Uber-Google

I finished Jeff Jarvis’ What Would Google Do and I feel like I need to go outside, or take a deep breath, or something.

Jarvis loves Google. Duh. Obviously. That’s the whole point. And that’s cool — I love Google too.

But something bugs me about deifying Google. I want to ask, “Yes Jeff, but what about urban schools?” “Yes Jeff, but what about making sure people have potable drinking water?” What bugs me is that I feel Jarvis might respond, “here’s how Google can solve this problem. Let’s go!”

The plan might be great, but I want to respond, “yes, this would work, but look around. It’s not happening, not yet anyway. People are still without water today.” That perspective is important to me. I worry it gets lost too often when I spend a good chunk of my time on computers with people similarly privileged and, possibly, working within too tight of a bubble.

Let me also be absolutely clear that I don’t mean to suggest Jarvis actually thinks any of this. In fact, considering he spent time in WWGD? on google.org I’m inclined to think he recognizes the immediacy of these problems (even if he praises their response). I’m simply reporting here on the feeling I get as I go through his book — which, thanks to the publishing house structure he used (as he described), may have been more hyperbole than anything.

But apart from that, I’m jotting down some notes, some of the short-form wisdom (“Jarvis laws”?) I’m finding. I have a feeling I’m going to use them often.

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