Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Rise of the Googlenater

The other day, I heard the strangest thing on a radio report. Google had chosen Kansas City, Kansas, for a new fiber-optic thingamajigger set-up that is going to give the city Internet connections that go something like one-hundred times faster than broadband. It got me thinking back to the old days . . . [wobbly memory segue waves on the screen . . .]

Remember (last Friday) when broadband used to be considered fast? Remember how you would have to wait, like, six seconds for a website to appear on your screen? How the heck did we put up with it? So much wasted time. Man, oh, man [falls into a wistful stare].

Ever feel like you are in living life in a centrifuge? -- and every once in a while, they stop it to hand you a newer, shinier gadget than you had in the previous twenty minutes and then the whole thing starts spinning again?

So, now, they have this Google whatchamacallit that makes the Internet one-hundred times faster than broadband. A few cities competed for this. Remember the city that changed its name to "Google" for a month? Somewhere else a mayor jumped into the lake to get Google's attention. But the obvious question is: "What the heck do you do with an Internet speed that is one-hundred times faster than broadband?

And you know what -- no one knows! Not even Google. Check this out from an from an NPR report on the deal:
NPR: Wyandotte High School's auditorium was decked out in Google's colors for yesterday's announcement. Governor Sam Brownback declared it Google Day in Kansas. But he, too, is not sure what you can do with Internet connections of one gigabit per second.

Governor SAM BROWNBACK (R. Kansas): Backstage, we were just talking ahead of time about, well: What does this mean? And everybody looks around, kind of - well, I am not exactly sure.

NPR: That's part of the point of this experiment, says Kevin Lo, who's general manager of the Google Access project. He says the new burst of speed will drive innovation and create its own applications, just like broadband did in the past decade.
Does anyone else get a little freaked out by this? "Well -- heck -- let's just create awesome power and unleash it on the Earth and worry about what the heck it is for later." Sort of a spooky technological precedent, don't you think?

Well, let me tell you something, Google. Don't come crying to me when your little "Access Project" gets a mind of its own and comes thrumping along with its massive titanium talons and it zeros in on you with its 3D, vector-graphics vision (with little, rapid-scrolling, unreadable scripts and multi-angular icons on the side) and locks its neutron lasers on your cerebellum, thereby melting you to a little, moaning plasma clump (with eyes) that is only capable of weakly whispering the phrase "Kill me . . ." Because if there is anything science fiction has taught me, it is that machines and mysterious scientific creations love to vaporize dudes in suits and lab coats -- especially the guys who actually created them.

And a warning to the ladies in the greater Kansas City area: If you are beautiful and buxom and you wear especially low-cut dresses, the Creature will inevitably lug you around amid its destructions (your zaftig frame optimally flopping backward in its arms for the sexiest camera angle) and then die fighting another techno-monster right in front of you -- at which point, the audience will feel strangely bad for the anthropomorphized techo-monster.

Don't say I didn't warn you, O Wielders of Techno Doom! Ye have been warned. (That's right. I called you "YE.") WARNED, I tell you. I foresee strangled cries as you are wrapped up in a fiber-optic spider's papoose and sucked dry by the very wonders you wrought. The horror.

Then again, I'll bet this new Google thing can give me pictures of Rachel Weisz in higher resolution . . .


  1. 'Sort of a spooky technological precedent, don't you think?' - that's what they said about Gutenberg, or so I'm told. Speaking of which, why not stop fretting and read a book until the Google experiment's over?

  2. . . . because by the final chapter, I could be an array of disassembled atoms! Nevertheless, I'll keep reading BLEAK HOUSE. I think maybe Dickens could be the cross to technology's vampire.

  3. I've always been a big proponent of "Just because you can do a thing, does not mean you SHOULD do that thing." So, in part, I agree with your premise. However, without a little "let's see what happens" sometimes we are in danger of getting stuck behind apprehension and doubt.
    What if we never went to the moon becuase we weren't really sure what that would benefit? So much of our tech lives have been shaped by breakthroughs of that project. What if we never bothered with atomic energy? Goodness knows how long WWII would have lasted or what energy/power/propulsion breakthrough's we would never know (I'm choosing to leave out the obvious downside to this area of my argument).
    While I do think sometimes more understanding of WHY is needed, I like the "Let's throw it at the wall and see what sticks" approach. Something unforeseen and wonderful just might come of it. And let's face it that on some small level the Googlenater (great word, by the way) is just fun...and the first time EVER we had reason to be jealous of Kansas City.

  4. Well, when you are plugged into a power cell and start mumbling about the benefits of "The Collective," maybe you won't be so glib, Locutus! Nah. You're right I was just having fun. I just think it is hilarious that a high-up at Google just comes back with a "I dunno." And that the receivers of Google's benevolence don't even know what the hell they are going to do with it.

  5. By the way, I was jealous when they had George Brett.

  6. Uhh... every dorm room on this campus has a 1 gbps internet connection. Yet, sci-fi violence so far has not brightened my 15-minute trudge to class. Either my generation is hopelessly non-creative, or... or I don't know. I want my money back :(

  7. Please see Google for a refund. And and a sci-fi ass whoopin'.

  8. I dunno Chris, I think you're missing out on an opportunity to make your blog mind blowing, (or seizure inducing depending on how you look at it) by linking up with this somehow. Hello epicness thy name is insane speed for the sake of insane speed.