Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Finding oneself on Google Street View

It's not rare that I think about the pervasiveness of Google in every day life. For example, yesterday, when Google pulled out of China, news commenters were pondering what effect this would have on relations between the U.S. and China. On NPR, one commenter said something to the effect of, this is the action of one individual company, and it's not U.S. foreign policy we're dealing with. But, the fact that we're even discussing the company in this way shows how much Google has transcended business-as-usual and become something more. Something more that might eventually take over our lives, like the corporation in Wall-E? Maybe? Possibly?

And then there's the privacy issue. Google Responds To Privacy Concerns With Unsettlingly Specific Apology (The Onion)

To live in the internet age, I think you have to assume a sacrifice of privacy. I mean, we all like to share things about our friends, families, and find a resting place for all those digital photos we'll never look at again. For example, today I was looking around my former neighbors' blog, as it is chock full of cute photos and videos of their adorable children.

Then I decided to dig a little bit deeper back into the archives... and found myself. On Google Street View.

See that bicycle riding up the driveway next to the van? That is undoubtedly me, cruising towards my garage apartment when I used to live in a quaint neighborhood next to that amazing, Gaudi inspired house. My neighbors posted it on their blog before they became my neighbors, to show the folks back home what they were in for. (They were blissfully ignorant about the lack of air conditioning during that time.)

So... weird.

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