Don’t Be Evil
I love Google, I’ll say that unhesitatingly and unambiguously. Without Google, I would have no Reader in which to read the 100s of blogs that I regularly follow, no Gmail to consolidate my half dozen regularly utilized email accounts, no picassa to host my thousands of travel photos, no programs to bring the entire world and sky into my very own home, or the translation software that makes my slow (but sure) learning of french possible. I would be permanently lost without Google maps, and their transit-friendly software has saved me hundreds of dollars that would have been otherwise spent on cabs. Not to mention the ubiquity and utility of its search function, which is synonymous with web searching.
Their “20%” time has brought us untold web innovations, all in the quest of giving their employees unparalleled freedom with their time. Their business benefits are the best in any industry, and if there was a spot for a civil engineer at Google, I’d fight tooth and nail for the opportunity . Hell, their corporate manifesto is even elegant: “Don’t be Evil”. They’ve single-handedly revolutionized the internet, and are the forbearers of the next generation of the web (namely, Google Wave). Most importantly, unlike most evil corporations, they are run by harmless, friendly and approachable nerds (Bill Gates being a very, very harmful nerd).
Some have accused Google of selling out to do buisness with China, which was true, to a certain extent. However, Google has begun to revise their policy on that Human-Rights ignoring cash cow, as the result of attacks targeted at Chinese free-speech advocates through the Google infrastructure. The company can no longer ignore its implicit role in the censorship of information through its all-reaching internet presence, and has decided to discontinue censoring its web results in China. Like its reaction to the utility and freedom of Twitter, they will most likely have to shut down Google in China or reform, and given Google’s importance in the modern day and age, this could be as harmful as destroying one’s factories or roadways. I welcome this step, because Google has stood up for freedom of information.
I believe in freedom of information. Ideas should have the ability to stand on their own, and there shouldn’t be a need to profit from this. I use Linux for this reason, because the Open-Source movement embraces these ideals. Google has made money (shit tons, to be sure) by making information (in this case, advertisements) available to people that would potentially be interested in it. It makes the most popular websites (and if you Google “Prose Encounters” , see what you get 😉 ) come to the top, and its guiding principle is “Don’t Be Evil”. The corporate world has much to learn: instead of closing down avenues by restricting people to proprietary stuff, Google encourages collaboration, sharing, and the transfer of knowledge.
And I, for one, Welcome our New Nerd Overlords. Google is the future, and we are in the hands of benevolent, joyful nerds from California.