Michelle's Reviews > Googled: The End of the World as We Know It

Googled by Ken Auletta
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's review
Dec 21, 2010

really liked it
bookshelves: tech
Read in December, 2010

To start, the tag line "The End of the World as We Know It" isn't meant in a Mayan-calendar apocalyptic "the nerds are coming! the nerds are coming!" vein in the least. If that was what you were expecting...you won't come away satisfied that someone is in on your conspiracy theory with you.

The book touches on all the worries the tinfoil hat types have (and rightly so, I can see in more detail, after reading this), but it delves largely into which game, exactly, Google has had the audacity to come in and change. Advertisement has always been about "magic," manipulating your emotional desires so that you will spend your money on items you know, logically, that you do not need.

Google has merely come in and devised a way to give you what you're looking for, as opposed to what you're not. You can imagine that a lot of overpaid people are really, *really*, not happy about that. For them, the end of business as usual IS nigh, and it is that facet of Google's business which is most heavily examined in this book.

The author gives us a nice peek into the beginning of the company along with revealing some of the more strenuous aspects of trying to get the horse back in front of the cart that they seem to be grappling with, and does an excellent job at not pushing the reader to one side of the Evil or Not argument by touching on both sides of the facts as seen by those fighting for one or the other.

Google has done a lot of really spectacular things, and those are entirely possible because of the advertising revenue they generate. I get that. But people who have a mind to stay leery of the privacy issue won't find an answer for "what is their plan for the future?" There will come a time when the company won't be run by Page and Brin. Will that be the end of Google, as we know it?

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Reading Progress

12/01/2010 page 46
12/10/2010 page 161
56.0% "Doing a great job of reinforcing my "I don't know where I stand on trusting this company" feeling so far. Excellent objectivity."
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