Siva Vaidhyanathan – The Googlization of Everything

Date(s) - 04/27/2015
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm



Siva Vaidhyanathan - The Googlization of EverythingIn less than 17 years since the search engine first appeared and spread through word of mouth, Google has utterly infiltrated our culture and altered our economy. It is a ubiquitous brand, used as a noun and a verb everywhere from adolescent conversations to scripts for Sex and the City. It puts previously unimaginable resources at our fingertips — huge libraries, vast archives, eras of government records, troves of goods, the comings and goings of whole swaths of humanity.  

It is more than the most interesting and successful Internet company of all time. As it catalogs our individual and collective judgments, opinions, and (most importantly) desires, it has grown to be one of the most important global institutions as well. As we shift more of our Internet use to Google-branded services such as GMail and YouTube, Google is on the verge of being indistinguishable from the Internet itself. 

This program argues that “The Googlization of Everything” is a truly revolutionary phenomenon that will determine the ways that both firms and governments act in coming years for – and at times against – their “users.” To understand this phenomenon, we have to realize that we are not Google’s customers. We are its product. We are what Google sells to advertisers. Because Google ranks give the illusion of precision, accuracy, and relevance, we have allowed ourselves to believe that Google ranks are a proxy for quality of information.

Can’t attend the live event?  Register over here for access to the recording, made available within 7 days of the live webinar.

Instructor Bio ~ Siva Vaidhyanathan
Siva Vaidhyanathan is the Robertson Professor of Media Studies at the University of Virginia. He is the author of The Googlization of Everything — and Why We Should Worry from the University of California Press, published in 2011.

He has written two previous books: Copyrights and Copywrongs: The Rise of Intellectual Property and How it Threatens Creativity (New York University Press, 2001) and The Anarchist in the Library: How the Clash between Freedom and Control is Hacking the Real World and Crashing the System (Basic Books, 2004). He also co-edited (with Carolyn de la Pena) the collection, Rewiring the Nation: The Place of Technology in American Studies (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2007). 

Vaidhyanathan has written for many periodicals, including American Scholar, Dissent, The Chronicle of Higher Education, The New York Times Magazine, MSNBC.COM, Salon.com, Slate.com, openDemocracy.net, BookForum, Columbia Journalism Review, Washington Post, The New York Times Book Review, and The Nation. After five years as a professional journalist, he earned a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Texas at Austin in 1999. Vaidhyanathan has also taught at Wesleyan University, the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Columbia University, New York University, and the University of Amsterdam.

He is a fellow at the New York Institute for the Humanities.


Registration is closed for this event.