Is Google God? the headline of Tom Friedman’s column today in the New York times. “Says Alan Cohen, a V.P. of Airespace, a new Wi-Fi provider: “If I can operate Google, I can find anything. And with wireless, it means I will be able to find anything, anywhere, anytime. Which is why I say that Google, combined with Wi-Fi, is a little bit like God. God is wireless, God is everywhere and God sees and knows everything. Throughout history, people connected to God without wires. Now, for many questions in the world, you ask Google, and increasingly, you can do it without wires, too.”
Well, almost. The canonical description of a monotheistic deity is “omnicient, omnipresent, and omnipotent.” (Pagan myths, by contrast, would have pretty boring plots if the gods knew everything and were all-powerful)
Google comes pretty close to “all-knowing” and “omnipresent” with wireless internet access. But omnipotent, nope. Google doesn’t cause anything to happen, so it’s clearly not all-powerful.
Google’s omniscience is missing a few attributes, if you look a bit more closely. Google knows everything about the present, and a lot about the past. But it doesn’t report query results for in dates the future.
Another canonical attribute of divine omnicience is wisdom. Is Google wise? The top search result for enterprise application architecture is Martin Fowler’s book on the subject, which seems like a pretty good call to me.
Google will also tell you all about Jennifer Aniston, too.
The wisdom of the answer depends on the wisdom of the question.

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