I get the pitch, but it’s the same pitch as “what if you could lie and no one could catch you…except Google?” In no way can we look upon this development as an unmitigated good, unless by “good” we mean “I no longer have to manually change my computer clock’s time zone before emailing in that final paper.” Which, rest assured, is a phrase foreshadowed long ago by enterprising young Web Savvy Teens. Probably some of them are actually responsible for “Custom Time.” Stop — custom time! I can hear the development meetings now. There is probably a lot to be said about the possibilities for a revaluation of values inherent in the capture of vanguard technology by a particularly well-timed youth generation or two. But “Custom Time” promises to destroy yet another shred of the public trust that quaintly insists upon helping atomized individuals try to enjoy something more than a third-rate “sense” of community. “Don’t be evil” indeed! One can hardly imagine how emails will now function as admissible evidence in court, unless, of course, we’ve just ushered in an era of new expert witnesses, people sure to decipher the truth about when emails were really dated, information to which they are privy because, after all, they’re employed by Google.
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