Google saves the world five seconds at a time

Google just announced new technology that will cause search results to be predictively presented to the user as they type each letter of their search, saving the user from having to type their entire search, or hit enter after each search. According to Google’s Vice President, this will save the user an average of “two to five seconds…” from each search. This is what they have been working on as their next generation of search. It’s impressive, to be sure.

But does it strike anyone else as odd that we, as a society, are putting our technological efforts and resources into developing technologies that save us seconds each day when we can’t, as a society, get it together to develop infrastructure and transportation technology that will save us hours from commuting? It seems perverse that most Google engineers probably sit in California traffic for over an hour each day so that they can come into work and make sure nobody has to wait more than 15 seconds for a search result.