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10.15.07 / inko9nito

Nine Billion Names of…Google?

While searching for Arthur C. Clarke’s “The Nine Billion Names of God”, I accidentally found another story with the same title by Kathy Kachelries.

The idea in Clarke’s story is that technology would eventually bring its own demise. When a Hindu monk buys a computer to compute the nine billion names of god, which he believed (among with other monks) will bring about the end of the world, as the computer finishes its job, the prophecy does come true and the stars start disappearing from the sky.

Having found the story by Kachelries and seeing the illustration really made me wonder about Clarke’s story and Google, especially since just a few hours ago I just had a conversation with Michael who insisted that Google will eventually “offer to buy my soul.”

Although I seriously doubt that Google will bring about the end of the world, it is becoming more and more obvious that Google now controls and monitors a huge part of many people’s lives with email, online documents, desktop search, web albums, and many other services – which is almost the point that Kachelries is trying to get across in her story: that Google keeps everything and therefore knows everything.

Needless to say I used Google to find Kachelries’ story…

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2 Comments

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  1. Riiight... / Oct 25 2007 8:16 pm

    I like this story, i din’ know you had a blog! *hiccups*

    Wonderful!

  2. Steve Smith / Jun 19 2008 7:36 pm

    It always amazes me how far this particular story has reached, and how many times I stumble across references to it. I think it was one of the first of hers I read, before I even knew what 365tomorrows was.
    [Disclosure – I’m a writer and site admin for the site now]

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