When I explained the problem to my peers, they didn’t relate to the problem. To them, I was the wacky tinfoil hat computer scientist. Most people didn’t see the danger. That was until news of the National Security Agency (NSA) and Prism broke loose. Now I’m noticing a difference. Now that people are seeing how they too can be burned by Google, attitudes are changing.
So, I have this debate running through my head.
- What to do about Google?
- Can Google be trusted?
- Would I really do anything different if I was running Google?
I don’t know if I can trust Google. Although, I probably would probably be focusing on many the same special projects that they do – like space travel or Calico. That’s right, Google wants to cure death. With my science fiction novel, I hoped to encourage future generations to rethink what is possible. The difference is that Google is actually doing it today.
So, why worry? Why not just kick back and relax? Google is doing all the hard work. In a few years, I should be able to enjoy a world where robots answer all my questions, drive me wherever I want to go and cater to my every need… and it can go on indefinitely!
The problem is that I got a really bad feeling when Ray Kurzweil joined the ranks of Google. I don’t like the idea of Google pursuing the fountain of youth. Google is not God. Google is run by people and people make mistakes. It reminded me of Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade. Is this a race of good vs. evil? If I sit around and do nothing, is it the equivalent of letting the Nazis getting the holy grail?
Right now, I doubt it’s that bad. I don’t see Google as evil. With all of the problems I’ve had with Google, the issues are somewhat understandable. Large organizations have problems. That’s why I see Google more like Inspector Gadget. The famous detective has lots of cool toys — just like Google — but Inspector Gadget also has Penny watching out for him. When Inspector Gadget bumbled an important mission, Penny was right there to right the wrong. So, who’s watching Google? Who’s making sure that Google doesn’t become corrupted? Who’s holding them to their “Don’t be evil” motto?
Is this something I should be doing? Perhaps the world needs an organization that watches the top Internet sites. Are they behaving in the best interests of humanity? Should I get involved in starting such an organization?
There’s an old saying, “If you can’t beat them, join them.” Should I join Google? Should I forgive and forget the issues of the past and get back to making Android apps? I’m not job hunting, but what if I worked for Google? Would I feel differently about the company if I was on the inside?
I don’t know. What I do know is that I finally have a new web project idea that I’m excited about. I could go the easy way and use Google services to help make it happen. Yet, I have this nagging feeling that Google could end up burning me again. So over the next few months, I’ll be pondering a tough question. What to do about Google?