Google. Too big to fail: or too big to regulate?


As an Internet user now for over twenty years, and a computer-literate man for ten years before that, I welcomed the true start of the Internet as we know it, with Netscape and Internet Explorer being the vehicles which commenced ‘access of the ordinary into the extraordinary’.  Dial-up connections were pathetically slow, but users got used to the slow download; but technology moved onwards, and a combination of ever faster processors and better connections and faster access made the spread of the Internet ever faster. Then came a newcomer, a company with a funny name, extracted, it was claimed, from the word or term googol, which is 10100, otherwise known as writing 10, and then zeroes until your arm gets tired. Commencing and launching their company ‘start-up’ literally in a garage, two computer geeks worked out the famous algorithms which searched for information faster than imagination could realise, and then place those searches ranked by earlier use, on the user’s screen: they called it Google, and so commenced the rise and rise of the world’s most popular search engine, and the company, behind it.

As with all growing companies, especially digitally-based ones, there was literally no horizon in view as they spread their activities. They took the basic idea of e-mail, known by PC users; and transformed it into free to use G-mail, used today by a large section of the computer-using public: they also took the idea of an online diary, hashed around a while, and came up with the idea of Blogger, an online every day web log. Google’s electronic empire went ever further, and, because it was now growing ever-more profitable through online advert sales: its industrial muscle grew ever larger. Google’s ethical stance was mirrored in their Company motto, ‘Don’t be evil’, and in the early years of growth, was seen to be effective for their ethical stance in withdrawing from the extremely-lucrative China market, because they would not bend to the authoritarian rules of that Communist Dictatorship. More of that particular stance later.

The two geniuses who started Google were the true “wunderkind”, and, when Google went public, their worth skyrocketed them into the billionaire status known only to a very select few. Google became the favourite of NASDAQ and NYSE, and, because no-one had ever seen anything like this pair, and the giant which they had spawned, no-one suspected that they were secret Left-leaning little dictators-in-waiting, with ambitions not only to dominate the world’s search-engine usage and results, according to their secret algorithms: but also to inflict their beliefs and politics upon an unsuspecting mountain of users, whether ultra-liberal, centrist, right-wing or whatever. The Google workforce, seemingly overwhelmingly liberal by viewpoint, were the perfect means by which to promote the ‘Google’ way of doing things, and no-one seemed to notice the unswerving behemoth which operated in the shadows; mainly because the outer ‘shell’ was massively used, subscribed to: and very, very profitable. Their Stock Exchange values kept rising, and even the odd blip, which occurred when the European Union fined Google $5 billion for its ‘Anti-trust’ operation of its world-beating Android on all mobile phones using that machine system. Seems the EU didn’t like the way the Android system pushed ‘Google’ search to be used in preference to any other search engine provider. Google paid the fine, and promised to be a ‘better buy’: possibly because the $5 billion was the equivalent of 16 (sixteen) days trading for that monstrous organisation.

Readers would have noted that I referred to China.

Google had set up shop in China four years before the breach, offering a version of its services that conformed to the government’s oppressive censorship policies. At the time, Google officials said they’d decided that the most ethical option was to offer some services—albeit restricted by China’s censors—to the enormous Chinese market, rather than leave millions of Internet users with limited access to information.

But the 2010 attacks prompted the company to reverse course. Instead of complying with government requests to filter its search results, Google directed all of its Chinese traffic to the uncensored Hong Kong version of its search engine, a move that left the company vulnerable to being completely shut down in China. Indeed, Google’s services became inaccessible to most Chinese users within months.

So Google pulled the plug on their China operations, stating they would not abide with the ‘Censorship’ imposed by the Communist Chinese. They kept mumbling on about ‘Freedom of Speech’, and ‘Values’; and we believed them!

But three things have occurred which puts an entirely new, and possibly sinister spin upon Google, and the operations of that corporate behemoth.

  • An ordinary Google employee wrote a damning review of Google corporate philosophies, and the approach to anyone who dissented from the Left-leaning ‘Groupthink’ encouraged by the management team. Google engineer James Damore was fired last August after he wrote a controversial memo arguing that Google had gone overboard in its efforts to promote diversity. He generated widespread outrage by suggesting that the under-representation of women at Google was a result of women’s lesser interest in software engineering—rather than discrimination within the technology sector.
  • Jack Poulson, a senior research scientist at Google, has quit the company in protest over the tech titan’s development of a censored search engine for China, claiming it represents a “forfeiture of our values.” According to the Intercept,Poulson “raised concerns with his managers at Google after the Intercept revealed that the Internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices.”  ‘After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31,’ it was reported, adding that he is possibly one of FIVE employees to leave the company in protest.
  • An insider at Google downloaded a ‘Google TGIF Groupthink’ discussion, recorded just after the Trump election. It is pretty hard to listen to all the knee-jerks and sad stories, but some of the statements are worth repeating:-

Co-founder Sergey Brin can be heard comparing Trump supporters to fascists and extremists. Brin argues that like other extremists, Trump voters were motivated by “boredom,” which he says in the past led to fascism and communism.

VP for Global Affairs Kent Walker argues that supporters of populist causes like the Trump campaign are motivated by “fear, xenophobia, hatred, and a desire for answers that may or may not be there.”

CEO Sundar Pichai states that the company will develop machine learning and A.I. to combat what an employee described as “misinformation” shared by “low-information voters.”

(00:13:10) CFO Ruth Porat appears to break down in tears when discussing the election result. (00:15:20) Porat promises that Google will “use the great strength and resources and reach we have to continue to advance really important values.” (00:16:50) Stating “we all need a hug,” she then instructs the audience of Google employees to hug the person closest to them.

(01:01:15) A Google employee states: “speaking to white men, there’s an opportunity for you right now to understand your privilege” and urges employees to “go through the bias-busting training, read about privilege, read about the real history of oppression in our country.” He urges employees to “discuss the issues you are passionate about during Thanksgiving dinner and don’t back down and laugh it off when you hear the voice of oppression speak through metaphors.” Every executive on stage – the CEO, CFO, two VPs and the two Co-founders – applaud the employee.

‘Don’t be evil’, the old Corporate Logo, has long ago disappeared. And in its place?

Either the sub-liminal message:-

  • Don’t Get Caught

or

  • Don’t vote Republican; cos’ they’re all evil!

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