Thursday, December 11, 2008

Gmail: The Space Bank

Banks rely on the fact that it is highly unlikely everyone will withdraw their money at the same time. No bank can cope with such a disaster. It probably doesn't even take everyone, but only a small majority to bring any bank to it's knees.

Gmail works the same way.

One of the reasons Gmail became so popular (I use it myself, it rocks compared to all other free email services that I know of) is the promise of unlimited space, which is, a false promise.

Google has a limited amount of hard drives, as does the world, and if everyone claimed the amount of space Google promises, Gmail will be brought to it's knees the same way any good bank would've.

Of course Google doesn't actually promise unlimited space, but they are promising huge amounts of space and that's enough to make my point.

So, what is my point, besides the obvious one that I'm not a big Google fan since they started throwing around “be good”, or “do no evil”, or whatever it was, while infact they do quite a lot of evil, and besides the other obvious one that I don't want to turn into this one long anti-google rant?

Gmail is marketed as having a quality that until recently everyone else didn't have: unlimited space. But it's a bluff, just like the banks promise is, at it's core, a bluff. Religion, too, is a bluff of this sort. All it takes is a small or big majority to call the bluff simultaneously, and the bluff, so to speak, is called. Sure, if I decide to use up all my seven gigabytes of Gmail space (or whatever it is they're advertising at the moment) I'll get it the same way that if I withdraw all my money from the bank (about 350 israeli shekels last time I checked, which in turn is a bit more than 89.6056 U.S. dollars – but nevermind that! And no, I did not miss the irony that that's according to google), it won't be brought to it's knees.

To call a bluff of this sort, a small to large majority has to call the bluff at the same time.

Don't get me wrong, I hope gmail won't be called on it's bluff, and the banks too. Besides being pretty shitty, they're doing an ok job, I guess.

But there is one bluff I'd love to see called...

And that bluff is religion.

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