If there is one word that comes to mind when I think of the Internet, I think it would be “excess”. It seems that most people believe that anything worth doing is worth overdoing, redoing, parodying, meme-ing or subverting, all in the name of self expression. Just as all roads led to Rome, all fingers should be pointing towards Google. The culture that they have fostered for profit and ultimately exploitation of its willingly unpaid prosumer army is that of the notion that more content equals a good experience. But this is fundamentally flawed. I don’t want more, I want better. A simple google search tells this story. I receive in a tiny fraction of a second millions of results. Who needs that?
Yes, it does filter the results, but in order of the most popular, not most relevant. In its framework for allowing access to the entire Net, they have built in a homogenizing force that rewards popular sites with prime real estate in their search engine, thus circularly causing well SEO’d sites to grow while relegating all others to the forgotten back ally of the Web. If we combine this system with the way people are becoming unable to do anything other than a cursory search for a quick answer and with the blind faith that is placed in Google’s “doing good for humanity” mantra, we get people who are only aware of the most easily accessible, popular path. This is hardly an algorithm that helps humankind.