Google’s False Confessions

Inside the company’s daring plan to control the news

The greatest trick that Google Corporation ever pulled, was to convince the world it didn’t exist. Although its shareholders know it as a profitable advertising brokerage, the majority of Internet users believe it to be nothing more than a benevolent purveyor of web search, email, and other free online services.

Google is a fierce and formidable competitor. Its network of websites is the Internet’s single most popular destination; it processes more search queries than all its competitors combined, including stalwarts Microsoft and Yahoo; its annual revenues and profits are measured in billions. Through all its successful expansions, Google has worked to maintain an image of simplicity and altruism.

Google’s bungled launch of their Buzz platform illustrated the pervasiveness, and the deceptive nature of this public image. Continue reading Google’s False Confessions

Bearish on the Blogosphere: A 2009 Forecast

In last Tuesday’s presidential debates, moderator Tom Brokaw asked the candidates a difficult question: will the economy get worse before it gets better? Arguably, it is the President’s job to inspire confidence in our financial system, not to deliver candid investment advice. Unfortunately, such cheerleading amounts to a tax on the credulous buy-and-hold investor, favoring those who better understand the political game.

As I skimmed Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere 2008 report yesterday, I was reminded of McCain and Obama’s earlier performances. Technorati’s investigation reveals that bloggers are “savvy and sophisticated,” and their daily output is “integral to the media ecosystem.”

Technorati, in case you didn’t know, is a blog aggregation service, whose business is built upon the free content we bloggers create. Like our presidential candidates, it is not necessarily in Technorati’s best interest to provide a frank assessment of our future. So let me provide my own frank assessment. Continue reading Bearish on the Blogosphere: A 2009 Forecast

Sarah Palin, Spirituality and Forbidden Knowledge

Can we talk about spirituality?

I do not refer to a politely equivocating spirituality, to the New Age patter so heartily embraced in the Pacific Northwest and elsewhere. No, I refer to a spirituality with sharp edges, one loathed by the pious and atheists alike. It is egalitarian, scientific, demonstrable and falsifiable—in other words, it is dangerous. Fundamentalists on all sides would prefer it did not exist.

Please take note: I am not asking you to believe this. Let’s just talk about it for a moment.

At a sufficiently high level, martial arts and spirituality are entwined. At the same time, spirituality is clearly a religious issue, and religion is a political issue. So…can we talk about politics too? Continue reading Sarah Palin, Spirituality and Forbidden Knowledge