Happy Birthday Google | How You’ve Changed Us

Birthday cake with candles spelling out Happy Birthday

Google celebrates its 19th birthday today and I’m thinking about all the changes it’s brought to our world. 

As the largest search engine, it crawls the web 24/7 monitoring anything, that anyone, anywhere, puts on the Internet. It tracks our words, our thoughts, our wants, our needs, and our buying habits.

It takes us to places we can’t otherwise go and teaches us about things we might never learn. 

The technology that’s brought us to this point is moving ever faster, every day in a race to take us somewhere. But, where? Where will we be 19 years from now? 

Sometimes I get the feeling that the law of diminishing returns is already happening and our destination of perceived utopia might be wishful thinking.

We’ve gained so much with technology, but appear to be losing other things along the way.

I went in search of a quote to fit the subject and occasion and couldn’t decide on just one. So, here are my choices:

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic. ~Arthur C. Clarke

Technology… is a queer thing. It brings you great gifts with one hand, and it stabs you in the back with the other. ~C.P. Snow, New York Times, 15 March 1971

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. ~Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov’s Book of Science and Nature Quotations, 1988

We’ve arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. ~Carl Sagan

Some people worry that artificial intelligence will make us feel inferior, but then, anybody in his right mind should have an inferiority complex every time he looks at a flower. ~Alan C. Kay

The real danger is not that computers will begin to think like men, but that men will begin to think like computers. ~Sydney J. Harris


Which one resembles your thoughts and feelings? What are we sacrificing in exchange for greater technology? Do you have a favorite quote addressing this issue? Please share in the comments.

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