Google is 23 years old today: the company started in 1998, the year Christina and I were finishing our studies in France.
Within a few years, Google would perfect its search engine and create all the novel products it is known for today (Android, Gmail, etc). I do not know much about the way the company works and, maybe, this is one of the few things I regret. I was interviewed by Google in April 2007 but I was not offered a job there. I wonder how my life would have been different if I had obtained the job. Or, in March 2008, when I was offered a job in San Francisco by a consulting company but I had to decline because of the infamous Global Financial Crisis then.
Anyway, for the past 23 years, Christina have been in Mauritius. And we are very happy to have lived this quarter of a century here. We have had two wonderful kids who are big enough to fare for themselves now (and they are not spoilt) and we have managed, over the years, to forge formidable memories with family and friends (and these memories are preserved thanks to public photos and private videos).
In many ways, the world we live in today, where I can easily speak to my daughter in France every day, is one imagined by the founders of companies such as Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon. They dreamt of an always connected world and we are living in one now.
I also need to pay tribute to all the UNIX and Linux geeks in the world. Thanks to them and over open-source software developers all over the world, software works. Most of the formidable things we admire today (think Tesla cars or the datacenters of Google or Amazon) are powered by Linux and open-source software. Apple is also a major user of open-source software, most notably BSD and Mach for its operating system, macOS.
Of course, not everything is rosy for the Mauritian population. Some people are still on the other side of the digital divide and some still do not know how to use technology for enriching their lives. And, to be blunt, some use technology to (try to) keep people in the dark ages…
But one thing I have been thinking about for a long time now is to use the existing technology infrastructure in Mauritius (the fibre, the Internet and the myriad of online services provided by companies such as Google), to transform the country into a Knowledge Country, not only a Knowledge Economy.
I think that our people are sophisticated enough to form part of a Knowledge Society.
What do you think? What does a Knowledge Society looks like? How can we create one? How can we reach enlightenment?