“Microsoft vs. Google”, say a lot of articles I am reading novadays. “The Net is the new platform and OS; Microsoft missed this, while Google embraced it. Now Windows is losing positions, and its authors too. Microsoft is trying to counter and adapt, but too litle, too late…”

Are Microsoft really believing that this is the new battlefield? If they did, they would be too stupid to walk and talk at the same time – and they aren’t. (Steve Balmer has proven able to even dance and talk at the same time. 😉 )

Google doesn’t have anything like a new Net-based OS. They could very easily create one (and I think it would be based not on Linux, but on OpenBSD), but they don’t need it. There is something much more important that they have – and if they don’t get it, they are the idiots. But I think they aren’t, too.

The information is key to everything. Wanna nuclear arms? You need technologies – that is, info. Wanna stock market success? You need stock movement and event effect calculation. Again info. Wanna media popularity and dominance? Get good scripts, notes, actor schooling – all of this is info. Political influence? Mass opinions and methods of manipulation are info. Medicine designs? Potential oil fields? Counter-terrorism? Nanotechnologies?… You want anything – you need info.

(Moreover. You want EVERYTHING – all you need is eventually info. But later of this.)

Okay. You need some info. You have, let’s say, millions of slaves ready to dig through the world. You send them, and they return with billions of documents related in some degree to your need. Mountains of paper. Do you really have now more info than before?

No matter how much info you have, it is of little use, if badly organized. (The more you have, the worse.) What you need is actually ordered info. In IT speak – indexed and searchable… The organized info is not simply info – it is already infobase. Info that you can work with, and use. An extension of your mind and knowledge.

Twenty years ago, people with phenomenal memory, who seemed to know everything an average person might ask, appeared to be supermen, mystical persons. Now these are dimwits, compared to an ordinary kid with access to Google. I have seen more than often how the the ability to simply search in so much information produces incredible results. Problems that would never even be cosidered solvable otherwise, now get solutions within hours, or even minutes. Even if you get strained by the noncommercial Google limitation of at most ten keywords per search, you still get a lot.

What if you have no ten keywords limitation? And if you use more advanced indexing techniques? (Such ones exist.) You will have the next to a super-AI, denied of self-conscience and will, but immensely powerful, at your fingertips. Maybe a little unfocused intially, but newer methods of search and indexing types can gradually solve this problem. There are works on this topic; probably more will follow.

Well, that is what Google has. Not a specific platform, Net or otherwise – but what you, Mr. Joe User, would need this platform for. (Also you, Mr. Joe Manager, Scientist, Poltician, Playboy, Housewife… Whoever.) Without this infobase, your dear PC will be as good as if it hadn’t OS or other software at all, just a dead hardware. As good as if you don’t have it at all. And you would be as good as if you were computer-illiterate (or alphabet-illiterate – it’s going soon to be the same).

Well, what is expected to happen if Google turns out to own an infobase much bigger than any other around? Because the way the things are going, this is what we will see. Everyone will depend on Google, in a way worse than everyone would depend on Microsoft if their sweetest dreams had come true. What would they become, as a company behaviour and position? We have already seen MS people threaten, when pressed by a court, to stop selling Windows – and the threat was effective. Despite that it would have real effect more than 5 years later… What would happen if Google threatened to stop providing info searching, in a world where everything depends on them?… And yes, it is not clear yet whether MSN Search will not displace and destroy Google – but, if this happens, will anything change?

I don’t work for Microsoft, and don’t care if this is going to be a problem for them. But it very certainly is going to be a problem for me, and for everybody around, including all people that are dear to me. In a direct, or indirect way.

So, I am going to think of a way to have an infobase that is not dependent on Google, and can grow to an unlimited size and complexity. A distributed, open infobase seems the only good choice.

What about designing one? I am always badly short of time, but would probably devote some to such a project. Must be interesting thing.

Anyone interested?

One Response to 'Infobases'

  1. Grigor Gatchev - A Weblog » Blog Archive » Infobases 2 Says:

    […] Grigor Gatchev – A Weblog (Personal – mostly in Bulgarian. English readers, please check the “In English” category.) « Infobases […]

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