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Book review: “Planet Google”

lisanotes google searchHave you googled yourself lately?

When I googled “lisanotes blog,” these top 10 showed up:

# 1 was definitely me.
# 2 was my Twitter account.
# 3 and # 8 were not me at all.
# 4-7, 9-10 were comments I’d left elsewhere on-line via “lisanotes.”

I just finished reading Planet Google: One Company’s Audacious Plan to Organize Everything We Know by Randall Stross.

I’m not sure if I should be excited or scared.

We already know that Google is everywhere. And basically, I think I’m okay with that. Besides Google Search, which I use all the time, I also use Google Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Reader, Google Blogger, Google Documents, Google Photos, Google Maps, and iGoogle.

planet_google_by_randall_strossWhich leads to a concern addressed in the book:
We’re comfortable using Google to organize our own information, and to search out information on others, but how comfortable are we with the tables being turned on us?

“The more control we gain of information, thanks to Google, the more we also experience a nagging worry about loss of control of information most dear to us.”

When Google Maps and Google Earth were introduced, for example, many objected to a loss of privacy. They felt more vulnerable and didn’t want unsolicited attention. And as Google continues on their quest to organize all the world’s information, more privacy concerns will continue to surface.

Google will press on, however. They estimate it will take roughly 300 years to fulfill their mission. But I doubt it. The progress they’ve shown in barely 10 years is astounding. (Do you realize that Google didn’t even exist until 1996?)

If you’re interested in details, the book goes into them. Too many for my understanding. But I gleaned enough to know that the more offers we accept from Google, the more dependent we become upon them.

And the more we’re at their mercy to stay true to their own famous “Don’t Be Evil” mantra.

* * * * *

Ultimately, the only place where all our information is totally safe is in God’s hands. He knows everything about us. And instead of using it against us, he uses it to help us. It’s good that he knows—very good.

“And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account. …

For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.
Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Hebrews 4:13,15-16i need him to know


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