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patterns of ink

How fruitless to be ever thinking yet never embrace a thought... to have the power to believe and believe it's all for naught. I, too, have reckoned time and truth (content to wonder if not think) in metaphors and meaning and endless patterns of ink. Perhaps a few may find their way to the world where others live, sharing not just thoughts I've gathered but those I wish to give. Tom Kapanka

Monday, April 07, 2008

Look Out for Those Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes....

As mentioned in the previous post, we're in Chicago for a few days. The girls are strolling "the Magnificant Mile" all day. I'll be meeting them in a few hours at Ed Debevic's. I enjoy Chicago but had little desire to step in and out of all those stores. We'll be doing some sight seeing tomorrow, but today I stayed back to relax and catch up on some on-going revision work. On a break from that work I read a bit of news that prompted this quick post.

Click the arrow in the lower left of the screen below if you'd like to hear a song directly related to this post as you continue to read on:



Long before there we had "a computer to GOOGLE in or WINDOWS to throw it out of" [to clean up the old expression], the word google had a different meaning, derived in part from the old German word for eye: ogle (from which we get the term goggles) but it really means to stare at, (which may explain why the Brits used to call television the goggle-box). I could go on and on with the etymology, but I digress...

To google meant to be
ogling something, rubber-necking, peeking in on, poking one's nose in other people's business. In fact, there was a comic strip called "Barney Google" which inspired the song playing from the screen above: "Barney Google with the goo-goo-googly eyes." To have "googly eyes" implied that they were bulging out the way cartoonist show improper interest.

But now, of course, the verb google has an official new meaning found here at Mirriam-Webster: "to use the Google search engine to obtain information about (as a person) on the World Wide Web."

I could have written these thoughts without the help of Google, but I could not have added these links of interest. I like using Google. I wrote about using Google Earth in this January post. We used Google Map to get to our motel yesterday. At the end of the directions, it showed a picture of the motel. "Cool," we thought. We also got directions to Lou Malnati's (a great pizza place near my daughter's college). There at the end of the map was the picture from that link. "Cool," we said again.

So I say all this to confess that I'm a fan of Google, but... and let's make that a BIG BUT... let's make that a REALLY BIG BUT...

...BUT when I read this article today, it was like reading a chapter from Orwell's 1984 and Big Brother was coming to our neighborhoods. Have you heard about this? Did you know that Google may be taking pictures of our houses to be included in their mapping program? A couple recently threatened to sue them for taking pictures of their house and yard on private property:

“As the 'Street View' images show, a Google vehicle--outfitted with a roof-mounted camera taking 360-degree images--drove down the gravel path and onto the paved driveway leading to the McKee home. The Google car continued past the steps leading to the McKees's front door ... Taking photos all the time, the Google vehicle was squarely on private property....” Because the Google van was on private property, they deleted the photos from their map tool, but evidently, pictures of our homes taken from the public street will be fair game.

Not cool! It seems that our friends at Google are beginning to live up to the original meaning of their name, which prompts this question: Just because technology makes something possible, and just because the law makes it permissible... does that make it advisable?

I for one don't want Big Brother or Google--or Barney Google for that matter-- snooping around my house. Maybe I'm over-reacting, but be on the look-out for Google looking in. I don't think I'll be smiling the day I see those goo-goo-googly eyes.
.

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16 Comments:

Blogger JR's Thumbprints said...

Some of us are afraid to be found ... and for obvious reasons. I will admit to "Googling" myself from time to time. Sounds strange in that context.

7/4/08 11:17 PM  
Blogger Nancy said...

Forget "Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes" watching you- Now all of the cyber loonies are going to be stalking you in Chicago... they know your last name and where you are staying! hehe :)

Enjoy your visit with your daughter and time away with your "patient" wife. You deserve this down time more than anyone I know. Your entire last year has been full of life changing events! SO... ENJOY!!!!

8/4/08 10:29 AM  
Blogger Julie said...

I love stopping by P.O.I. because you just never know what you're going to learn about next! In regards to Googling, I was disturbed to discover the hard way that pretty much anything you do online is fair game. In the past, I've particpated in an online forum that was specifically created for bereaved parents to interact and offer support for each other from afar. Anyway, I Googled my name one day out of boredom and was shocked to see every comment I had posted on that forum appear. The privacy I thought we had was not so and I had only used my full name one time during the enrollment process. Lesson learned!

8/4/08 10:33 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

JRT,
Good to hear from you. It's been a while since I've been able to find your current blog. Sounds like you've been busy writing.

Yes, I've googled my name and Patterns of Ink and have been surprised to show up. I've found my house on Google Earth just for fun, but I guess this strikes me as a new level of intrusion because ANYONE ELSE can do the same thing. It's probably unavoidable progress.

