jump to navigation

Why the Google ban February 18, 2007

Posted by Sharath Rao in ideas, technology.

Deepak in the comment to an earlier post says :

“Your experiment is doomed to failure like the one conducted by many in KREC to live like Howard Rowark :-D”

I agree man DK, infact thats the purpose as you will realize when you read through this post. Hence the 1 month limit. πŸ™‚

I am not even here to succeed in the strict sense of the term. I am not trying to prove that its possible to live indefinitely without Google and its products. Google has a few great products that I dont intend to deprive myself of – I would consider it stupid to do so. I don’t intend to inflict pain on myself for the sake of it. I am not given to these dogmas one way or the other and intend to use any software that my PC can support as long as it serves my purpose – works smoothly, doesnt slow my PC etc. No other consideration – of belonging to one camp or the other – or the love for any company/brand irrespective of product quality – dictates what software I use. I love products that work to my satisfaction. Period.

But the comparison of Mr. Rowark does not hold. There is a critical difference between the wannabes you are mentioning and this particular case. People motivated to live like Mr. Rowark are motivated by a single act of reading that book and somehow see themselves in the Rowark’s image with all that drama and hyperbole. You know exactly what I mean. They are making a fundamental departure from their way of living which I am not. And its quite an elitist position – they are withdrawing from the world, deeming much of it unworthy of their attention/regard/time etc. That is an ideological position, this is not.

People the world over do this with MS – the cult of Apple is inseparable from the hatred of Microsoft. I don’t endorse of these dogmatic positions. I concede many of Apple products are great – design, functionality and everything – but much of the software that comes in takes a while before it works on Apple. Like for example for several years, there was no Yahoo messenger voice chatting for Apple machines. Not Google talk. Not Google desktop search. Several Engineering softwares did not work with the Mac to start with. The utilitarian that I am, these considerations dominate any sense of ‘cool’ or ‘cult’ that Apple has. And seconly, my appreciation of some of Apple’s products doesn’t translate into a blind faith that Apple is incapable of making products that suck or reading the market wrong.

The same goes for Google – I am not taken in by the aura of it ( or for that matter aura of pretty much anything ). I don’t think that everything they touch is necessarily gold. Their search is great ( I am already beginning to realize it ), Google maps have a easy interface and so does Google desktop search ( MSN DS is slow, Yahoo DS hangs now and then, Copernicus is okay) . I am missing Youtube into day 1. Google talk anyway misbehaved on my machine, so I am not missing it. Toolbar I could not care less, except the pagerank part though not indispensible. Bloglines is a good substitute for Google reader. I am not missing Picasa so far – Adobe photo organizer is good. The Blogger service was awful anyway. I am not fond of Gmail interface either somehow ( except the image downloading part ). Google news is convenient when I want to read what Australian newspapers say about their cricket teams 4th consecutive defeat.

Yet, I don’t agree with folks who believe that merely because its from Google it has to be great – I don’t think any company should rely too much on their reputation to make things work – merely because search is great, doesn’t mean reasonable, discerning consumers should extend this sentiment to every product from the Google stable. Nothing fancy, nothing personal – just a very demanding customer.

I am not considering it necessary to mention Microsoft because enough has been said about them already and I have nothing new to add. ( I am installing Office 2003 right now – I have 2 CDs that I have been asked to insert and remove 4 times and restart the machine twice ). Nevertheless, I still believe that if I die tomorrow, Bill Gates would be the greatest philanthrophist of my lifetime.

So finally, why am I attempting this ? Its in some sense the attempt to separate grain from chaff. I am trying to see the breaking point – which of the Google services will I miss the most. As I said I have no reasonable, scientific, objective way to measure this, so I have to do with mere sentiment. My guess would be Orkut in the short run – for the reason I wrote about in the last post, ironically a division that probably contributes less than 1% to total revenues at Google. Or perhaps Youtube. And in the long run, the sucker that I am for superfast search means Google search and desktop search. ( unless the others catch up )



1. Ashwini - February 19, 2007

The one statement that struck me as really bold here ……” I am not taken in by the aura of it ( or for that matter aura of pretty much anything )”
Bold,because despite having similar opinions ,many [me,to some extent] lack the gumption to declare it…….for one is always expected to be in awe of things commonly held in high esteem,else you risk being called…………well …snobbish.
So be it google or anything else……the initiative is appreciated

2. raosharath - February 19, 2007

Yeah, literally if you interpret that outside of the context of the article πŸ™‚ …Still maybe I should correct that …it obviously cant be that way – can it ? Quite a bit of stuff that I write on the blog clearly suggests thats not true…. – human mind, intelligence, Nobel Laureates that I quote again and again is merely one example.

From the rest of the post its clear I am talking about aura for the sake of it – the type that comes not from substance/merit but from other sources – blind faith, association and the like …In other words, when I appreciate something, I most likely want to know why I am doing so….

3. Deepak Krishnan - February 19, 2007

i know why Gtalk misbehaves on your machine. Pervert Chetak catches you online on GTalk!!!! πŸ˜€

4. raosharath - February 19, 2007

πŸ˜€ …its actually been a while man since i talked to the fella…met him recently for 2 mins..he said he will be in chicago next month or so…

5. Abhinav - February 23, 2007

Amazing. Let’s see how are you doing after a month;) You have my moral support!

6. raosharath - February 23, 2007

Thanks man !!

7. Self-experimentation | Epistles - March 25, 2013

[…] 11 years ago that my friend Dr. Shaimaa Munir ( I want to link to her on Orkut, but I can’t – you know why ) placed a bet on Aug 25th, 1996 that I can’t go without 2 minutes of keeping my mouth shut. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: