The state of Google
Google started out as two grad students in a garage with an algorithm and a dream. Their idealistic, “don’t be evil” strapline — not quite the same as “do the right thing” — underscored a corporate moralism akin to ideology. Google wouldn’t just be another mainframe money-grubbing machine accumulating power without responsibility. They would avoid predatory capitalism and occasionally act for the common weal. Google has become a multifaceted corporation and somewhere down the line, it transitioned from a company into an information state.
By 2006, Google had hung out its corporate shingle in China, a place of vast economic promise; also the place where techno-utopians go to die. When China isn’t busy strip-mining Western technology, it is even busier stacking the deck in favour of the local competition. That Google didn’t realise this going in is shocking. And that Google actually thought technology, specifically its technology, would somehow benefit democratic development in China is even more shocking. There has never been a quantifiable causal nexus between economic and political development in the PRC. And technology is not an instrument of enlightenment in that country. It’s an organ of control.
A series of high-level hires from the Council on Foreign Relations, Harvard and the US state
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