Sunday, December 7, 2008

Thus Spake Larry and Sergey

In my youth, I read a lot of Nietzsche and I thought we would be beyond good and evil by now.

Tonight, I tuned in to the middle of a radio program which featured a debate among several professors and other well-known people on the proposition that, despite its motto, Google has done evil on several occasions.

A survey, taken before the show, showed that most people in the audience didn't care about this, one way or the other.

One guy, against the proposition and for Google, said Google did good when it came out with its motto and got everybody thinking about being good. Good point.

But Esther Dyson, also against the proposition, and arguably the smartest person in the room, gave the best brief in Google's defense. She said Google does good by providing people with services they want, and it does good by increasing the flow of information everywhere, making it tough on tyrants.

Those for the proposition were pitiful and shrill. Militant idealists. They said that good is good and evil is evil and black is black and there's no room for Mr. In-Between. Google, in their estimation, was evil when it acquiesced in keeping Chinese people from seeing YouTube, and there's no chance for redemption. Censorship is evil, Google did it, and that was good enough for them.

Well, censorship is not evil. It's unconstitutional, and then only if the Government does it.

Google's a corporation and it's run by a couple of guys who knew exactly what they were saying, but probably didn't realize how it would be taken. You can throw it in the same bucket with John Lennon's comparison of the Beatles to "Jesus Christ as a person or God as a thing..."

Of course, Lennon was evil.

No comments: