B-24 Bomber’s View of Google

I finally got around to reading The Google Story, by David A. Vise and Mark Malseed, the second of two recent popular books about Google. Compared to John Battelle‘s The Search: How Google and Its Rivals Rewrote the Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture, which I read about a year ago, Vise’s treatment provides a more historical narrative and is a nice introduction to the company itself and the kind of work it producing. Battelle, however, does a much better job analyzing many of the social and political consequences of Google’s actions, especially related to the collection of personal information of its users. (Although, Battelle could have done without the handful of “fucks” and “shits” in the text)

Googleplex as seen from a B-24 bomberThe most striking part of either book, however, was this photo by Andy Meyer that appeared in The Google Story, with the caption “The space age Googleplex campus in Mountain View, California, as seen from a B-24 bomber.”

A birds-eye image of Google with a machine gun in the foreground deserves serious semiotic analysis

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