Google Vs. Evil

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Google Vs. Evil

Postby Matthias » Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:29 am UTC

It occurred to me earlier today that I didn't know what Google's motto was, and in searching for it I found the following (very old) Wired article.

Google Vs. Evil

Apparently their motto is "Don't Be Evil," and Sergey Brin is the guy who tries to keep them to that goal. In reading the article, I at first found myself angry and appalled at some of the things Google has done: caving into the church of Scientology and removing an anti-scientology web-site on the grounds that they had copyrighted pictures, for example. But as I read onwards and downwards, I think that Google as a company, and Sergey Brin as a man, are doing their best to hold to their morals while trying not to fight battles that aren't worth fighting. They're not perfect, but who is? I think they're trying their hardest to do the right thing.

So, Google: still a shining pillar of virtue in the web-web, or just another corporation trying to keep a good public face? Discuss!
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Amicitia » Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:32 am UTC

Corporations and virtue aren't mutually exclusive.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Matthias » Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:50 am UTC

Granted. Things are very rarely black and white, and that was probably a rather poorly worded question. I guess the question I was trying to ask is whether you think Google is still trying to do the right thing, if money is their primary motivator, to what extent they are living up to their motto, etc. etc.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Amicitia » Fri Oct 12, 2007 4:58 am UTC

Profits are their primary motivator.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Solt » Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:40 am UTC

Well Google refused to turn over user information to the Department of Justice and every other internet search company complied so I think Google has at least that going for them.

I also agree with their stance on China- better to have good, censored information than no information. In the end the internet's democratization of knowledge will be instrumental in turning China into a democracy and even censored search engines can help.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Axman » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:34 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:Profits are their primary motivator.


Yeah, but that makes it sound like making money is a bad thing. It doesn't corrupt, money doesn't have ambition, it just is.

It's possible to profit and help people at the same time. The inverse is also true: it's possible to lose money and make waste while causing harm.

Strictly speaking, "Don't be evil" is part of their company mission, and therefor it is an, albeit vague, legal statement, like a contract. If Google becomes evil, the SEC can wreak punitive damages against them, their shareholders can sue them, and people who have contracts with them can break them without penalty, and also have grounds for lawsuit.

But, let's say for instance, that Google becomes less rosy. To what will you turn to for their very free services? Will that even be worth the effort? If you're just a consumer, do you think you (and the other spurned consumers) will affect them?

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby __Kit » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:50 am UTC

I like this new guy, and agree with him.
=]

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Mr. Samsa » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:57 am UTC

Amicitia wrote:Profits are their primary motivator.


Obviously not..

Article wrote:In May, Anita Roddick, the outspoken British founder of the Body Shop, blasted Google in her blog for yanking a text ad for her site. Google's explanation: Roddick had called actor John Malkovich a "vomitous worm" in her blog, violating a Google policy against accepting ads for sites that are "anti-" anything. After Roddick protested, Google offered to reinstate the ad in exchange for a promise from Roddick that she would remove the Malkovich reference from the first page of her site. When she refused, Brin had a decision to make: Should he give in and accept Roddick's money, or stand by his principles? He chose his principles.


I mean, sure, at the end of the day it's a business so they want to make money. But it seems that making money is secondary to principles. They're smart people, they know that they're so well established they call the shots, they essentially have monopoly over their domain and they can afford to have and uphold principles. It is a little disconcerting that there is only one guy in charge of saying what's right and wrong, but the guy seems decent and intelligent enough and at the end of the day it's better to have one person make the tough call rather than have a panel of people water down a decision into a comprised shadow of its former self.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby space_raptor » Fri Oct 12, 2007 2:24 pm UTC

I think Google isn't evil. They obey the laws of the countries they operate in. Nothing wrong with observing copyright law or government censors, if the alternative is breaking the law. That's a good way to send your company down the tubes.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Solt » Fri Oct 12, 2007 3:19 pm UTC

Mr. Samsa wrote:
Article wrote:In May, Anita Roddick, the outspoken British founder of the Body Shop, blasted Google in her blog for yanking a text ad for her site. Google's explanation: Roddick had called actor John Malkovich a "vomitous worm" in her blog, violating a Google policy against accepting ads for sites that are "anti-" anything. After Roddick protested, Google offered to reinstate the ad in exchange for a promise from Roddick that she would remove the Malkovich reference from the first page of her site. When she refused, Brin had a decision to make: Should he give in and accept Roddick's money, or stand by his principles? He chose his principles.


