It's the year 2014, and Googlezon, a fearsomely powerful combination of search engine Google Inc. and online store Amazon.com Inc. has crushed traditional media to bits. Taking its place is the computer-generated Evolving Personalized Information Construct—an online package of news, entertainment, blogs, and services drawn from all the world's up-to-the-minute knowledge and customized to match your preferences. And it's all collected, packaged, and controlled by Googlezon.
This is the future according to EPIC 2014, a faux documentary posted to the Web in late 2004 by young journalists Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan. Thanks to their slightly tongue-in-cheek, Twilight Zone-inspired tone, the short video drew as many chuckles as gasps of dismay from the legions of mainstream media types and Web digerati who viewed it. Today, nobody's laughing. Here it is only 2007, and already EPIC 2014's picture of an online landscape dominated by one ravenous, all-knowing corporation looks to many people like—well, a lot like Google. All by itself.