Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Google never lies...

A quote..."Google never lies"...purloined from a colleague, purloined from someone else...however, an interesting concept. The quote came up in a conversation about a picture of said colleague that had come back to haunt him - nothing sordid, just silly I might add. So, however much you change or try to eliminate your past, it's now simply not possible.

What I can't quite figure out if its that a good thing or a bad thing. To be totally purist about it, surely it's a good thing. It's a way round the paradox that history, by it's very nature, is utterly subjective and unreliable. Any story or information that is still in circulation is there because somewhere, somehow, someone won...wrote the story...and so the "truth" is born. But what if every story told, never went away? What if the losers and the winners had exactly the same chance of getting their version of the truth in black and white? What if...oh, yeah, it's not "if" anymore...it's utterly real.

Fantastic - a truly inspired way of telling and presenting history. Because "Google" sorts by relevance and not by power, persuasion or threats, we're closer to the truth of the matter. Must be a good thing, surely.

However, what if the story, really is better left forgotten? What if relevance simply isn't a human enough way to sort through information? I suppose the clearest example I can think of is the way in which news was basically propaganda throughout the world wars within Britain. Yes, it wasn't right, and it depicted the opposing forces as monsters but in a world where people were losing sons, husbands, brothers and fathers...isn't it just easier to see the bad guys as exactly that? Isn't the truth just that bit harder to swallow? Isn't it sometimes just kinder to filter some of it out?

Maybe not - and it's not an opinion I'd ever push hard but I just wonder if the fact that as "Google never lies" becomes a truth, as consumers being producers of information becomes the norm, maybe it's not such a good thing...

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