The Google video of 2016: Guardian values and Pharisees

Sergei Brin, cofounder of Google

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRf9UxsM-NE

https://youtu.be/FRf9UxsM-NE

(Paranoid note: every other video I have loaded appears in full, but Google’s video of its own meeting appears only as a hyperlink).

 

 

“I certainly find this election deeply offensive” said Sergei Brin, co-founder of Google. “So many people don’t share the values we have”.

And it goes from there. Fear. Everyone is supposed to feel fear at the prospect of the Trump regime. Minorities are in danger and need to be stood up for. Women likewise. Liberal values are to be stood up for. Yet the same corporation endlessly touting its values fired James Damore in August 2017 for politely protesting the corporation’s bias towards preferential hiring of  women.

I have had experience with Google employees at several levels of seniority over the years, and I feel quite certain that the vast majority are leftist Democrats, which is not surprizing considering the San Francisco Bay area culture. But what bugs me – as the movie reveals – is the enormous self-vaunting, the endless prattling on about their “values”. This is a company whose core business is to sell advertizing. It guts previous business models and replaces them with its own. This is normal creative destruction, in the manner that Schumpeter spoke of. However painful, this is the stuff of economic progress. And talk to former newspaper people if you want to know what Google has wrought.

When the Vice President says that “this is a place where you can bring your whole self to work”, clearly she does not include conservatives (min 16:30)

“We all talk a lot about what it means to be Googley”, said CFO Ruth Porat. The endless blather about tolerance, respect and diversity grates when one compares it to the outrageous and actual treatment of Damore. More, the tone of the film is that the poor people of Google have endured something like the 1940 Blitz of London, or having been unhoused by a hurricane, and that they need reassurance and a group hug, and assurance tot the 10,000 or so working on visa that their visas will remain valid.

Values, values, values: it is irritating and faintly nauseating.

A few years ago the late Jane Jacobs published a marvellous concise book called Systems of Survival. It dealt with the differences in morality between what she called Guardian institutions – the church, the regiment, the academy – and commercial institutions.

If you hand a suitcase of cash to a businessman, that is right and proper, because you are exchanging cash for a private benefit. If you hand a suitcase of cash to a public official, that is a crime of corruption. Why? Her book seeks to answer the question. She also said that corruption occurs when a commercial corporation adopts Guardian values. Thus, the old telephone monopolies constantly appealed to their status as institutions serving the public, and they had a genuine public service ethos. They could afford the attitude because they were monopolies.

Google has Guardian values, but instead of public service being its goal, that is, actually doing something for the general public, it constantly propagandizes its membership/employees with the notion that it stands for superior values: tolerance, inclusion, and diversity being the modern conception of virtue. It thus succeeds in being smug, intolerant, exclusive, and as proud of itself as the Roman Church of centuries past.

Is Google morally bankrupt? Is that not too harsh? It all depends on whether you pay attention to anything Jesus said about Pharisees, about words without deeds. It is not what we put into our mouths that defiles us, but by what comes out of our mouths that defiles us.

In the case of Google I am prepared to argue that the company needs all the self-vaunting talk of values to disguise from itself and its staff that its real business is centralizing the control of information. In short, an illiberal idea being carried out by liberals prattling on about their superior values.

 

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Here is Joe Rogan talking to James Damore, and you will find out all you need to know about Google’s values:

 

 

 

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Gerry

Finally reading Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” (after reading most of his other philosophical works) and was reminded of his point that progressives of either wing will use illiberal means to obtain their desired ends. From Bush’s oxymoron “I have to violate capitalism to save it” to the left’s notion of tolerance as intolerance of all but approved speech it is all the same freedom killing thinking and action. Jane Jacob’s analysis is brilliant and a reminder that phrases like “the public good” are often used to cover actions taken which fundamentally are not good for the public. Google being the current manifestation. And you can always tell them by their inclination to purge those considered heretics.

Barry Thompson

The creepiest thing I saw was that it was simply assumed that E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E in the auditorium at Google felt the same way about the election results. And they did! Second, the relations of work are incredibly emotionally supportive, like a congregation of family members, not like a conventional work organization. These employees don’t have to worry, whatever Trump, does, Google will protect them. You can see it being announced in the meeting. Third, these people, whatever their titles, have no participation in decision-making, they simply have decisions announced to them. It seems very centralized. And fourth, the CEO seems to be using Google to monitor the attitudes of sections of the population in real time. The data is diced and tabulated for this purpose! They seem to feel that they can change these attitudes, and that they’re entitled to.

Dalwhinnie

It confirms my observation that Google is not acting as a commercial organization. So great is its revenue stream, and so insulated is it from competition, it has become infused with Guardian values. Notice how it is always talking about “values” rather than profits. Its main job seems to be to destroy other business models and replace them with something Google has invented, while the advertizing revenue keeps flowing.

Dalwhinnie

Google is not behaving as a commercial organization would. That is the impression gained by Scott Johnson as he writes in City Journal.
https://www.city-journal.org/google-tgif-employee-meeting-16175.html?utm_source=City+Journal+Update&utm_campaign=cfb5dbcfef-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_09_18_11_45&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_6c08930f2b-cfb5dbcfef-109347385
“Watching the video, though, one would think that Google’s business is politics, or that its business adheres to the quasi-religion of progressive liberalism. It’s hard to keep in mind while watching that what one is seeing is a regularly scheduled employee meeting of a high-tech company, in part because Google management glows with such enlightened self-regard. Google executives draw few distinctions between their company’s business and progressive politics—though they see these values as being self-evident. As the company’s “vice president of people operations,” Eileen Naughton, explains, “the values that are held dear in this company transcend politics because we’re going to constantly fight to preserve them.” “

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