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The Critical Path #109: Google Ventures

Horace builds on his discussion of Google from the previous episode in light of the Nest acquisition news. We also look at the relatively unreported news regarding China lifting its 13-year ban on game consoles and the variables it introduces to a “big niche” industry.

via 5by5 | The Critical Path #109: Google Ventures.

  • berult

    A 64% voting block on an all-encompassing license to ‘expert-mine’ universal data, with very little if any oversight, draws these three gentlemen into a unequivocal pattern of power abuse. On a massive scale.This roll-of-dice aberration is unprecedented in human history.

    If they had an ounce of common sense, they would graciously lift this crushing weight off their trinitarian shoulders, relinquish to the collective wisdom the inherent multiplexing power of cross-pollinating data collection, and join the ranks of level-headed business acumens.

    How is that for a nightmarish absurdity…come to think of it: a fast accreting, self-sustaining cum proprietary, triumvirate singularity in-the-making. Over, above, and eventually beyond public scrutiny. Any scrutiny. Which is more or less what I sense is happening at this very moment.

    Dark matter writes the plot for grey matter to act upon. Truth be told for the Universe, truism be sold for the microcosm. In both naught cases, …a whitewash for the end-game.

    • marcoselmalo

      As we contemplate a dystopian future, we should decide which one we are OK with and be careful of whom we let impose it on us. Google offers us SkyNet and The Marrix via an IoT where we are all Ts, perhaps constituent atoms of a machine conscious.

      Me? Give me Bladerunner or something by Gibson, Sterling, or Stephenson. (It might interest readers that Gibson and Stephenson no longer write futuristic scifi. Their recent stories take place in the present (or recent past).

      • Space Gorilla

        Yeah, the last Gibson novel I read was terrible compared to his earlier work. It was literally about stealing the design of somebody’s *pants*. Fashion espionage. So boring, but I made myself finish it.

        Deckard is a replicant! :)

      • marcoselmalo

        I really like his dystopian novels set in the present!

        I think one of the beauties of Bladerunner, and how Ridley Scott handled PKD’s source material, is the way the Androids show more humanity than Deckard.

        He takes us on a different route than Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, but confronts us with the same questions of what it is to be human.

      • Space Gorilla

        I’ll have to dive back into Gibson soon. It was just the one novel after all. As I read it I kept waiting for something else to happen, but nope, it was just about some pants.

        I’m on a Hunter S. Thompson kick right now, reading through books of letters and other writing by HST.

      • marcoselmalo

        It could be that his contemporary (sci)fi just doesn’t do it for you. I actually found all the jeans stuff to be amusing and interesting. The secret flash sales, etc.

        Have you tried David Foster Wallace? I’m thinking specifically of Infinite Jest. It’s not for everyone, but I loved it. But then, I loved Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow.

      • Space Gorilla

        Could be I wasn’t open enough at the time to let myself appreciate Gibson’s divergence from what I expected from him. Wallace is on my list, but haven’t got around to it yet. Agreed on Pynchon. Probably The Crying of Lot 49 is my fave from Pynchon. If you like Pynchon you might like Donald Barthelme.

        And that’s officially Way Off Topic :)

      • marcoselmalo

        Berult started the thread, so I don’t think we’re really all that off topic. ;-) . Oh, Nick Harkaway’s The Gone Away World is another scifi novel that is more than just scifi (imho). I’ll check out Donald Barthelme. Who else have I liked. Do you know Jonathan Lethem?