First of all, let me say that Google is a company that I would probably get a kick out of working for, and I've submitted my resume to them in the past, but no personal response. I still get a kick out of mocking them or occaisionally parodying them or creating useless rumors about.

Most recently I was struck with the brief fascination about how Google at times seemed to resemble the Foundation of Asimov's Foundation series. The company is filled of mostly secretive data collectors, for instance. In the books the Foundation first appeared right before the major collapse of the Galactic Empire. I'm hoping that Google isn't predicting anything of that sort. In the books the Foundation runs the Encyclopedia Galactica to help preserve human knowledge. Google's Cache, Scholar, Press and more all are efforts to preserve and promote human knowledge. Google has also shown some fascination to help the Wikipedia project, which itself jokes that it is something of an ad hoc Encyclopedia Galactica.

The most fun of this stupid resemblence comes from the weirder aspects of the Foundation series, and maybe I might build some fictional parody work around it. For instance, the Foundation had an even more secretive fraternal twin the Second Foundation. I wonder if there is telepath-lead Second Google that nobody yet knows about. (In the books, during the interegnum between Galactic Empires, a telepathic dictator named "The Mule" is the guy who sets off the search for the Second Foundation.)

On second thought, maybe this comparison isn't all that bad and maybe some in Google have already thought about it... The Foundation was meant to be a philanthropic and "good" organization (even if some of their methods were extremely questionable).