Thursday, September 4, 2008

Google versus the laws of physics

Glenn Reynolds of instapundit linked to the following book
Planet Google: One Company's Audacious Plan To Organize Everything We Know today. I followed the link, and upon reading the following in description:

In this spellbinding behind-the-scenes look at Google, New York Times columnist Stross (The Microsoft Way) provides an intimate portrait of the company's massively ambitious aim to organize the world's information.
I thought to myself either Google will succeed and the laws of physics will cease to exist, or Google will fail and the laws of physics will hold. Normally I would figure that the laws of physics would hold, but since this is Google that we are talking about, my bet is that Google will defeat the laws of physics.

The particular law of physics that Google has to overcome is second law of thermodynamics. Google is trying to bring order out of chaos. However, the second law of thermodynamics dictates that chaos will increase over time. Hence, every effort that Google makes to achieve order will merely result in an increase in chaos rather than an increase in order. How is this possible? Well, it is possible that as Google organizes information, they will decrease the cost of gathering information. Hence, others will be able to create information faster than Google can organize it.