Just looking at Twitter going crazy with discussions of Knol ... no idea what it *is* or means yet, but I can't help being reminded yet again ...
This stuff has become our religion ...
Our own pantheon or daemonology. You remember that bit at the end of Neuromancer where Wintermute and all the giant AIs merged or broke up or something and all went off to become Papa Legba and the other Voodoo god-saints?
That's exactly how we treat Google and Facebook and Amazon and Microsoft today. They are our daemonology. The supplicate them when we want stuff, and bitch about them when they don't give us what they want. We threaten, idly, to switch our allegience.
But we let them ride us. Put their logos on our t-shirts, let them dictact our file-formats and our work practice and our conversation.
This is another side to the "enchantment" of the world through ubicomp. Omniscient, omnipresent intelligences who we turn to whenever we need to get stuff done.