Ambling back to LXF Towers this sunny lunchtime, I came across a sinister black car with a tripod on the roof. That tripod was holding eight cameras for a 360 degree view. Now, this isn't the sort of thing you normally see in Bath, but as I got closer to the car, I saw a logo on the side. The logo of information. Google.
Yep, it was Google's street view cameramobile, buzzing around the city and capturing the common sights of Bath: glorious architecture, plodding tourists and ciderspace-dwelling vagrants. Now, I like Google and use many of the company's services. But there was something strange about seeing the Google car -- it was like the internet had spawned a machine whose sole job is to consume data. And it won't stop at anything.
When we think about the internet, it's just a 'series of tubes' and everything is so distant and intangible. You can argue with people and receive death threats for your choice of distro, but ultimately it's all just larks and capers over TCP/IP. With the Google car, however, you can actually see the internet in the flesh, so to speak. It's there -- it's indexing your street, spidering your existence, and you can't shout out a robots.txt file to stop it.
So, readers, are you scared? What will you do if you see the car?