When a company becomes a verb, a doing word, it is doing something right. Its product is producing, its contemporary. It becomes a kind of secret language. To non-Internet users – the vast majority of people – “google” does not signify a search engine. “Google-eyed” would be an appropriate expression. “Google ‘Pluto'” would create confusion for non-Internet users.
I am emale – I have nothing aginst new forms of language, neologisms, mutations (it has been argued evolution was not a continuous gradual process but occurred in mutations and leaps) – that serve an aesthetic function, l’art pour l’art, the in and for itself, art for art’s sake – not the Chinese government or any other governmentality. With Google, this – to my chagrin and bitter disappointment, I love to google, it was my fave search engine – is not the case. Its just bad form.
Google “Tianneman Square” and an image of the man who stood bravely in front of the tanks in Tianneman square in 1989 after the student massacre, will come up in several different entries. Google “tianneman square” in China – and you will get some nice tourist information: there’s Mrs White Amerika meeting some of the natives… The promise of the Internet to change language, to promote difference in a free economy of ideas, is contradicted in a company whose name is secreted into the English language. Google and Yahoo (amongst others) have signed an agreement with the Chinese government to censor and monitor the flows of information in China. In exchange for markets, companies have signed away the very spirit of liberal economy – free thinking.
How did you find this site? you may have googled it. To what ends must we act if a multinational company acts unethically? what difference does it make if I – an itenarant emale from the land of Oz – uses the search engines and support the companies participating with tyrannical regimes? Yahoo gave the Chinese government the name of a dissident who now languishs in a prison. Does the voice for freedom ecko in a concrete prison? does it yahoo?
Zoon it – zoon information technology. Virtual technologies like search engines come back to people and, therefore, a social, ethical and sustainable context.