8/4/08 1:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tom,
Long time. I am in Chicago each week on business and stay at the Fairfield Inn on Ontario. Let me know if you are close to there and I will try and stop by and say hello.
Hope you and your family are doing well.
Wyn Barkema

8/4/08 1:17 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Wyn,
How in the world did you find this post.
By the way, other readers, please forgive the shuffling of these edited comments. You know my long-standing caution with all things internet.
I'm sure you understand, Wyn.
We'll be on campus with our daughter then going to the Field Museum, etc. We'll keep an eye out for you.
(Wyn and I are fellow teachers from my years in Iowa.)
8/4/08 9:29 AM

8/4/08 1:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about that. I hadn't noticed that your last name was not posted. I found your blog through the WRBA class of '96s website.
Your daughter must be going to [college near there]. A couple of kids from my church in KC are going there. I have been over there a number of times to hang out with them for the evening.
Have a great time.
Wyn

8/4/08 1:25 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Wyn,
Not a problem. It's actually kind of funny. I've been wondering for some time about using my full name on this blog but have just put it off... obviously I decided to maintain that policy a little longer. It's not because of my friends or regular readers (e.g. Nancy, Julie, and many others), it's for the nearly 3,000 people who have checked this profile. I have no idea how that works. For that same reason, I don't mention the name of my school, church, daughter's college, etc. That probably seems strange 'cause you know I'm a pretty outgoing guy, but I just don't trust the web sort of like this whole Google van taking pictures of our houses.
Anyway... I was looking for you this morning. Thanks for stopping by and come again. I forgot that a link to this site was at the Class of '96's site.

8/4/08 1:35 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Nancy,
Wasn't that funny. I know I sound like a cyberphobe (did I just coin a word?), but I was actually thinking about this over lunch and decided I re-post the comments without the proper names.
So far so good with the cyber loonies in Chicago. It's not me that I care about... you understand. I'm a typical "Dad" who still worries about his daughter and all her college friends walking and riding the "EL" all over this fascinating windy city. I don't mind at all that you came by before I made the change... You're not a cyber loonie (a term that I think you just coined).

Julie in CO,
Yes, this was quite a shift of gears from my Thailand project. I do hope you got to see some of those clips. You'll enjoy them.
Hope all is well for your recently expanded family.

8/4/08 1:41 PM  
Blogger Dr.John said...

On the other hand a picture of Joe's house at the end of the map directions might keep me from being lost again.

8/4/08 6:16 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Dr. John,
I like the idea of seeing commercial storefronts,etc at the end of a map. My guess is that Google is paid a small fee by the commercial location for including the image. On the other hand, anyone who I want coming to my house, I'll be happy to tell them what my house looks like. I'd rather do that than have a stranger taking a picture of my house. How will they make sure they don't include people in their photos? I suspect the typical parents would not want a picture that includes their kids on the porch, etc. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.

Maybe it was just a test in a random neighborhood and we'll never hear anything more about it.

8/4/08 9:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Haven't posted in awhile here. The "spots of interest" that you mention bring back memories. While my own kids didn't go to school in Chicago (wish they had!!) we have friends whose kids did. Ed Debevic's (sp?) is a fun place to visit. Is the 60's McDonald's still there?? It's been awhile since The Hub and I have traveled down there. It was always fun to do window-shopping on Michigan Ave.
As for anonymity on the web...I think it's getting to be harder and harder. I think that's "one" of the reasons why I've postponed becoming a blogger!!!
WSL

12/4/08 7:22 AM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

Yes,WSL,
You're right. I think the concept of anonymity is in cyberspace is a bit like thinking sunglasses are a disguise.
Yes, Ed D's was a fun place. Maybe I'll write a brief update today about the trip, etc.

12/4/08 9:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As for our anonymity..I think in many ways we're delusional. "IF" someone really wanted to steal our identity..they could. There are people on "the web" who are really proficient to hacking into sites, e-mails, etc. and could easily take over. What I can do with a computer is just enough to make me "dangerous" (the words of my kids).
Chicago is a really cool city to visit. Hate the traffic though (thus I don't drive myself down there)! Anyway...love the "dialogue" here. I'll keep checking back. WSL (again!) :-)

12/4/08 10:40 AM  
Blogger heiresschild said...

hi Tom, i'm with you on maintaining my privacy to some extent. there are sites where you can easily locate someone's address, phone number, and pretty much anything else you wanted to know. the main reason i don't have my photo posted is because the DC, MD, VA area, though large when you put the states all together, are relatively small as far as running into people, etc. i've seen a couple of my neighbors on a particular site, though i have yet to run into them face-to-face. google may not be the only ones watching; i don't trust the FBI and those organizations, even though i have nothing to hide.

15/4/08 5:12 PM  
Blogger patterns of ink said...

HC,
I'm with you on that. Even though we've nothing to hide, it's sort of like when people peer through the window as you're coming to the door. There's an old "door-to-door" sales protocol that says turn your back slightly from the door you've knocked on and let the homeowner "surprise" you on his porch rather than the other way around. I think it's sort of like that--strangers getting too close for comfort. =)

15/4/08 7:39 PM  

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