And then there is the other side. Google's expanding in Pittsburgh prompts thoughts of the Borg. I've been inside the Googleplex; it is more than a little creepy. (As a result of my visit, I'm confident that Google has my DNA.) I've watched the number of IT domains -- and non-IT domains (energy production, for example) -- where Google's ambition has gotten the better of "Don't Be Evil," or at least has bought a sizable chunk of controversy. Google may look like a cool engineering company; in reality, Google is a massive media-and-electricity-production empire. Search "Google 'world domination'" and you get 806,000 hits. Run that search on Bing and you get more than 21 million hits. Borg aren't a bad metaphor: "Lower your shields and surrender your ships. We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own. Your culture will adapt to service us. Resistance is futile."
Pittsburgh shouldn't - can't - won't say no. And the point of the Borg metaphor isn't that Mayor Luke is going to turn into Locutus. The point is that Borg come, Borg go. The Googleplex was once the fancy campus of a high-flying Silicon Valley company called Silicon Graphics. Anyone remember them? And there are still a few people in town who remember that "Bakery Square," the "Eastside" development where Google is taking additional space, was once the Nabisco Factory in
One company does not the progress of a city restore.