Bonum Certa Men Certa

Google (and the Likes Of It) Will Cause Catastrophic Information Loss Rather Than Organise the World's Information

posted by Roy Schestowitz on Sep 28, 2023

Informational and cultural losses due to technological plunder

Tower Of The Forty Martyrs

THE latest popular rant about Google seems to be that its disservices are getting objectively worse. Ads everywhere, and increasingly irrelevant search results (also in News, YouTube etc. where it's designed for "engagement" with clickbait rather than what you want or need), what comes next?

Google used to justify itself by saying that it'll tackle evil (replacing evil with something relatively benevolent) and insisting that scanning lots of books or taking footage in almost every street would serve society at large, right? But Google is a for-profit company and we must be sceptical/wary of companies which conflate the profit motive with public good.

At the moment, seeing the fate of YouTube (aggressive ad blocking, censorship, abandonment of commitment to "creators") and abandonment of disservices like Google Podcasts etc. we're left scratching our collective heads. How many people still actually believe that "Google is your friend"? I had a colleague like that and he kept outsourcing things to Google.

This problem isn't even limited to Google or GAFAM (Google is a subset of this US government-connected cabal). A lot of people think that anything "clown" (cloud computing) is magically free and there's no snag.

A couple of decades ago many people and publishers were flocking to the Web. Some had been doing this since the 1990s. Some of the largest publishers were failing to understand that they were doing to online information a great favour, but they would not be rewarded for it. Instead, the Web would swallow everything, maybe train some chatbot on the data, then label plagiarism "Hey Hi" (AI is nowadays a misleading buzzword). Many large publishers forked over a fortune to make all their catalogues available "online" (e.g. old literature, music) and now they realise young people don't read papers, many just use apps etc. So they shifted from one dying format to another. There's no going back anymore.

It is perfectly clear that chatbots aren't the future; they're smokescreen and hype, boosted by companies whose sales are falling, companies that have almost nothing left to show and quietly remove staff (it's a lot worse than they publicly signal because of NDAs on severance packages and hiring freezes). A lot of companies that produced a lot of work are being exploited by companies that merely "deliver" stuff (sometimes with DRM), e.g. app [sic] stores and/or streaming. They're killing the goose that laid the golden egg and once creative industries are gone (many already perish) the governments will bail out (at taxpayers' expenses) the parasites with lobbyists, not the ordinary folks.

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