Have Our Lives Been Googlized?

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Information overload, data-security anxiety, and a feeling of queasiness about our culture’s proliferation of nonsense are inextricable parts of the human condition in the Google Age, according to Geert Lovink writing for Eurozine.

The impact of the modern “society of the query,” according to Lovnik, has caused people to forget the “art of asking the right question.” If we don’t know what information we’re looking for, we’ll never find it. No search engine (now matter how advanced) is going to help us find the right questions.

The Google society has also created an overwhelming accumulation of “data trash.” The problem is that if we’re too overwhelmed by data, we’ll have no time for serendipity–the equally lost art of stumbling upon good ideas. Lovnik summarizes his points, writing:

For the time being we will remain obsessed with the diminishing quality of the answers to our queries – and not with the underlying problem, namely the poor quality of our education and the diminishing ability to think in a critical way…What is necessary is a reappropriation of time. At the moment there is simply not enough of it to stroll around like a flaneur. … Stop searching. Start questioning. Rather than trying to defend ourselves against ‘information glut,’ we can approach this situation creatively as the opportunity to invent new forms appropriate for our information-rich world.

(Thanks, 3 Quarks Daily.)

Image by Juancho, licensed by Creative Commons.

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