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Cold treats

August 13, 2006

TechCrunch's Mike Arrington takes a whack at the world's largest search engine. "Google smugness is at an all time high," he writes. Google's sin? It offers its employees "specially packaged, trans-fat-free" ice cream sandwiches, a practice that, according to Arrington, will "just make your shareholders think you are incredibly lame." That's so true. In fact, I'm shocked that Google hasn't disclosed that it gives workers frozen delicacies in its SEC filings.

Arrington's smugness charge comes just hours after he told Business Week's Rob Hof, "I'm hoping everything crashes. Then I want to go buy all the big blogs."

Comments

Nick, with all the major issues facing IT and tech in general, your continuing to pick on Wikipedia and Arrington is mind boggling...how about picking on IBM, Microsoft, Oracle...that's where most of IT spend does not matter...hey, it's your blog but I hate to see your firepower (and your humor) wasted on petty stuff...

Posted by: Anonymous at August 13, 2006 12:16 PM

Ah, Vinnie, you have your priorities all wrong. Remember what Jane Austen said: "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?"

Posted by: Nick Carr at August 13, 2006 12:35 PM

I will second Vinnie on this one. I expect more from you, Nick.

Posted by: SidneyV at August 13, 2006 12:52 PM

Oh, man, you guys are like my conscience. Ok, I'm suitably shamed. It won't happen again. If I can help it. But you have to understand: The temptation sometimes is so very, very great, and the "publish" button is so very, very near.

Posted by: Nick Carr at August 13, 2006 01:08 PM

Most of the people worth influencing have unsubscribed from Mike Arrington some time ago anyhow. That or else they never bothered to subscribe.

Posted by: Bob Aman at August 13, 2006 01:45 PM

I disagree. Ignoring Wikipedia and Arrington will not diminish them. A voice of authority will.

Posted by: Gil Freund at August 13, 2006 05:09 PM

I think Nick is just being efficient. One post like this tells you more about Web 2.0 than a bunch of long essays.

Posted by: Hazel Motes at August 13, 2006 09:16 PM

Nick Carr smugness has also reached an all time high.

Posted by: Paul Montgomery at August 13, 2006 09:49 PM

Thanks, Paul.

By the way, if you search for "ice cream sandwich" on Google, the Wikipedia entry comes up as the #7 result. I'm still trying to find a common keyword that doesn't have Wikipedia in the top 10 results.

gunpowder: #1
arthropod: #2
Mona Lisa: #1
sex: #4
web 2.0: #4
lawn mower: #3
trans fat: #1
Holy Roman Empire: #1
rap: #8
poverty: #5
ufo: #7
sauerkraut: #1
law: #7
tweezer: #5
Alfred Hitchcock: #3
Shakespeare: #7
Iraq War: #4
stock option: #3
Nicholas Carr: #3
brothel: #2

Posted by: Nick Carr at August 13, 2006 10:52 PM

chocolate ice cream ftw

Posted by: Paul Montgomery at August 13, 2006 11:19 PM

Ignore them. Keep writing about Arrington.

Okay, the Wikipedia stuff is boring. But yeah, keep writing about Arrington so I'm not the ONLY blogger wasting my time on him, 'kay?

Posted by: Nick Douglas at August 14, 2006 12:47 AM

We should start a "we pick on arrington snark group." Founding members: supr.c.ilio.us, valleywag and nick carr. How about it?

Posted by: ryan king at August 14, 2006 01:24 AM

I would like to see a study on how much of the material on Wikipedia is original and how much has been lifted from other sources (including sources in the public domain). That is, is Wikipedia basically an aggregator? Based on casual observation, including Wikipedia entries that say specifically that they have used material from public domain versions of the Encyclopedia Britannica, I suspect that much of it is derivative. But I don't know. Nick - do you know of anything?

Posted by: James DeLong at August 14, 2006 09:05 AM

Paul, "chocolate ice cream" doesn't count (it's my blog, and I get to set the rules for all contests). It has to be a term that would reasonably be in an encyclopedia ("chocolate ice cream" is not in Wikipedia), so you can't just slap an adjective on a noun. For the record, Wikipedia is #7 for "chocolate" and #6 for "ice cream." It's #3 for FTW (yes, I had to look it up).

James, I've seen some scattered examples of direct liftings from other sources, but I don't know how common that it.

Posted by: Nick Carr at August 14, 2006 11:05 AM

Patrick Ross looks at searches for obscure cartographic references, with similar results.
http://weblog.ipcentral.info/archives/2006/08/short_tail_cont.html

Posted by: James DeLong at August 14, 2006 11:28 AM

Ultimate, as in:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ultimate_%28sport%29
is not in the top ten. I suspect it gets more searches than sauerkraut.

Posted by: Yaacov Iland at August 14, 2006 02:25 PM

Yeah, but on "ultimate frisbee," which is probably the more common search, wikipedia comes in at #4.

Posted by: Nick Carr at August 14, 2006 02:33 PM

Fun game. How about book and map?

Posted by: Sid Steward at August 14, 2006 02:51 PM

Book: #11
Map: #17

Sid wins, honorable mention to Yaacov.

"Map" was an obvious one, since most people searching on "map" would be looking for actual maps. "Book" was a bit of a surprise.

Speaking of Sid:

Sid Vicious: #1
Sid Caesar: #4
Sidney Bechet: #3

Posted by: Nick Carr at August 14, 2006 03:23 PM

Sid wins ... Thank you. I feel overcome by gratification 2.0. My strategy was to use terms related to Google's markets. More: news, catalog, music. Hmmm... does this mean Google will soon enter the online music field?

Posted by: Sid Steward at August 14, 2006 04:17 PM

We need someone like Nicholas Carr who tells us from time to time that the king may be naked.
I made a small cartoon.

Bye,
Oliver

Posted by: Oliver Widder at August 14, 2006 04:27 PM

Oliver, That is your best cartoon yet - if only because it features me. Nick

Posted by: Nick Carr at August 14, 2006 04:55 PM

Nick,
I like the Jane Austen bits are you a distant relation?

On the 24 Dec 1798 in a letter to her sister Cassandra, Jane Austen wrote, "I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me that trouble of liking them a great deal."

I wonder what she would have said about your role as a "itinerant cogitatrix", probably

"'I am afraid,' replied Elinor, 'that the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince it propriety.'"
Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 13

Wikipedia ranks #3 on the google Jane Austen search. But in deference to your views on Wikipedia, I cut and paste these quotes from elsewhere.

Posted by: Thomas Otter at August 15, 2006 09:44 AM

Hi all
Johny, with all the major issues facing IT and tech in general, your continuing to pick on Wikipedia and Arrington is mind boggling...how about picking on IBM, Microsoft, Oracle...that's where most of IT spend does not matter...hey, it's your blog but I hate to see your firepower (and your humor) wasted on petty stuff...
thanks ankara nakliyat estetik oto kiralama

Posted by: ankaranakliyat at June 6, 2008 08:35 AM

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