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The Googlization of Everything: (And Why We Should Worry) Hardcover – March 8, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
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An intriguing exposé of the popular website. . . The author unmasks the monster behind the friendly interface with the suspense of a horror novel. An urgent reminder to look more closely at dangers that lurk in plain sight. --Kirkus Reviews
More About the Author
Professor of Media Studies
Ph.D., University of Texas at Austin
B.A., University of Texas at Austin
Siva Vaidhyanathan is a cultural historian and media scholar, and is currently the Robertson Family Professor of media studies at the University of Virginia. He also teaches at the University of Virginia School of Law. From 1999 through the summer of 2007 he worked in the Department of Culture and Communication at New York University. Vaidhyanathan is a frequent contributor on media and cultural issues in various periodicals including The Chronicle of Higher Education, New York Times Magazine, Bookforum, The Nation, Slate.com, and Salon.com. He is a frequent contributor to National Public Radio and to MSNBC.COM and has appeared in a segment of "The Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. Vaidhyanathan is a fellow of the New York Institute for the Humanities.
In March 2002, Library Journal cited Vaidhyanathan among its "Movers & Shakers" in the library field. In the feature story, Vaidhyanathan lauded librarians for being "on the front lines of copyright battles" and for being "the custodians of our information and cultural commons." In November 2004 the Chronicle of Higher Education called Vaidhyanathan "one of academe's best-known scholars of intellectual property and its role in contemporary culture." He has testified as an expert before the U.S. Copyright Office on the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
He is noted for opposing the Google Books scanning project on copyright grounds. He has published the opinion, that the project poses a danger for the doctrine of fair use, because the fair use claims are arguably so excessive that it may cause judicial limitation of that right.
Vaidhyanathan was born in Buffalo, New York, and attended the University of Texas at Austin, earning both a B.A. in History and a Ph.D. in American Studies.
Top Customer Reviews
The book is an impressive synthesis of the current thinking on and around Google -- much of it applicable to any contemporary dot-com with runaway success. One of Siva's objections to the "googlization" of the online knowledge space is that while institutions like libraries and universities typically plan to be around in a hundred years, companies like Google do not necessarily have, or plan for, such staying power. This is a nicely contestable sentiment -- that, as a corporate entity, Google is inherently shorter lived then, say, the University of Virginia, or at least its values are less consistent over time. It sets up a deeper question of what mix of institutions ought to contribute to the world and serve as gateways to our accumulated knowledge, and with what ethos (ethoi?).
In the last section, Siva proposes a Human Knowledge Project. The name is derived from the Human Genome Project. It is intended to be a "global information ecosystem," essentially a Google by and for the public sphere: "The Human Knowledge Project should [be] open, public, global, multilingual, and focused. It should be sensitive to the particular needs of communities of potential knowledge users around the world, yet it should be committed to building a global system that can erase the gaps in knowledge that current exist between a child growing up in a poor village in South Africa and another growing up in a wealthy city in Canada.Read more ›
I found the same his latest book, the "Googlization of Everything". The idea of "techno-fundamentalism" resonated deeply with me as I have struggled with efforts in my profession to abandon tried and true methods of librarianship and information science in the rush to embrace the latest gadget or newest technology. Indeed, American culture (and it could be argued Western culture as well) has become fascinated with all things tech to the point of techno-fundamentalism, or a blind faith in technology and its ability to solve all the world's problems. Technology has done great things for the human race, but has also had weighty consequences as well.
The author does not seek to destroy Google or even hope for its demise. Instead he argues that we need to take back the objects of our culture from Google and others who, in the name of technology, progress, faster search and access, would seek to monopolize them and make money from them. I appreciate Dr. Vaidhyanathan's vision for a Human Knowledge Project, and hope to assist him and others in making that a reality. True change will only come about through deliberation, debate, and collaboration. It will not be handed down from a "benevolent giant" like Google.
As the debate heats up and accelerates in internet time, it's a pleasure to turn to Siva Vaidhyanathan's The Googlization of Everything, a carefully considered take on the company composed over the past five years. After this week is over, no one is going to really care whether Google properly punished JC Penney for scheming its way to the top non-paid search slot for "grommet top curtains." But our culture will be influenced in ways large and small by Google's years of dominance, whatever happens in coming years. I don't have time to write a full review now, but I do want to highlight some key concepts in Googlization, since they will have lasting relevance for studies of technology, law, and media for years to come.
Dan Solove helped shift the privacy conversation from "Orwell to Kafka" in a number of works over the past decade. Other scholars of surveillance have first used, and then criticized, the concept of the "Panopticon" as a master metaphor for the conformity-inducing pressures of ubiquitous monitoring. Vaidhyanathan observes that monitoring is now so ubiquitous, most people have given up trying to conform. As he observes,
[T]he forces at work in Europe, North America, and much of the rest of the world are the opposite of a Panopticon: they involve not the subjection of the individual to the gaze of a single, centralized authority, but the surveillance of the individual, potentially by all, always by many.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The price charged me for this Kindle book was not the price shown on my Kindle when I ordered it. Since I was unable to find any customer complaint place on the AMZN web site to... Read morePublished 12 months ago by HWBowman
This book was just good enough to keep reading, but at many times I thought about putting it down for good. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Matt Bailey
The book correctly points out that some people may possibly depend on Google too much. While Google has done a lot of good to some people in certain instances, it also is a human... Read morePublished 16 months ago by William
This is a great book about digital and the "invasion" of technology in our lives, and Google
of course. Read more
Perhaps I am a bit biased to like this book: I don't use facebook, I don't have a smarphone, I'm mildly paranoid about amount of individual information floating around in the... Read morePublished on January 15, 2014 by Kot Matroskin
I read a paperback version of this and thought Siva V. gave interesting insight into The Google business. Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by Mac
Introduced to this in Coursera MOOC (Understanding the Media by Understanding Google") and found it as essential as the Surgeon Generals warning about smokingPublished on November 8, 2013 by Amazon Customer
IT was send right on time and before my college started. I was really pleased how fast he send it.Published on February 1, 2013 by Adnaan