Pinky and the Brain and Matt Cutts and Google
Pinky: Gee Brain, what do you wanna do tonight?
Brain: The same thing we do every night Pinky, try to take over the world.
For those who don’t know, in the cartoon show Pinky and the Brain, viewers get to follow the zany adventures of a duo of genetically engineered mice with ambitions to take over the world. The ringleader is the genius, Brain, who works with his perhaps less brainy but comedic counterpart, Pinky, and together they attempt to execute unorthodox and elaborate schemes with world domination in mind.
As Google has solidified itself as the only name worth mentioning in the world of search engines, the Internet has now become a lot smaller. With Matt Cutts as the face of the movement, Google appears poised to take over the Internet and, by extension, the world. And this time there are no writers who can save us.
Pinky and the Brain
Brain: The transfer of power Pinky. From your feet to air pressure, from the inept leaders of the world to me.
While we’ve all had a few laughs at the antics Pinky and the Brain were up to, it’s safe to say that nobody was ever truly afraid of the consequences of what these genetically engineered mice would do. Thanks to the magic of cartoons, there was an element of fate to the constant unraveling of schemes and inevitable failures to take over the world.
In fact, there’s an argument to be made that thanks to the talent of the writers, this predictability helped keep the cartoon’s tone comedic rather than dystopian.
With Google cementing its status as possibly the most powerful company on the Internet, however, the future is far less certain in real life.
Matt Cutts and Google
Although he may not be a celebrity in the sense of a Britney Spears or a Madonna, Matt Cutts is a familiar name and face to website owners and entrepreneurs who are attempting to harness Google’s powers for business purposes.
Put another way, if you’ve ever wanted to attach a name and a face to Google’s emphasis on search quality and its subsequent war on web spam, this is the man.
What Matt Cutts is paid to do is help Google become more intelligent, for lack of a better word. With his help, Google, the search engine, is supposed to become better at filtering and customizing the web pages it displays to users leaving Search Engine Optimization Companies always on their toes about how to appropriately market client websites.
While on the surface, Google’s stated goals of making it easier for people to find where they want on the Internet may seem innocuous, there are certain similarities between the search engine and the schemes of Pinky and the Brain that are difficult to overlook.
Google is Trying to Become a Regular Part of Your Life
If there’s one thing that a lot of Brain’s schemes have in common, it’s that a lot of his plans involve leaving people with no choice but to do what he wants in order for him to take over the world.
For example, in one episode, the Brain’s plan was to purchase all the property in the world above the 39th floor before melting the polar ice caps and exploiting the subsequent housing crisis to rule the world.
In another episode, Brain decided to enslave humanity by placing psychoactive toad secretions in pancakes and hosting a pancake jamboree. Here once again, the people subjected to his plans, if they everything had gone according to plan, would have had no agency.
Taking a Closer Look at Google
Case in point, Google offers free email, YouTube, retail shopping, a payment processor, and even the ability to make phone calls and receive messages with Google Voice. Now there’s an argument to be made for places like YouTube, but what does online payment processing or the ability to take calls have to do with sorting and returning online queries? Nothing. But if the end game is to become a constant part of your life and everyone else’s, having these products and services take off would accomplish exactly that.
Google is Patient
Have you ever noticed how Google often tinkers with the different services it offers? If the public reception isn’t warm, the company just shelves the project and finds a new one to develop. This apparent lack of urgency is really only possible because Google, unlike many other corporations, can afford to wait things out.
The Closest Thing to God is…Google?
The idea isn’t as strange as you’d think. If you think about the role that religion has played in the lives of adherents, it’s not unusual to find religious rules that touch on virtually all aspects of life. Rules relating to things like what foods the religion’s followers can eat, who they can marry, and even what children should be raised to believe can often be found in the pages of many sacred books. Google also has the ability to take away your livelihood if it deems necessary. If it doesn't follow the Google marketing standards.
Is Google’s ability to filter your dietary research and get you access to all kinds of advice, expert and otherwise, functionally all that different from what we’ve always understood God to do?
What is a Googlism?
Perhaps unsurprisingly in light of the existence of the Church of Google, Googlism refers to the religion that has sprung up around the idea of Google as God.
This might seem amusing, but for a belief system like Googlism to have sprung up already, before Google has even begun to reveal the full extent of its plans is actually rather interesting.
Along with their creativity and patience, another similarity between Pinky and the Brain and Matt Cutts and Google that should give us pause is the fact that both of these teams are incredibly determined to see their long-term visions through.
No matter what goes wrong during the previous plan, Brain is always ready with a new strategy the next day.
In a lot of respects, Google is the same way.
At this point, there’s no denying what technology has come to mean to society as the Internet has continued to be an essential part of people’s lives. As the Internet has matured, certain companies and names, of which Google is the most famous, have differentiated themselves as forces to be reckoned with in the digital era.