“I am extremely touched by humanity, I am not so fond of humans.”
Sean Penn

What if Google did nothing wrong?


Dave Winer pitched in to the recent wave of negative buzz on Google’s recently launched “Buzz”. I have stopped visiting most tech-blogs, but I have great respect for Dave so I do occasionally visit & read his blog. This time I also participated in the comment thread – and I was quickly asked, in a surprisingly unpleasant manner, to go away because I was writing off-topic. I found myself facing a choice – either to insist on pursuing my point and demonstrating it’s relevancy or to respect Dave’s wishes and walk-away. I  chose to respect Dave’s wishes and that choice continued to resonate within me into this post. Choosing respect. Respect Google

  • What if Google has some really smart people working on Buzz?
  • What if some of those people realized there would be consequences for their choices (including privacy infringement)?
  • What if Google’s team came to the conclusion that the overall benefits of Buzz outweighed it’s potential less-popular consequences?
  • What if Google’s team believes that privacy is not a strategic issue – that the future of the Web is about divulging personal information in return for a personalized experience?
  • What if Google’s team is actively pursuing that strategy and laying down an infrastructure to realize it?
  • What if Google’s team is exceedingly tech-centric, powerful and driven?
  • What if Google’s team isn’t naturally geared to respecting people ,their freedom’s and their privacy?
  • What if Google’s moral charter “Do no evil” leaves to much wriggle room to highlight & force them into tight moral corners?
  • What if Google is simply doing what it does best?
  • What if Google did nothing wrong?

Respect People

  • What if every one of us know what’s best?
  • What if we are gradually becoming more driven, caring about and in pursuit of personal freedom – for ourselves and others?
  • What if we actually developed some really advanced ideas such as capitalism and democracy in an attempt to achieve personal freedom?
  • What if we are beginning to realize that some of those very ideas compromise personal freedom?
  • What if we are beginning to realize that some core ideas (like capitalism & democracy) that shape our lives are actually outdated and that they may need to evolve or be replaced by newer and better ideas?
  • What if we don’t know how to move forward?
  • What if many of our current efforts are an exploration into unknown territories?
  • What if we do recognize that some, if not most, of our explorations will fail and only a rare few will be sustained for longer and carry us forward?
  • What if, in this process of discovery, we encounter false-truths that take time to unveil and set aside?
  • What if those false-truths are there to temper our progress?
  • What if some of those false-truths have caused us to lose touch with a notion of personal freedom – to a point that we give it away in exchange for small comforts?
  • What if realizing this is  away for us to reclaim appreciation of personal freedoms?
  • What if we were able to appreciate that resistance & enmity is an indication that we have changed and are aspiring to share that with others?
  • What if we were able to transform enmity into respect?
  • What if we were to recognize that personal freedom is a heavier burden when others don’t carry it for you and you are required to carry it on your own?

Respect Journalism

  • Sorry journalists and journalism – I did not find motivation or energy to explore your place in my life…

In reading Dave’s article I encountered:

  • Dave’s personal views – which I consider to be evolved, aware & passionate.
  • Resentment (which I share) towards Google
  • Resentment (which I don’t share) towards journalism (which hasn’t been a part of my life for years)
  • Misplaced blame (in my life – I find that if I follow blame far enough I will arrive back at myself… and I tend to point that out to others when they place blame)
  • An unpleasant dismissal
  • A rich reading and contemplating experience
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