Google hooey

Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, has a cod piece in the Financial Times (now hidden behind that organ’s annoying paywall) about how the Internet — and Google — has changed all our lives for the better. Nick Carr is having none of it.

As Schmidt writes, “the democratization of information has empowered us all as individuals.” Today – for the first time ever! – people “are actually commenting on events themselves.” It is nothing less than “the liberation of end users.”

As a liberated end user myself, let me just say that this is a load of crap. Schmidt goes on in his op-ed to argue against governmental controls over the internet and, in particular, over access to the internet through cell phones. Those are worthy arguments. But why does he find it necessary to distort history, insult the intelligence of pretty much everyone, and demean the work of all traditional journalists before he gets around to making his point? Why does he feel compelled to repaint the past in the darkest possible colors? I guess it’s to create an illusion of perfect progress, a new liberation mythology.