That’s right–I think the Internet has achieved true omnisicience, and its name is Google. Google sees all. Google knows all. If there’s a computer nearby, Google knows about it and can report on it.
What’s triggered this sudden burst of enlightenment? A recent email thread between two DevelopMentor peers. One wrote
I seem to remember hearing somewhere that MS owns a significant part of Verisign. I’m curious to what *significant* means. Does anyone know how I’d go about figuring this out? I’m not much of a businessman myself…
The response that came in shortly thereafter completely blew me away:
MS was one of 10 strategic investors, not listed near the top, of a $30M round. Doesn’t necessarily mean that’s all they’ve done, but that’s what comes up with a Google search of “Microsoft”, “Verisign”, “investment” limited to the two company sites.
The amazing part about this lies not in Microsoft’s funding of Verisign (Microsoft is getting around to funding everybody–before long, we’ll hear about Microsoft making a sizable investment in Sun just to p*ss Scott McNealy off), but in the fact that this information was available through Google.
Think about what’s going on here. You have a question. A petition for knowledge. You want to know something about the world–nothing at all to do with the Internet, even–and you ask Google. If it’s somewhere up on the Web (and what piece of information today isn’t up somewhere on the Web?), Google will tell you in rapid order.
For example, I want to know how many men Saddam Hussein can throw at us in the event of a war. I type “Iraq” “military” and “men” into my Google toolbar in the browser, and get pointed to a number of news sites with mainstream media articles, but then, down near the middle of the top 10 results, I see this link, http://www.csis.org/pubs/2002_iraq.pdf, which turns out to be an online paper, “Iraq’s Military Capabilities in 2002″.
Another example: I’m serving spaghetti and meatballs to my kids for dinner. I want a nice wine to go with my Chef Boy-ar-dee. Google gives me, in response to “spaghetti” “dinner” “wine”, a link to Smart-n-Final (a discount grocery chain) Spaghetti Dinner Fund Raiser Shopping List, in which one of the ingredients is listed “Dry White Wine - 750ml bottle - 1″. (I am definitely bookmarking this page, by the way–I get involved in volunteer dinners all the time for various organizations.) I’m still not quite sure which wine to open with my microwaved pasta, however, so I’ll refine my search somewhat: I add “serving” to the list. (There’s probably much better keywords to use here, but I’m still new at this yet.) Sure enough, in the second page of links returned, I get a link to http://www.foodstyles.com/Menus/big_spaghetti.htm, on which is a complete menu for a spaghetti dinner, at the bottom of which I see “Recommended Beverages: We recommend a Salice Salentino, a Red Wine from the Southern Region of Italy or a Chianti from Tuscany.”
There is nothing Google doesn’t know. Or rather, there is nothing the Internet doesn’t know, and Google is the High Priest. Join the new religion. Seeking enlightenment? Ask Google.
Anybody want to form a Google cult?