Vending machines in the snackroom of Google Japan
  • Vending machines in the snackroom of Google Japan

Let me make this clear at the outset: I am not a Google hater. Far from it. Some of my best friends are googlers, and I myself google often every day. I consult Google Trip Planner before walking to the restroom. I have an annual checkup this Friday with my Google Doc.

One of my favorite writers is Nikolai Gogol, in part because he was of Ukrainian descent, as am I. Gogol is not directly related to Google, but I’m guessing his popularity has soared thanks to Google Typos. Gogol’s novel Taras Bulba is exceptional in the original Russian, but even better when you run it through Google Translate. If you google Gogol, you’ll get a lot more results than if you Gogol Google.

Despite my fondness for Google, I worry about its power and reach. Today it’s Google, Google, everywhere. Rare is the Googleless conversation. Gone are the days when you could entertain a crowd at a party with a slightly varnished tale—some busyGooglebody is sure to quickly discredit it with a search on his phone. I don’t know what on Google Earth is getting into us.