I mean, sure, at the end of the day it's a business so they want to make money. But it seems that making money is secondary to principles.


That's not much of an example. It's one person. They probably lost a few dozen bucks at the most, compared to revenue in the Billions.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Amicitia » Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:42 pm UTC

Axman wrote:
Amicitia wrote:Profits are their primary motivator.


Yeah, but that makes it sound like making money is a bad thing. It doesn't corrupt, money doesn't have ambition, it just is.

It's possible to profit and help people at the same time. The inverse is also true: it's possible to lose money and make waste while causing harm.

Strictly speaking, "Don't be evil" is part of their company mission, and therefor it is an, albeit vague, legal statement, like a contract. If Google becomes evil, the SEC can wreak punitive damages against them, their shareholders can sue them, and people who have contracts with them can break them without penalty, and also have grounds for lawsuit.

But, let's say for instance, that Google becomes less rosy. To what will you turn to for their very free services? Will that even be worth the effort? If you're just a consumer, do you think you (and the other spurned consumers) will affect them?

A new company will take their place if they fall out of favor, and so, it's in their Google's best interests to maintain their good image. Google is out for long-term profits, so I doubt they'd try to alienate their customers.

I'm thinking that what they mean by not being evil is that Google should conform to the norms of a "good company." This might seem a truism, but people I've met often consider Google to be a moral entity.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby mosc » Fri Oct 12, 2007 7:24 pm UTC

I've been noting this at lot lately. Companies that are still run by individuals are capable of reflecting the better parts of said individual. A multi-billionaire is not easily swayed by even sizable sums of money and when one is in direct control of a company, they often make decisions based on personal beliefs and principles.

First off, that doesn't mean to imply that those principles are always good ones. Some individuals at the top are not overly interested in philanthropy and cooperate ethics. However, some clearly are.

I have been observing that many companies that have very weak CEOs (or CEOs with very little control) act more like faceless money machines. Indeed, it almost seems that when the individual at the top looses direct control the company becomes self interested. Also, "board members" in general are more interested in their personal standings than the companies I find.

I find myself appreciative of large companies lead by individuals I like. Google is a great example. However, on the other side of the coin it's not always a good thing to expose a single individual's ideals. Microsoft has been a boulder in the way of innovation for years. Still, I'd rather have even a flawed individual in full control than a board.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Mr. Samsa » Fri Oct 12, 2007 9:01 pm UTC

Solt wrote:That's not much of an example. It's one person. They probably lost a few dozen bucks at the most, compared to revenue in the Billions.


Fair enough, it was late and I couldn't find anything better. I was just using it as an example that profits didn't always come first because, at the very least, they didn't here. But I guess it could be argued that it was done to gain support in some round about way and increase profits in other areas, so it would become a marketing ploy.

I agree with what you said, that what was lost is practically nothing when put next to what they rake in each year, but that was kind of my point. Since they make so much money, profit is less important to them than it is to a smaller company that's just starting out. This means they can afford to make calls according to their morals. It would be interesting to see what would happen if their sponser accounted for a more significant part of their profits though... then I think your argument would hold up better than mine.

Concedes.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Solt » Sat Oct 13, 2007 6:04 am UTC

Mr. Samsa wrote:I agree with what you said, that what was lost is practically nothing when put next to what they rake in each year, but that was kind of my point. Since they make so much money, profit is less important to them than it is to a smaller company that's just starting out. This means they can afford to make calls according to their morals. It would be interesting to see what would happen if their sponser accounted for a more significant part of their profits though... then I think your argument would hold up better than mine.

Concedes.


haha, don't concede so easily. At least notice when I've given a better example to support our common viewpoint :P.

The Department of Justice could have seriously fucked with Google, but Google still refused. I'm not sure what conclusions you can draw from this but it seems to support the "Don't be Evil" motto, even in the case of a powerful adversary.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Mr. Samsa » Sat Oct 13, 2007 11:27 pm UTC

Uh yeah, sorry, I completely missed your earlier post. Much better example, agreed..

