Google and the Culture of Search

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Routledge, Oct 12, 2012 - Social Science - 256 pages
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What did you do before Google?

The rise of Google as the dominant Internet search provider reflects a generationally-inflected notion that everything that matters is now on the Web, and should, in the moral sense of the verb, be accessible through search. In this theoretically nuanced study of search technology’s broader implications for knowledge production and social relations, the authors shed light on a culture of search in which our increasing reliance on search engines influences not only the way we navigate, classify, and evaluate Web content, but also how we think about ourselves and the world around us, online and off.

Ken Hillis, Michael Petit, and Kylie Jarrett seek to understand the ascendancy of search and its naturalization by historicizing and contextualizing Google’s dominance of the search industry, and suggest that the contemporary culture of search is inextricably bound up with a metaphysical longing to manage, order, and categorize all knowledge. Calling upon this nexus between political economy and metaphysics, Google and the Culture of Search explores what is at stake for an increasingly networked culture in which search technology is a site of knowledge and power.

 

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Contents

Google and the Culture of Search
1
1 Welcome to the Googleplex
30
2 Google Rules
53
3 Universal Libraries and Thinking Machines
77
4 Imagining World Brain
105
5 The Field of Informational Metaphysics and the Bottom Line
124
6 The Library of Google
146
7 Savvy Searchers Faithful Acolytes Dont be Evil
174
I Search Therefore I Am
199
Notes
204
References
213
Index
232
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Ken Hillis is Professor of Media and Technology Studies in the Department of Communication Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is author of Digital Sensations: Space, Identity and Embodiment in Virtual Reality (1999) and Online a Lot of the Time: Ritual, Fetish, Sign (2009). He is co-editor of Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting and Desire (2006).

Michael Petit is Director of Media Studies and the Joint Program in New Media at the University of Toronto Scarborough. He is author of Peacekeepers at War (1986) and co-editor of Everyday eBay: Culture, Collecting and Desire (2006).

Kylie Jarrett is Lecturer in Multimedia at the National University of Ireland Maynooth where she is the program coordinator of the BA Digital Media.

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