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Google and the World Brain (2013)
Euro's Response To Big G The Correct One
Scanning the world's books is just the tip of a double-edged sword representing the increasing domination power of Google and other Silicon Valley players. Copyright is copyright ... it takes precious time for an author or any creative artist to imagine a work, create it, edit it and copyright it. Why should Google hoover up these books, not ask proper copyright permission (according to the writers' reps/library spokespersons featured in the movie), avoid due compensation, and pimp out the books for Google's own commercial purposes at some later future time. Once you give up a data scan to another, you cannot put that digital genie back in the bottle.
One could see how smaller, niche collections might swallow the pitch on how Google's mother-of-all-xerox can enable whole world access to their tomes (access good, stiffing the copyright owner(s) bad). So the European response in the movie (which was for the writers and copyright owners but ultimately against Google's copyright-trodding actions) seems to be the thoughtful and correct one; the Google opponents reacted to all the right issues -- compensation, copyright permission, what is fair use, and the blanket giving of power to one organization. Libraries can digitize their own collections and index/promote their abstracts to the internet; in the end each library can control its material, and writers and have the right to get paid for use of their material.
This review is regarding this book-scanning project only, it is understood that many benefit from Google's other services. But we must pick a battle once in awhile. So much power cannot be given to one organization, especially now that we have seen it spread its tentacles outside of its core business model, including building robot armies.
Rubicon Is A Good Chew
Why the mania with fast-pace and superficial plot movers like a ticking clock in the lower right corner of a TV screen? Most people who write this show is slow must be under 30 yrs old -- if not eighteen years old. They simply do not have the perspective yet to appreciate what real intelligent thrillers are made of.
This program is the opposite of Chinese food, which is known for being expedient but leaves you still hungry. Rubicon is like a satisfying 5-course meal, where you relish each round as you get closer to the finale.
The show simmers, haunts and effectively accelerates with each episode. And good acting ensemble all the way around. The lead character Will, is low-key and portrayed by anti-actor James Badge Dale, not a fake Hollywood type like Tom Cruise that mugs for attention. A supporting character named Grant, who looks like Al Gore's distant cousin, fittingly annoys on cue. Music is a fine compliment to the intrigue.
Message to the attention-deficit bunch: put down your mobile devices and surrender to the mesmerizing and thrilling storytelling that Rubicon truly is, and rarely found on television anymore. //