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Hexadecimator » Sun Oct 14, 2007 12:35 am UTC

While "Don't be evil" certainly asuages some of my fears of Google's power, I'm still a bit uneasy handing that much power to a single company. I have Google hotkeyed, and I literally rely upon a single website for the acquisition of all my worldly knowledge, resulting in 30+ searches per day. When you add blogger and googtube, Google has literally pervaded through my entire life.
If Google censored a website, I would never see it. If Google favored a site, my opinions would be somewhat more influenced by that site.
While I want to believe that they have only the best intentions at heart, I do know that it will be difficult to stand where they are for too long before people begin to cry foul, justified or not.

Note, after reading this I have now set my computer up to count the times I use my google hotkey. Detailed analysis will hopefully appear in the fora soon.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby OfficiallyHaphazard » Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:40 am UTC

Hexadecimator wrote:...
If Google censored a website, I would never see it. If Google favored a site, my opinions would be somewhat more influenced by that site.
While I want to believe that they have only the best intentions at heart, I do know that it will be difficult to stand where they are for too long before people begin to cry foul, justified or not.
....


I completely agree. And I have always felt google "wasn't" evil, as compared to Yahoo and MSN searching, but I never could really place my finger on why....
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Matthias » Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:26 am UTC

My guess would be because MSN is a Microsoft brand, and Yahoo's ads are much more intrusive. I mean, honestly, has anyone here ever seen a Google commercial? Or an ad banner for Google? Probably some of it has to do with Google's simplicity and ease of use as well; the main search page is very simple, clean and friendly. Also, Google provides a plethora of free services apart from the search engine: Google Maps, Gmail, weather, iGoogle, and so forth. True, other search engines have these same services but again, Google's seem to work faster.

Interesting point to note: for software, people seem to associate ease of use with morality. Think Windows versus Linux; who would you say is more evil?
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby biolution » Sun Oct 14, 2007 4:15 am UTC

Matthias wrote:Interesting point to note: for software, people seem to associate ease of use with morality. Think Windows versus Linux; who would you say is more evil?


Not sure how appropriate windows vs linux is.

As a power user, linux is infinitely easier. Command line for the win (linux ui's are still lacking, and yes, i've used ubuntu)
As a normal user, windows is far far more intuitive. Gui for the win.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby OfficiallyHaphazard » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:39 am UTC

meh i would say the mac's interface is the easiest...

and i would agree...
ease of use relates to how evil something is :D
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Matthias » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:40 am UTC

I guess I was thinking stability with the linux example; you're right about ease of use, I think. Although I will point out that linux has GUIs.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby biolution » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:49 am UTC

Matthias wrote:I guess I was thinking stability with the linux example; you're right about ease of use, I think. Although I will point out that linux has GUIs.


Yes, but its really subject ot debate about the gui part. The linux scheduler (iirc) is rather fair, and this gives poor performance to gui intensive apps (thinkg firefox + gmail + lots of other heavy webbased apps). Windows+firefox performs 10x betters in gmail than firefox on linux(ubuntu). Why, exactly, i do not know, but my initial gut impression (also based upon other, more general kde performance) is this is because of a lower level OS function, most likely the scheduler.

But yeah, my linux machine has almost a year uptime. I never got over 60 days on windows. Both are doing desktop work, not server.

As for macs...my coworker's mac will crash once a day. Another friend has kernel panics ever other week. Just point of reference.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby zenten » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:59 am UTC

It's about picking your battles. If I was in charge of Google I would have likely made many of the same decisions. I could debate specific examples if people cared, but those sound more like separate threads.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby biolution » Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:11 am UTC

zenten wrote:It's about picking your battles. If I was in charge of Google I would have likely made many of the same decisions. I could debate specific examples if people cared, but those sound more like separate SB threads.



zenten? Does homelan ring a bell? code private?

Otherwise...What, specifically, do you mean?

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby zenten » Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:15 am UTC

biolution wrote:
zenten wrote:It's about picking your battles. If I was in charge of Google I would have likely made many of the same decisions. I could debate specific examples if people cared, but those sound more like separate SB threads.



zenten? Does homelan ring a bell? code private?

Otherwise...What, specifically, do you mean?


Um, homeland and code private don't turn anything relevant in Google (haha) or wikipedia, so what are you referring to?

