Monday, 18 November 2013

Hemantha Kalam - 8 'Relying on Google'

Hemantha Kalam

Relying on Google 

Sorry, I didn't keep my promise of writing every fortnight. But then did I make that promise? Memories, memories - unreliable.

Been to Thailand for a week and soon as I returned, I dived headlong into an assignment for UNDP. Now this requires me to delve frequently into the labyrinths of the internet to fish for information, tucked in some corner of the cosmos.

Way back, in the beginning 1980s, I did a couple of courses in Computer Programming. Basic and COBOL and yes, I have certificates to say that I, indeed, did those programmes. Probably the first to do it among my colleagues in Godrej Soaps. But I was so bad in programming that I was always ashamed of those certificates and again if my memory is not failing me I had never used those qualifications in any of my applications for jobs. For I could not programme even my residential address for a tuppence.

And in due course of time the 'Windows' opened and changed things. Allowed me to really explore and find out solutions for myself. Not that I am any great at that. But for sure, I am bit better than then.

In fact when I met Mrs. Melinda French Gates (November, 2005), I did want to convey my thanks to her husband for making computers that much easier. Well, when I actually met her  words failed and I could not convey. Sad. But who knows? If somebody is sneaking into this blog of mine, like some security agencies abroad, maybe they can carry my personal thanks too to Mr. Gates?

So where am I? Oh, yeah, at the windows. Well the windows opened, as my dear colleague Ashwin Kumar Rao always say, to the new God - Google. His logic is simple. We really do not know whether GOD is there or not. Whether GOD is a He or a She or an It. And we are never sure whether GOD listens to us and whether he will answer to our questions.

But, lo, the new God does. It listens, reads and answers back. I am yet to come across an instance when this new God has been silent or did not answer to any query of mine.

And there lies the problem. We all are slowly becoming the captive devotees (nay slaves) of this new God. Now close your eyes and think whether you can do without Google even for a day, today?  Sure, sure, the answers could be Yes and No but the Yes answers will be more and overwhelming, than the meager Nos, for sure.

That is the amount of relying we are indulging in Google. And now, for once, think what happens if this new God starts charging for its services?

Pray that such a day will not arrive, for if that does happen we, the "Googlies" may really have to face a Googly? Pray that this is one question that the new God need not hear or answer.

Isn't it? You tell me! :-)

Till then, 

Krutagjnatalu (Telugu), Nanri (Tamil), Dhanyavaadagalu (Kannada), Nanni (Malayalam), Dhanyavaad (Hindi), Thanks (English), Dhonyabaad (Bangla), Gracias (Spanish), Grazie (Italian), Danke Schon (Deutsche), Merci (French), Obrigado (Portuguese), Shukraan (Arabic), Shukriya (Urdu), Aw-koon (Khmer), Kawp Jai Lhai Lhai (Laotian) and Kob Kun Krab (Thai).

Hemantha Kumar Pamarthy
Chennai, India