke  in Maastricht was an 
excellent start, but the event was not well publicized and attented. Is 
it an idea to organize a Google Tribunal (in Brussels...) where we can 
search for our ideal critic and chose the alternative search engine to 
our liking?


On 26 Dec 2007, at 10:16 PM, Florian Cramer wrote:

> On Wednesday, December 26 2007, 15:43 (+0100), geert lovink wrote:
>> Google distorts reality, Austrian study says
>> Download the study (in English) here:

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