As to what I'm talking about, I'm talking about things like choosing to obey China's blacklist requests, where the alternative is having Google blocked entirely. Also in situations where they obeyed California law, as per the rather clear TOS they have.

As to the side debate on Linux not being strong in the GUI department, I have to disagree there. Sure there are many options on what GUI to use (as opposed to the 1-2 you can get with Vista), but choice is hardly a bad thing, especially when most distros have a default.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby biolution » Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:43 am UTC

zenten wrote:As to the side debate on Linux not being strong in the GUI department, I have to disagree there. Sure there are many options on what GUI to use (as opposed to the 1-2 you can get with Vista), but choice is hardly a bad thing, especially when most distros have a default.


Yes, but too many choices can be fracturing. KDE/Gnome are nice, but I've yet to know someone who uses them exclusively on linux; every linux user i know uses the command line.

Now, if someone could create a gui analogy to the command line, that might be rather interesting.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Maurog » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:18 am UTC

I'm a raving Google fanboy. Google manages my mail, block off the evil spammers, and fetches any stick I throw at the click of a button. And it does it all for free, like some sort of infinite wishes genie. Honestly, I don't care if it's evil or not, as long as it provides me with unmatched service. When the Google uprising comes, and it crushes all other companies, enslaves humanity and rules the world with iron fist, I'll be the first to cry "Oh me yarm, how could we be so blind?!"

Or won't even notice it happened, probably.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby biolution » Sun Oct 14, 2007 7:38 am UTC

Maurog wrote:I'm a raving Google fanboy. Google manages my mail, block off the evil spammers, and fetches any stick I throw at the click of a button. And it does it all for free, like some sort of infinite wishes genie. Honestly, I don't care if it's evil or not, as long as it provides me with unmatched service. When the Google uprising comes, and it crushes all other companies, enslaves humanity and rules the world with iron fist, I'll be the first to cry "Oh me yarm, how could we be so blind?!"

Or won't even notice it happened, probably.


Thats really cool, but is there anything you find evil about them, or otherwise unpleasant? I love them too, i just installed picasa to give it a try (woo, new camera!). I'm almost tempted to try orkut, but i'd be more interested in a Trillian for social networks than another proprietary network.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby zenten » Sun Oct 14, 2007 2:56 pm UTC

biolution wrote:
zenten wrote:As to the side debate on Linux not being strong in the GUI department, I have to disagree there. Sure there are many options on what GUI to use (as opposed to the 1-2 you can get with Vista), but choice is hardly a bad thing, especially when most distros have a default.


Yes, but too many choices can be fracturing. KDE/Gnome are nice, but I've yet to know someone who uses them exclusively on linux; every linux user i know uses the command line.

Now, if someone could create a gui analogy to the command line, that might be rather interesting.


The few people that aren't huge computer geeks who use Linux that I know don't use the command line. And most computer geeks I know who use Windows use the command line there. Hell, I can't use OS X without the command line.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby nyeguy » Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:06 pm UTC

biolution wrote:As for macs...my coworker's mac will crash once a day. Another friend has kernel panics ever other week. Just point of reference.

I have no idea what they are doing on their Mac then. I am fairly intensive on my computer, and I can't remember the last time I've had a crash. And I've never seen a kernel panic on Mac.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby zenten » Sun Oct 14, 2007 3:17 pm UTC

nyeguy wrote:
biolution wrote:As for macs...my coworker's mac will crash once a day. Another friend has kernel panics ever other week. Just point of reference.

I have no idea what they are doing on their Mac then. I am fairly intensive on my computer, and I can't remember the last time I've had a crash. And I've never seen a kernel panic on Mac.


I did, on the first or second version of OS X. Not since then though.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Hexadecimator » Sun Oct 14, 2007 5:50 pm UTC

No matter what they do, Google will not stand at the top forever. What did MS do to become the Evil Empire that Google has not yet done?

Someday, there will be huge public outcry every time Google fails to rank sites in the way certain people think they should be ranked. Google will grow into a large corporation. Nonconformists will be anrgy that they are using the same search engine as everyone else. People will be nervous of the fact that Google controls their lives. Lawsuits will be filed, claiming that Google is misusing its search monopoly to force users to use its other products.
Then someone will create a little, open source, customizable, regex-only search engine that seemingly outperforms Google. Computer (internet?) geeks will flee to it, citing the 'evil' of Google, and normal people will feel better knowing that their search engine is evil, even if they don't understand any of the alternatives.
Will Google lose any significant number of customers? Not really.
Will Google be 'evil'? Yes.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Macbi » Sun Oct 14, 2007 6:09 pm UTC

Hexadecimator wrote:Will Google be 'evil'? Yes.

