Thursday, May 05, 2005

Googling towards reality

History is written by the victors, and news is written by the priviledged. The majority, however, live in reality.

As the Internet pushes into the lives of more people, it is possible to envision a world where this gap is bridged, where authority lies with the population, with their collective knowledge, not with the easily manipulated minds of corporate journalists, hanging around the corridors of power.

To bridge the gap, Internet authorities need to muddle their way towards a broader picture of the world. When I search for Haiti, for example, I want to see the physical evidence of its extreme poverty & strife. I'd like to see a history of its centuries of colonization and manipulation. I want hard data to be available, to a person thinking about these things, which allows them to demonstrate that the purpose of this abuse is to maximize profit. I want the relationships and the profits and the environmental destruction caused by multintaional corporations to be visible.

This is undeniable reality, on the ground, throughout the world, and the vast majority of the world's population is aware of it. Generally, the educated classes in the US, and abroad, are not.

That's where Google comes in.

Although there are more voices on the net, and better access to information than ever before, when I type "Haiti" into the Google I still get nothing important. I get: spin, publicity, 'official news', 'cia facts' ... nothing that tells me what's going on.

The closest thing to Haiti's reality on Google is this satellite photo.

How do I find the toxic dumps? How do I find the 'free trade' manufacturing facilities, which abuse labor to the breaking point, in order to increase profits? How do I see the prime agricultural land held by Dole, Del Monte, Chiquita, etc., seized by force from farmers over and over again? How do I find what the people in Haiti want to do about this situation, now that their first elected government was just dissolved by US government intervention? And how do I discover that fact?

Google has a long way to go. This isn't easy, so I'm going to help.

2 Comments:

Blogger whatever said...

interesting... i think u're on the right track. do u think it'll happen? that one day all we will need to do to know the truth will be to Google it?

but how reliable can Google be, I mean what Google gives you is everything that anyone ever posts and not just what's in the history books (granted that's the beauty of the Internet) but that means reality, fiction, cover-ups, and everything else.. won't it be "Googling towards The Land of Oz" rather than "Googling towards Reality"?? (don't get me wrong, I'm a fan too, just thinking out loud)

11:06 AM  
Blogger Greg Bryant said...

You're right, it's possible that Googling could move towards fantasy instead. I think it depends on the actions of people ... if everyone wants Google to be more about reality, and works towards it, then it will become that way. If the users want Google to be an escape from reality, it will go that way. It really depends on us.

9:30 PM  

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