Google, changing the world by changing our minds
Maybe Ken Auletta and the good folks at Penguin were in a bit of a rush to get Googled: The End of the World as We Know It out into this world (nothing like impending cataclysm to light the fire), and a few infelicities snuck through. Maybe Google’s mission was slightly more prescriptive in the early days – Auletta generally doesn’t cite his sources, so it’s possible this was simply revised over time.
Either way, here’s my favourite (potential) misquote, when Auletta describes Google’s mission:
“to organize the world’s information and make it universally acceptable ” (on page 53, if you’re keeping score at home; emphasis mine)
Oh yes, you go, Google! Your clean white backgrounds and cheery primary colours make any content or search results ever so palatable. Although, actually, lots of things Google’s done made people nervous or skeptical at first (user privacy vs scanning our gmails; targeting ads by figuring out who we are) and lots of us do seem to like it despite, or even because of, these “features.”
In other words, could be mission accomplished on both fronts.