What To Do About Larry

sergey-larry

Should Google Tweak the News? asks the New York Times.

Count me Horrified. Can the Times retract the question?

“Should Google play an editorial role in presenting readers with news?”

That question was a matter of debate at Zeitgeist, a Google conference this week in Paradise Valley, Ariz., where Larry Page, Google’s co-founder and chief executive, said that Google had a responsibility to improve media.

The question came up when Ted Koppel, the longtime broadcast journalist, complained that too much news was drivel.

Yea, Ted.

“I see this as our responsibility to some extent, trying to improve media,” Mr. Page said. “… we have a responsibility to … get people focused on what are the real issues, what should you be thinking about.”

Larry Page? The guy who invented, along with his college pal Sergey, BackRub, which became Google?  And one used to feel so good about Google. The insanity seemed to begin—or if not begin, to be officially blessed—when Larry became CEO. Is this not a mistake? Is a however-brilliant engineer the same as a CEO? Qualified in the tiniest?

Or perhaps he has come to think of himself as Having Anything To Say, and Google as a force to shape us—the bloated ego never fails to amaze me. The past two years or so has seen Google search results so clogged with ads-as-pages, quasi-web pages. Although all that so called “content,”  faux blog posts that make the teeth ache. As does any complete and total nonsense. Get the fuck out of my way, I’m looking for something.

Okay, often I’m looking for an item to buy, the sort of search that starts spammers drooling. But what poor souls, what non-native English speakers click on not only the links on those junk pages, but while we’re at it, on Google text ads.  Do you even see Google ads anymore, or are they just blots of busyness fucking up the page layout? Raise your hand.

I don’t care who Google hires, in this new drive for—importance? Hipness? Social? Google is stuck in ugly. This is not news, any more than is Larry’s fatuousness. What’s amazing is that people who should know better—well, that isn’t news either, everyone bows to money. Nowadays.

Not so long ago, there were forms of power that couldn’t be calculated in hits, or page rank. It’s important to remember that it’s the tools that have gone rotten, and the way people think. Money corrupts—and has, as long as we participate in that thinking, corrupted us.

 

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See No Evil

Our Larry Who Art In Heaven

Doc Searls: This has turned Google, a private company with no accountability to any constituency, into a negotiating partner of national governments whose laws or policies do not reflect or respect the ethical stance claimed in Google’s own slogan. Thus, Google now functions on a diplomatic level

Ghastly thought. Not sure I want two grad students with a big plane …

… with the ability and clout to forge country-by-country compromises affecting internet activity and the free flow of information and opinion. Continue reading “See No Evil”

We Could Blog, But What’s The Point

“Connecting PageRank to economic systems corrupted the meaning of links”

I finally remembered what got my Evil Google dander up in the first place. Though I know why I put it out of mind, until I did post on the subject, in my usual roundabout manner. The unconscious slowly working its way from snark-rage (nothing personal, Seth) back to sorrow. The deep, genuine sorrow of loss. Loss being a hard and bitter truth about life. Life is, in our lived experience, not a series of gains but of losses. That river. It flows only one way.

Alright, depending on your point of view, but get that relativity out of your head, I am making a point here. Continue reading “We Could Blog, But What’s The Point”

Before Everything Solid Melts

Every island of life that exists without a profit motive …

Seth Grodin talks about blogs: ” … the point is to start a conversation that spreads, to share ideas and to chronicle your thinking. That’s the work of an author, and I think rather than kissing author blogs goodbye, someone should just start a new list.”

When business discovered blogging, something of great value that existed just fine on its own was abruptly torn asunder … with the click-tracking aid of our Master Google. When Google’s wondrous graduate-student algorithms turned to links into currency, a world was lost forever.

Every island of life that exists without a profit motive is part of the precious, disappearing archipelago on which humans freely belong upon this earth. Continue reading “Before Everything Solid Melts”