On almost everything else, we differ. I’m sure he noticed.
The question that I have is whether or not Google News amplifies the intellectual bias towards government-shaped opinion as opposed to dissention, particularly in the US? The short answer is no.
Regardless of the debate around the payments from Google News that online newspapers may want, there is a democracy to its service that reflects the best about the ‘open’ internet era. Were it to get out that Google had a filtering factor that biased news that made it onto its front page Google would surely face a backlash that would test even its cashflow and innovative revenue generating capabilities. We know this as users of the service and, in particular, get out of our bubble of only reading those publications that reinforce our current world view. This is a circularity that google news avoids and one that traditional publications have been mining and exploiting for over a century. No wonder they are worried.
I’m curious about circularities. In the article you can see a very interesting one. 100% Pentagon funded MIT creates the modern internet which allows criticism of government and military on a scale never before seen and incubates arguably its most consistent critic who raises MIT’s profile and paves the road for creeping, capitalist funding of the campus into the future. And in this circularity is whats best about the US – although it is heavily weighted against him in mainstream media, a free internet and Chomsky still stand.
Another curious circularity is that many people have been duped by web 2.0 into believing that there are an infinite number of circular and sustaining business models that mean any service on the web can fund itself via a back door or advertising and continue providing for the end user free of charge. We are finding out that this is not forever.
The outrage that people feel when isohunt or piratebay go down for even a few minutes reflects a missing link of understanding in the traditional chain of cash from customer to business. You didn’t pay for it and so, you’re not entitled to it it is a privilege. If Gmail has to be abandoned I cannot be angry, rather I should be grateful for over 10 years of free email management and ever growing storage space.
Are you willing to put cash down for a Google service that respects your privacy via the settings that you control? Of course you are and they already provide it for free! just check your settings and manage your free service a tiny bit and you can control everything that gets recorded and shared.
I’ll make a pretty tenuous link between the mindset of those who are happy to receive the handouts of populist governments, like Chavez’s, at the expense of future generations well-being and those of us who take all the services that the advertising-sponsored internet provides us with and bellyache when asked to do any of the spadework ourselves. Google Reader and Chavez are dead and we are better off without them.
The more evil you think that Google is, the more you have been spoiled by the free ride of the past 10 years.