Deep Search: The Politics of Search Beyond Google

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I'm extremely proud that our book on the politics of search engines is out now. I know I'm totally biased, but I really think this is a great collection of essays. And it's available in English as well as in German. Two separate books, each containing original and translated texts.

Konrad Becker/Felix Stalder (eds.). Deep Search. The Politics of Search beyond Google. Studienverlag. Distributed by Transaction Publishers, New Jersey 2009 pp. 214, ISBN 978-3706547956

“This collection gets to the heart of the most important issues concerning our global information ecosystem: Will the ‘soft power’ of one, two, or three corporations exert inordinate yet undetectable influence over what we consider important, beautiful, or true? What are the possibilities for resistance? What are the proper avenues for law, policy, and personal choices? This book walks us through these challenges like no other before it.”

Siva Vaidhyanathan, University of Virginia, author of The Googlization of Everything

“Search engines – most obviously Google – lie at the heart of our digital lives. Their interfaces seem to be simple and neutral. Yet underneath operates a political philosophy, written in complex technical code. At stake is nothing less than how we, individually and collectively, find out about the world. “Deep Search is the most profound set of statements and questions yet on the new universal machine, the search engine. Knowledge about the networks and the means of sorting them starts from the grounds of politics, culture and the formation of life rather than what is simply technically or legally possible. This book demands to be used.”

Matthew Fuller, Goldsmiths, University of London, author of Media Ecologies

From the Introduction:
It’s hard to avoid search engines these days. They have established themselves as essential tools for navigating the dynamic, expanding informational landscape that is the Internet. The Internet’s distributed structure doesn’t allow for any centralized index or catalog; consequently, search engines fulfill a central task of making digital information accessible and thus usable. It’s hard to imagine our lives without their ever-expanding digital dimension; and so it’s increasingly hard to imagine life without search engines. This book looks at the long history of the struggle to impose order on the always-fragile information universe, addresses key social and political issues raised by today’s search engines, and envisions approaches that would break with the current paradigms they impose.

Table of Content
Konrad Becker, Felix Stalder -- Introduction

Histories
Paul Duguid -- Search before grep. A Progress from Closed to Open?
Robert Darnton -- The Library in the Information Age. 6000 Years of Script
Geert Lovink -- Society of the Query. The Googlization of our Lives
Katja Mayer -- On the Sociometry of Search Engines. A Historical Review of Methods

Liberties
Claire Lobet-Maris -- From Trust to Tracks. A Technology Assessment Perspective Revisited
Joris van Hoboken -- Search Engine Law and Freedom of Expression. A European Perspective
Felix Stalder & Christine Mayer -- The Second Index. Search Engines, Personalization and Surveillance

Power
Theo Röhle -- Dissecting the Gatekeepers. Relational Perspectives on the Power of Search Engines
Bernhard Rieder -- Democratizing Search? From Critique to Society-oriented Design
Matteo Pasquinelli -- Google’s PageRank. Diagram of the Cognitive Capitalism and Rentier of the Common Intellect
Konrad Becker -- The Power of Classification. Culture, Context, Command, Control, Communications, Computing

Visibility
Richard Rogers -- The Googlization Question. Towards the Inculpable Engine?
Metahaven -- Peripheral Forces. On the Relevance of Marginality in Networks
Lev Manovich -- How to Follow Global Digital Cultures. Cultural Analytics for Beginners