For just under an hour, Google was fucked. The bread-and-butter search function suffered a configuration issue with its anti-phishing technology causing it to flag the entire Internet as harmful.
In response, that Internet shat its pants.
Blogs freaked the fuck out. Screenshots were posted everywhere. And Twitter, the drought wracked Californian hills of the Internet most thirsty for the wildfire of panic, was a chorus of dogs and cats living together mass hysteria.
Google failing became quite nearly more important than the SuperBowl.
Power outages affecting hundreds of thousands of homes get less press than this forty minute hiccup. The response was incredible in the original sense of the word; both in number and volume the whole of the information economy seemed beside themselves in histrionics. Is it schadenfreude? Taking joy in the public failure of the company that can do no wrong?
Or is it something more fundamental? Did Google quietly become a utility, as vital as electricity, gas and running water? Have we become unwittingly dependent on this resource to function as a 21st century? Did our relationship with this resource change from want to need?
Should we have an outage measured in days instead of minutes, we may well know that answer. In the meantime, these are just hiccups as we continue to drink their mother’s milk, too young to know how dependent on this mother we are.