Google's Autolink - a non-biblical bloviation
I take a look at Blogdex.com to see what news and blogs all the other blogs are linking to, and today I saw the link to Yoz's post on the Google toolbar autolink option. "Hmmm," I said to myself, "Google's browser toolbar lets you press a button that adds its own hyperlinks to the text of any website the toolbar user is looking at."
I immediately had visions of Google turning The Bloggy Pulpit into a version of Beliefnet.com. (You know, having a line of text about the evils of Satanism on the left of the screen and then right next to it on the right are comments from a Satanist to the effect that "this xtian idiot doesn't know what he's talking about. etc, etc." That kind of thing).
So I did the next logical thing and loaded the toolbar to see what it did to the Pulpit.
The first thing it did was administer a swift kick to my ego by showing a PageRank box with absolutely NO green in it at all. Talk about being condemned to insignificance!
And then I clicked the Autolink button, only to see ...
a very dumb and meaningless mistake.
The dim bulb had taken "22. The cross" out of
has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation. Colossians 1:19-22.
The cross of Christ - both the one he took up and the one he bids us take up and follow him with - is for our Yugo-ishness It is so that
and turned it into a link to a goggle map address at "22 The cross,Buxton, Town Of,ME 04093." Which appears to be an address of no place in particular that I could complain about.
So at least the Pulpit is safe for now from impending beliefnetization. But what about in the future? The above dim bulb mistake is characteristic of the infancy of a new technology. What happens when other techniques like autolink begin to be implemented and refined by other vendors of information technology?
What if one day I posted a reference to Romans 1:24-27 and then find that various technologies have added to my post links to various dialogues of Plato on the subject of homosexuality, followed by links to Gay and Lesbian websites, followed a link to the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA).
I'm sure there are people who would consider some of that a good thing. But they should also consider that it cuts the other way as well. A Gay or Lesbian blogger could make a post to his or her site and later find out that besides links to Plato's dialogues, links had also been added to Bible quotations like Romans 1:24-27 as well as links to NAMBLA.
The technology of autolinking may indeed lead us one day to a beliefnetization of just about everything. It will truly be a complete and competitive "marketplace of ideas." Everything will be hawked from the all the concession booths. But it will be everything hawked from the same concession booths.
So we will have to ask ourselves, do we really want the marketplace to be that convenient?