On coming by ignorance the easy way

Google? Yeah, our generous overlords. Let me tell you something about Google. When you click
RogerHub | The Personal Blog of Roger Chen.
you’re not actually going to RogerHub. Google redirects you to another page1 that saves some data about your click and then redirects you to RogerHub. This page keeps track of all the websites you click on and all the things you search. It all happens so quickly, that you never notice. But hey, who’s complaining? I’m not. They’re Google. Nobody cares.

But consider this: what if Facebook started doing the same thing? This bait-and-switch tactic would spawn a shitstorm, or a pool-pah, as Bokonon2 would say it. That Big Brother Zuckerberg can see all the meet-singles-in-your-area ads you’ve been clicking on just scares the shit out of people. I don’t understand.

Of course, the reason I bring this up is Google’s new Facebook, which they call Google Plus. It’s idiotic to dislike Facebook because of privacy. An intuitive one-size-fits-all solution to selective sharing is particularly difficult to implement. Now that Facebook has set a precedent, Google can copy their design and step in with a clean record. People who complain about Facebook’s privacy either have unreasonable expectations or just play too damn many Facebook games.

Disliking Facebook is partly irrational. All the credit and responsibility is shoved onto this one shady 27-year-old, whose curly hair and indifference don’t exactly scream “you can trust me”. When people slur Apple or Facebook, they’ve got a clear target, but this clarity is missing from Google, whose publicity team consists of Indian engineers and animated narrations on YouTube. It’s natural to trust the hivemind, and perhaps, this irrational thinking will make all the difference. Or maybe it won’t.

This is partially related.

Blog post titles always sound so damn hipster. It’s a balance between brevity and “haha look! my single word titles carry so much meaning, but you probably don’t understand it because you’re so conformist and not intellectually superior like me”. Tumblr has solved this problem by making titles optional. Amazing.

  1. If you want to try it yourself, search for “trees” or something, then right click the first result. Right clicking triggers the click event handler and makes it appear that you clicked the link. Now, hover over the link again, and the URL will have changed. ↩︎
  2. From Kurt Vonnegut - Cat’s Cradle. ↩︎

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Fri, 21 Jun 2024 18:03:22 GMT