I doubt it, Google's whole image dependes on them looking "good", besides their software tends to work so well it would be hard to beat it.
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Axman » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:09 pm UTC

biolution wrote:As a power user, linux is infinitely easier. Command line for the win (linux ui's are still lacking, and yes, i've used ubuntu)
As a normal user, windows is far far more intuitive. Gui for the win.


And Microsoft has learned from this and developed a full CMI and scripting language (MONAD). That works, which is important. The thing that Windows has the Linux will never, is the interests of its users. Linux is a server OS, it's where their money and developers come from, and where all their goals lie. Microsoft develops with users in mind, which is why it's the most popular OS. It's designed to be. And Microsoft's big nod to the server nature of Linux is clearly proven by their backing SUSE.

Of course, there is one flavor of *nix that has users in mind, and it is the second most popular OS (big surprise). OS X.

But back to the topic at hand:

Amicitia wrote:A new company will take their place if they fall out of favor, and so, it's in their Google's best interests to maintain their good image. Google is out for long-term profits, so I doubt they'd try to alienate their customers.[1]

I'm thinking that what they mean by not being evil is that Google should conform to the norms of a "good company." This might seem a truism, but people I've met often consider Google to be a moral entity.[2]


[1] Google is well beyond the point of relying on customers. Their actual goals are to renovate the power infrastructures of the world and streamline information systems of governmental proportions. They, like Microsoft, could stop developing for individuals for 50 years without adding a single new feather to their cap, just living and lobbying from their coffers. They're in the exclusive group of organizations that will last for centuries.

[2] Yeah, and that's a little weird, but I do it too. I think it's that, as a company, they work very hard at revealing the actual a group of people with needs and wants running things. I mean, people often strike the face off the companies they patronize; with Google, that's practically impossible, and so by contrast, their image is made, perhaps, more human than it is.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Axman » Sun Oct 14, 2007 10:13 pm UTC

Hexadecimator wrote:Someday, there will be huge public outcry every time Google fails to rank sites in the way certain people think they should be ranked. Google will grow into a large corporation. Nonconformists will be anrgy that they are using the same search engine as everyone else. People will be nervous of the fact that Google controls their lives. Lawsuits will be filed, claiming that Google is misusing its search monopoly to force users to use its other products.
Then someone will create a little, open source, customizable, regex-only search engine that seemingly outperforms Google. Computer (internet?) geeks will flee to it, citing the 'evil' of Google, and normal people will feel better knowing that their search engine is evil, even if they don't understand any of the alternatives.
Will Google lose any significant number of customers? Not really.
Will Google be 'evil'? Yes.


This argument is flawed because it's based on the notion that Google relies on its customers. They don't.

Then there's the whole 1984 bent, which if the Homeland Security Act proves anything, people are far too complacent to give a shit about who watches their backs.

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby zenten » Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:04 pm UTC

Hexadecimator wrote:No matter what they do, Google will not stand at the top forever. What did MS do to become the Evil Empire that Google has not yet done?

Someday, there will be huge public outcry every time Google fails to rank sites in the way certain people think they should be ranked. Google will grow into a large corporation. Nonconformists will be anrgy that they are using the same search engine as everyone else. People will be nervous of the fact that Google controls their lives. Lawsuits will be filed, claiming that Google is misusing its search monopoly to force users to use its other products.
Then someone will create a little, open source, customizable, regex-only search engine that seemingly outperforms Google. Computer (internet?) geeks will flee to it, citing the 'evil' of Google, and normal people will feel better knowing that their search engine is evil, even if they don't understand any of the alternatives.
Will Google lose any significant number of customers? Not really.
Will Google be 'evil'? Yes.


Microsoft got their top people by paying lots of money. Google got their top people by seeming really cool. If the developers don't like Google anymore, then they'll leave, and Google's ability to make good products will suffer, and be no better than what Microsoft puts out. Since their whole business model requires producing good products, instead of just suing/buying out/engaging in monopolistic practices against their competition, they won't be able to hang on. Unless they can shift their business model at the same time, but I don't see that being easy, and might not be possible to be done fast enough.

