Google is not evil, but neither is it morally good. Nor is it simply neutral—far from it. Google does not make us smarter. Nor does it make us dumber, as at least one writer has claimed. It’s a publicly traded, revenue-driven firm that offers us a set of tools we can use intelligently or dumbly. But Google is not uniformly and unequivocally good for us. In fact, it’s dangerous because of our increasing, uncritical faith in and dependence on it, and because of the way it fractures and disrupts almost every market or activity it enters—usually for the better, but sometimes for the worse. Google is simultaneously new, wealthy, and powerful. This rare combination means that we have not yet assessed or come to terms with the changes it brings to our habits, perspectives, judgments, transactions, and imaginations.

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