Robert Silverberg’s Reflections: April 2014


‘Where Silverberg goes today, the rest of science fiction will follow tomorrow’ 

Isaac Asimov



Reflections is a regular column by multi-award-winning SFWA Grandmaster Robert Silverberg, in which he will offer his thoughts on science fiction, literature and the world at large.

This month: Borges, Leinster, Google

Today I mean to sing the praises of Google, which I think is the most important single component of the phenomenon that is the Internet.  That is no small statement, and, lest I be thought to be in the pay of that vast search-engine organization, I will quickly offer some disclaimers.  I am not a Google stockholder.  I am not a Google executive or a Google employee.  (I have never been anybody’s employee since the day, 58 years ago, when I graduated from college.)  I don’t even know any Google executives or employees, even though I live just a hop and a skip from Silicon Valley. What I am, just as most of you are, is a Google user, day in, day out.  I understand that some of Google’s expansionist ways as a corporation have drawn criticism.  But my concern here is with Google as a search engine, not as a corporation.  That search engine is essential to modern life.  Without it, we might very well drown in our own data.  It has rescued us from that dire fate, and, in so doing, I believe it has changed the world.


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