I know that the parallel between God and Google is starting to be a cliche, but somehow since the beta launch of Google+ this came top of mind again for me. As Google just added yet another divine quality to its already quite potent set of services to us humble servants of Google. : )
But let me back track first for those of you who have never thought about the Godly attributes of the all-mighty Google, and lets start with the definition of “God” according to WikiPedia (btw I found the page by consulting Google)
“God is most often conceived of as the supernatural creator and overseer of the universe. Theologians have ascribed a variety of attributes to the many different conceptions of God. The most common among these include omniscience (infinite knowledge), omnipotence (unlimited power), omnipresence (present everywhere), omnibenevolence (perfect goodness), divine simplicity, and eternal and necessary existence.” Source WikiPedia
God is thought to be an entity in which we mortals can turn to when in a time of need. Google clearly fulfils this to a much larger degree than traditional “gods”. According to Google trends, the term “Google” is searched for more than the terms “God”, “Jesus”, “Allah”, “Buddha”, “Christianity”, “Islam”, “Buddhism” and “Judaism” combined!!!
Omniscience (infinite knowledge)
Google indexes over 9.5 billion WebPages, which is more than any other search engine on the web today. Not only is Google the closest known entity to being Omniscient, but She also sorts through this vast amount of knowledge using Her patented PageRank technology, organizing said data and making it easily accessible to us mere mortals.
One can pray to Google by doing a search for whatever question or problem is plaguing them. She will show you the way, but showing you is all She can do, for you must help yourself from that point on.
Omnipresence (present everywhere)
Google is virtually everywhere on earth at the same time. Billions of indexed WebPages hosted from every corner of the earth. With the proliferation of Wi-Fi networks, one will eventually be able to access Google from anywhere on earth, truly making Her an omnipresent entity. (Except in China where Google is not God)
Google design and service principles clearly seek to provide you with a simple experience. Both from a visual design as from a UX perspective, simplicity is at the heart of her devine manifestations.
Google is potentially immortal. Her Algorithms are spread out across many servers; if any of which were taken down or damaged, another would undoubtedly take its place. Google can theoretically last forever and is infinite. Google remembers all. Google caches WebPages regularly and stores them on its massive servers.
source: The Church Of Google
And then there was Google+
Now if all of the above did not freak you out yet, Google just got one step closer to divinity with the birth of Google+. Of course social networks is nothing new, so the phenomenon is not divine on its own. Its adding the data of social tribes and their conversations to the existing mix of the data Google is capturing from Search, Ads, Gmail, Calendar, Documents, Photos – Picasa, Movies – Youtube, Shopping, Maps, Android, GoogleTV and Chrome to name a few of the big ones. Google now really knows and hears everything we do, when we do it and where we do it. And they are pretty good at predicting what we will do too.
It remains to be seen if people will all move their digital social networks from Facebook to Google+, however If I were to put my money on who would win this race I would put it on Google.
“Knowledge is power” Sir Francis Bacon
With all of the ‘knowledge’ Google is capturing of us as societies and as individuals you could say that they have also achieved the divine attribute of omnipotence (unlimited power).
The services Google provides are awesome, and I love and use them every day. However sometimes I just wonder about the most divine attribute of them all; omnibenevolence (perfect goodness).
At the end of the day Google is a business and even if the their corporate philosophy it states “that a company can make money without being evil” I do still think that benevolence might not always be in their interest. The issue which potentially arises goes beyond what I wrote about in my post “Privacy & Social Media | Is Nothing Sacred Anymore? ” As its not about what others know about you, its about what could happen if the data Google has fall in the wrong hands.
When my mind really goes paranoid I think about what the worst case scenario could be. A sudden change of power in the USA, where all of a sudden all the data Google has captured will be used against humanity at large. Or in a useless “War on terror”. Catch my drift? It did happen before not so long ago.
Google in bed with U.S. intelligence
This is a call to all of us, to use these great services, but be conscious about what it is you are doing. Know Google sees and remembers everything you do online.
“With great power, comes great responsibility” Stan Lee
So the question which remains is: Is Google God?