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If they sign up for that category in the yellow
pages, they have asserted what they do and paid
to make the assertion. Value was exchanged. Yes,
it is weak, admittedly. Google is weak admittedly.
Yes, Google is a search engine, not a business registry.
Thanks for making the point. Worse is worse,
but better needs requirements to insure it is better.
Better than what is an operative question.
Do we want Google to "evolve" into a business
registry where the opinions of the competitors
determine the ranking instead of the registered
assertions of the vendor so registered?
I believe hang gliders can evolve into airplanes
as long as their is **some form of memory** involved.
We have historical evidence. But as jets became
a fact of travel, so did CASE and CAD technology.
I don't think it a good idea to evolve a jetliner
unless that evolution is directed. Directed evolution
is what discriminates intelligent systems from
random systems. Perhaps what Shirky should examine
is where the transition from random to directed
occurs in the complexity curve of systems. The
web could be laissez-faire until it <blinked>.
Memory of results is key. If you don't have a
benevolent dictator, you need documentation.
Otherwise, you might make the mistake of building
a jetliner with very large windows and forget the
expansion problems. The Brits never recovered
even though they can still build a great jet.
BTW: look at the Soviet space program for the
prime example of benevolent dictators vs directed
but team oriented design. It worked fine until
the designer died and the booster designs became complex.
That is why the Soviets had to steal designs from
the West and propagandize. Essentially, that is
how the web was won, but quickly lost to MS. Guys
like Shirky miss the irony that their brand of
propaganda handed the web to MS on a copper platter.
A successful design organization that can effectively
turn complex designs into reliable systems focuses
on team building as the first job of management. MS
beats their competitors every time that way. Jobs
didn't get it early; so, his marketshare was lost
to the guys who did.
From: John Cowan [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
"Bullard, Claude L (Len)" scripsit:
> Google is a fine loose white pages. A yellow
> pages is still needed. Discovering that a business
> exists is the easy part. Qualifying that business
> is the hard part. Frankly, I'd hate to see
> Google get yanked into the second part of that
> problem. It's a good search engine.
I'm not sure that the white/yellow distinction actually applies to search
engines. A physical white pages allows you to discover the network address
of an object for which you have a canonical name. With yellow pages, you
can find network addresses based on looser criteria, which Google can do
With a very few exceptions like doctors, yellow-pages books do nothing to
validate the inclusion of objects under specific categories. If I pay for
a business listing and claim to be a small-engine repairer, I will be
listed as one, never mind that I know less about small-engine repair than
the average chimpanzee. Similarly, card catalogues don't discriminate between
books that tell the truth and those that are full of the most improbable lies,
impartially listing them all under the same Dewey or Elsie code.
Maybe we just plain expect too much from any listings service.