Google Index as world heritage

Presentation at Lift 09, 18-20/06/2009, Marseille

Hello everybody. I have got 5 minutes to trigger a revolution, right now, and right here, in Marseille ! Not easy ! But I’ll do my best.

Googlography

Ok. To begin, here’s a small Googlography ; this is the result of a search on ‘Google’ keyword on Amazon.com.

After reading all theses books and magazine, it’s clear that Google scares most of us.

Is Google Evil ?

So the question is : Is Google evil ?
Because, for many people, Google represents a threat to innovation, privacy, right to oblivion, pluralism, competition, the book, the press, culture… and even intelligence. So, apparently, the answer is : yes, it is.

Google is Evil

yet

Can’t help using it…

Yet we use more and more services offered by Google :

- Google search to find information

- Google map to find our way

- Google calendar to remind our rendez-vous

- Gmail and Google talk to communicate

- Blogger to blog

- Picasa to store images

- Google docs to write

- Google books to read

- Google translate to read in other languages, and so on,

- not talking of Google Adsense and Adwords.

All in all, we can’t help using it.

We can not do without Google and its index, for precisely its ability to build relationships in a continuous mass of information that far exceeds our cognitive capacity. Google is now the indispensable Sibylla of our lives, and right now we cannot stop that. So to speak about our relationships with Google, I would say that it is a matter of love and hate

Google & us : Love and hate

We love and hate Google altogether, as we love and hate ourselves, because Google index is part of us. How that ? First, because our life is “googlized”.

Our life is Googlized

Every moment of our life is linked in a way or another with Google ; such as, in this example, even our car accidents are recorded in Google street view. But if our life is googlized, it means also that Google is, in some way “enlivened” by us.

Gindex is fed by our lives

And in fact, Google index is fed with our lives. it is fed with

- our words

- our links

- our decisions

- our images

- memories

- choices

- and taste !

So, in a way, Google index is also our index, because everything that is inside of it, belongs to us.

So my dear fellow googlizen, my dear fellow humans, Let’s unite to
Reclaim the Google index !

Reclaim the Google index

Because it is our index. At least partly, because the content is ours.
And I won’t deny that it is partly Google Inc. property too, as the manufacturer and operator of the index. But it’s partly ours as well, and that is a very important point to make.

Therefore, may be we can begin to consider the Google index as a common good shared between Google and all the mankind.

Gindex as a common good

It is a little bit like this bus. Imagine Gindex is the bus, we are the users inside, on top, everywhere, and Google is the driver. (and by the way, nobody knows where we go).

May be we should now begin to consider it as a common good of mankind, just like this bus is a common good for these people. If we do that ; if you agree with me so far, then we need a governance device for this common index. And it seems to me, that UNESCO World heritage is an interesting lead to explore.

Google as World heritage

This is a presentation of World heritage from UNESCO website. It reads :
« Heritage is our legacy from the past, what we live with today, and what we pass on to future generations. What makes the concept of World Heritage exceptional is its universal application. World Heritage sites belong to all the peoples of the world, irrespective of the territory on which they are located. »

Well, this is a perfect definition for Google index, don’t you think ?
In fact, it is only if you think about the word “site” with a different meaning
Not as a physical site, but as a cyberspace, an internet “site”. So when we think about World heritage today, we think to this :

Today

And may be, tomorrow, when we’ll think about World heritage, we’ll think to that :

« Tomorrow »

(this is a Google datacenter in Netherlands). That’s a huge progress, isn’t it !

In fact, the building is not important ; it’s what is inside the building, or more accurately inside and elsewhere in the cyberspace that is important.
And I think we desperately need to get back our power and control back on this peculiar cyberspace “site”, the Google index.

« Thank you ! »

(Special thanks to Marin for coaching and live blogging, and to Hubert for cheering and invitation to Lift) !


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