Dark Google | Shoshana Zuboff’s brilliant article in FAZ

“The aim is not merely the God’s eye view, but the God’s eye power to shape and control reality”

Shoshana Zuboff’s brilliant article in FAZ (English, German)

Recall those fabled frogs happy in the magic pond. Playful. Distracted. The water temperature slowly rises, but the frogs don’t notice. By the time it reaches the boiling point, it’s too late to leap to safety.  We are as frogs in the digital waters, and Springer CEO Mathias Dopfner has just become our frog town crier.  Mr. Dopfner’s „Why We Fear Google“ ( a response to Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt’s open letter, „A Chance for Growth“) warns of danger on the move: „The temperatures are rising fast.”  If his cry of alarm scares you, that’s good. Why?

First, because there is a dawning awareness that Google is forging a new kingdom on the strength of a different kind of power –– ubiquitous, hidden, and unaccountable. If successful, the dominion of this kingdom will exceed anything the world has known. The water is close to boiling, because Google understands this statement more profoundly than we do.

Second, because accessing the Web and the wider Internet have become essential for effective social participation across much of the world. A BBC poll conducted in 2010 found that 79% of people in 26 countries considered access to the Internet to be a fundamental human right. We rely on Google’s tools as we search, learn, connect, communicate, and transact. The chilling irony is that we’ve become dependent on the Internet to enhance our lives, but the very tools we use there threaten to remake society in ways that we do not understand and have not chosen.

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Read on here

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