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biolution
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby biolution » Mon Oct 15, 2007 6:22 am UTC

nyeguy wrote:
biolution wrote:As for macs...my coworker's mac will crash once a day. Another friend has kernel panics ever other week. Just point of reference.

I have no idea what they are doing on their Mac then. I am fairly intensive on my computer, and I can't remember the last time I've had a crash. And I've never seen a kernel panic on Mac.

It was just standard developer stuff. Using eclipse, programming java, email, web browsing, none of it was very intensive. Just the other day his keyboard stopped worked. Just stopped. The whole system was fun minus the keyboard. Then it started working again (after an hour of frustration). The kernel panic my friend was having had to do with the wireless drivers, iirc.

Axman wrote:...linux vs windows and microsoft stuff...

tl;dr, I disagree with both your assumptions and your conclusions, but don't want to go OT.

Axman wrote:
Amicitia wrote:A new company will take their place if they fall out of favor, and so, it's in their Google's best interests to maintain their good image. Google is out for long-term profits, so I doubt they'd try to alienate their customers.[1]

I'm thinking that what they mean by not being evil is that Google should conform to the norms of a "good company." This might seem a truism, but people I've met often consider Google to be a moral entity.[2]


[1] Google is well beyond the point of relying on customers. Their actual goals are to renovate the power infrastructures of the world and streamline information systems of governmental proportions. They, like Microsoft, could stop developing for individuals for 50 years without adding a single new feather to their cap, just living and lobbying from their coffers. They're in the exclusive group of organizations that will last for centuries.

[2] Yeah, and that's a little weird, but I do it too. I think it's that, as a company, they work very hard at revealing the actual a group of people with needs and wants running things. I mean, people often strike the face off the companies they patronize; with Google, that's practically impossible, and so by contrast, their image is made, perhaps, more human than it is.


Well, google's real customers are its advertising clients, and it depends on them heavily, and the only reason those advertisers exist is because you and me click and use their products. I think both are equally important and that google can't stop relying on them. Its easy for me to switch to using yahoo search, the advertisers follow, and google is left with a bunch of products that, while people use them, don't have the power of a search advertisement (personally, i rarely noticed ads in anything but search contexts. I read email to read email, not notice ads. I search for "foo" to find information about foo, in which case ads can actually be useful).

Why do you say google appears more human? Doesn't every company have a blog and 'community outreach' program now? I also think it was microsoft that had a Plan 9 movie series (basically, a guy did short unedited videos of life at microsoft; it really pissed of PR and some execs, but the community loved it).

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Axman » Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:17 am UTC

biolution wrote:Well, google's real customers are its advertising clients, and it depends on them heavily, and the only reason those advertisers exist is because you and me click and use their products. I think both are equally important and that google can't stop relying on them. Its easy for me to switch to using yahoo search, the advertisers follow, and google is left with a bunch of products that, while people use them, don't have the power of a search advertisement (personally, i rarely noticed ads in anything but search contexts. I read email to read email, not notice ads. I search for "foo" to find information about foo, in which case ads can actually be useful).


Therein lies the misconception, that Google even has or needs customers. Google wants them because they like making easy money, and likes having a cheery public face, but they hold so much information and the ability to use that information that they could exist happily, probably forever, without any customers. The saved publicity and financial overhead alone would probably be enough relief.

The kind of money and informational wealth--completely off the scale of Fuck You Money--Google has may have shareholder strings attached, but it would be effortless for them to cut, endow a private brain trust, and pursue their ambitions and achieve whatever goals unfettered.

Google doesn't really care about Google Checkout, only PayPal does.

(As for Linux, I'll let Con Kolivas talk for me.)

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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Amicitia » Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:25 am UTC

Wait, are you saying supply is not a function of demand?
"OMIT NEEDLESS WORDS"

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Axman
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Re: Google Vs. Evil

Postby Axman » Mon Oct 15, 2007 8:37 am UTC

Sure, if we want to simplify it to that extent. Supply and demand are separate with mutually beneficial crossover.

Are you going to believe that macroeconomics are responsible for Doctors Without Borders, the Catholic Church, and Chairman Mao simply because demand for them was high?


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