It isn’t a secret that I am not a huge cheerleader for Google. Yes, Google has made finding information on the Internet much easier, however, just because they have improved one aspect of our lives doesn’t mean that they can do no wrong. I am pro-Internet. However, sometimes, late at night when I cannot sleep, I think about all of the ways Google has the potential to ruin the world (it isn’t just Google that I think this about. Other things ruining the world include Facebook, Hollywood, teenagers, Text-messaging, politicians, Ugg Boots, New Jersey, Wikileaks, cable news, Lady Gaga, and much, much more), and their stupid Auto Complete is one of the things that I think about. I had the idea of Google trying to anticipate what I am looking for by what I am typing in. Listen up, Google, you are a stupid computer program, not a psychic! Thanks to Very Small Array, we now know what a map of the United States would look like if it were up to Google’s autocomplete:
Just think, in the Google World, if the entire state of Florida was Florida State University and the entire state of Arizona was Arizona State University, there would be nothing but drunk undergrads on Spring Break all of the time. In Google World, everyone in the state of Kentucky would be 500 pounds (as opposed to the only 25% of Kentuckians who currently are) from too many Double-Downs. Also, I know that I have remarked before that North Carolina is the place to come if you want furniture bargains, but according to Google, the entire state would be employed in the furniture industry. Poor Washington State wouldn’t even really exist except as a newspaper publication of a city three thousand miles away.
In even sadder news, Morris Cohen passed away this weekend. Morris Cohen is my law librarian hero. When I think about what a law librarian should be, I think about Morris Cohen. It makes me sad, because right now in the world of law librarianship, there are too many people who would be content with the Google map of the United States being the way forward. I will never forget my first Morris Cohen sighting at my first American Association of Law Librarians annual meeting. In the exhibit hall, I spotted him by one of the rare book vendors, purusing through titles. He probably noticed someone staring at him, and he looked up and said hello. I am sure that I turned beet red as I said hello back, and then ran away. I ran back to my library school friends and excitedly repeated every second of my encounter. It is a rare librarian that can have that kind of effect on people, but he was my hero.
Also, I want to write something concerning the upcoming referendum for Southern Sudanese independence. However, I think this deserves a full separate post in which I take some time to actually think before I write.