Jacques Alain-Miller, son-in-law of the great Dr. L himself, on everyone’s favorite increasingly ossified search engine/internet ur-function:
Google is the spider of the Web. It assures in it a metafunction: that of knowing where knowledge is. God doesn’t reply; Google, always, and immediately. One sends it a signal without syntax, very parsimonious: a click, and… bingo! It is the cataract: the ostentatious white of the page blackens suddenly, the void is overturned by an onslaught, succinctness becomes logorrhea.
Everyone’s a winner. Organizing the Very Big Quantity, Google obeys a totalitarian tropism, voracious and digestive. Thus the project of scanning all the books; thus the raids on all the archives: cinema, television, the press; beyond that, the logical target of googlization is the entire universe: the all-seeing gaze skims through the world, desiring everybody’s little units of information. Share with it your varied bits of documentation, and it will put everything in its place-and you yourself. Through this exchange, you will no longer be, for eternity, any more than the sum of your clics. Google, “Big Brother”? How can we not think that? Thus, the necessity for it to pose as an axiom its fundamental kindness.
Is it malicious? What is sure is that it is stupid. If the responses proliferate on the screen, it is because they are mistaken. The initial signal is made of words, and a word does not have a single meaning. Thus, meaning escapes Google, which encodes, but doesn’t decode. It is the word in its stupid materiality that it memorizes. Thus, it is always up to you to find in the haystack of results, the needle that is meaningful to you.
Google would be intelligent if one could compute signification. But no one can. Like a Samson with his hair cut, Google will blindly turn the millstone until the end of time.
Via Lacanian Ink