Thursday, June 20, 2013

the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you to the truth...,



guardian | If you want an alternative way to think about Google+, you could start with Horace Dediu's wonderful metaphor comparing what Google does to catching fish:
Google tries to make a business succeed through having a huge amount of _flow_ in terms of data, traffic, queries and information that is indexed. So think about this idea of them tapping into a vast stream. The more volume that is flowing through the system the more revenue they generate.
As so given this very rough analogy I try to sharpen it up by saying: imagine it more as a river. And even more than a river, as a watershed, a river basin. Perhaps a giant basin the size of a continent. The business is, let's say, capturing fish at the mouth of the biggest river, before it exits into the ocean at its delta.
And so your job (as Google) is to catch fish mostly at one point. It's the most efficient way to catch fish because you have the most flow of water at that point and building nets is not trivial.
If you use that metaphor, then Google+ puts radio tags on all the fish. It's so much easier to know where they're going. (Ignore for a moment that you're the fish. It only gets in the way.)

The question really is, now you know that, are you comfortable with it? Personally I always found the choice at the heart of The Matrix a puzzling one. The choices seemed to be: you can know that the world you live in is a blasted, awful place with a dire climate, or you can live in what seems like a fairly comfortable world (as long as you don't mess with the agents, of course).

To be honest, I always wondered whether the people whose "lives" (computer-generated or no) were upended by Neo, the hacker hero of the film, really liked having that choice made for them.

Anyhow, that's what Google+ is about. Discussing it as if it were a social network which needs activity in the way that Facebook and Twitter do misses the point. It really doesn't matter if you never use it, never fill out your profile, never fill a circle, never get added to anyone's circle. What matters to Google is that you're signed in, in order that it can form its matrix of knowledge about you.

So now that you know: red pill or blue pill? Sign in or sign out?