In the purest sense of the word I am not a Star Trek fan. I can’t stand the old show for a lot of reasons but it has produced some pretty funny William Shatner / Capt. Kirk impressions over the years (remember Chris Farley in Tommy Boy? “I ….. have….an…..idea……”). For a brief time though I was a fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation. Jean-Luc Picard, Number One and Data were fun.
What was most fascinating to me about that show was the arc about The Borg. It was a huge floating cube that went through space assimilating everything in its path into the collective conscience that was “The Borg”. Really not too unlike President Obama’s ideas but that’s for another post. Even the most fiercely independent and strong human could not resist the Borg, and alas, the good Captain Picard was assimilated and the ensuing antics made for fun TV. Of course, Jean-Luc prevails etc. etc. because he is independent and strong. I can only hope that things end as well for the US but once again that’s for another post.
Welcome to the cusp of a new decade and what I am officially calling “The Age of the Goog”. I am starting to see Google as the real life version of the Borg in that it is slowly moving along and without most people realizing it, simply assimilating us into their collective offerings of services. These services cover all aspects of life and do so in a way that has not been seen yet in human history. Big statement I know but just think about how fearful everyone, including the government, was of Microsoft. In comparison the amount of impact The Micro has on our lives is well, microscopic, when held up against the impact of “The Goog”.
Google affects all aspects of life independent of computing platform because it is the ultimate SaaS (software as a service) company. They deliver quality products and have done a decent job of supporting their offerings (despite recent Gmail glitches which are what prompted this line of thought from me).
Go to the Official Google Blog and see how they are making life easier for students through Google Docs. Look at how the Hot Trends in search are being used to tell us what is most important in the world at any given time. Google Apps is used by millions of small businesses. In fact, I would say that Google is more important to small business than the, gasp!, government’s own SBA (Small Business Administration).
While I am satirizing this a bit there is a slice of concern in this whole picture. I think about my kids looking to everyone else to solve a problem rather than doing it on their own. It won’t be because they’re bad kids either. It’ll be because they are human and will look for the easy way out in many cases. Face it, we all do.
So my question to you today is “Are you being assimilated into “The Goog”? If you are, is it a good thing? Are we too dependent on this new world order to even be able to do anything without it? Extreme? Sure, it can be viewed so but really, really think about your life right now. How much time is there with just another person and you? How much time is there without e-mail and smart phones? I am thinking more about this and wondering if I may not have lost my way a little. After all, when it’s all said and done Google won’t be looking to me for answers about anything will they? Nope, that’ll happen in front of another capital G and that’s the one that matters in the end.