Alexander Bard on Mon, 12 May 2014 10:37:06 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> tensions within the bay area elites

Dear Geert & Co

Just to add to the complexity of the picture, Google is a rather
decentralized mess - every googler I meet works on his/her own separate pet
project - so far unable as a whole to take a stand with its billion of
users against govenrments and large corporations, or for that matter switch
to the other "evil side" either as Microsoft, Apple and other older actors
of the Bay Area have done before them.

Three points of hope though:

-The Snowden scandal was met not just with anger within Google but also
with steadfast pragmatism. The comments I heard frmo the inside all
concerned "war is a matter of resources" California/Confucian style,
exposing the fact that the only employer in the U.S. employing more
top-rate mathematicians than Google itself is - tada - the NSA! So Google
regard the war as a matter of who has the most resources will eventually
win. Here of course with Google being aware that "we the people" will
eventually opt out of Google if a more secure alternative far from the NSA
eventually pops up (I assume Darknet, Bitcoin, Silk Road style but for
communication and easy to use etc). Google does not have any enemy
businesswise now, the next decade likely to be their golden age (Android
and You Tube being enormous power generators). Their threat is definitely
from the future and they are aware of it.

- Eric Schmidt's book with Jared Cohen is a piece of horrible carp and so
far I have not met a single Google insider who did not agree. Schmidt seems
to be the borrowed stupidface to keep Washington happy about Google
whereabouts but carries none or little cred within the Google hydra itself.
He is an outsider and a pretentious and narcissitic one too. Judging from
the book he is also a complete idiot and a puppet for someone. The book is
that bad. Schmidt is definitely not Google.

- Brin and Page are still young enough to be driven by their personal
ambition to have fun and live the Californian dream (Burning Man every
year, etc). They do listen and are not so much evil as naive when leaving
their algorithm-driven comfort zone. But then again, Google is already what
Foucault would refer to as an institution driven by the credo of endless
self-expansion and of ciurse fed by senseless ad profits. And therefore a
lot more dangerous for its naivety than for its evil. Drones, batteries,
will they get involved with commercial cannabis next? The odds are really
low. Apple are after Tesla (for the battery technology more than the cars I
assume), Google will keep purchasing Star Trek dreamery.

Google or Facebook? Google anytime. But with Schmidt in the midst of a
bunch of fun-seeking hippies, the world desperately needs alternatives to a
company that controls 80% of search outside China and 90% of smartphone
data traffic (including China) worldwide. And has not been able to escape
the long arms of the NSA. Its their naivety towards all this concentrated
power which scares the shit out of me.

Brotherly love
Alexander Bard

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