When the Google Dream Died

Sunday, October 14, 2018
By Paul Martin

The confrontation between Google and Trump encapsulates the clash between the national and the multi-national, workers in red states and elites in blue cities, tradition and technocracy, the individual and the machine. The struggle will decide whether the future belongs to the individual or to Google.

DANIEL GREENFIELD
FREEDOMOUTPOST.COM
OCTOBER 14, 2018

Google is throwing itself a hell of a 20th birthday party. And everyone is bringing the gifts.

While the dot com giant puts up celebratory doodles and shows off its original garage headquarters, Attorney General Sessions had already convened 14 state attorney generals to discuss censorship, privacy issues and antitrust issues involving, among other tech monopolies, the cutesy corporation.

Few meetings between Sessions and AGs well to the left, like California’s Xavier Becerra, would have gone as well as this, but big tech monopolies were already controversial on the left, now they’re also being unfriended by Republicans. There’s a growing consensus that they’re just too big and powerful.

Google’s August search market share in America stood at 84%. That means it defines the internet.

Its secretive algorithms determine what people see when they search. It can unilaterally redefine an issue, such as when it shifted the search results for “Jihad” away from counterterrorist sites to favor Islamist and pro-Islamist media sites. It shapes how political leaders, including President Trump, are seen, and manufactures an ongoing consensus by simply choosing one set of results over another.

(During the election, its search engine provided more positive results for Democrats than Republicans.)

And then there are the constant privacy scandals.

Even as Google is trying to celebrate its anniversary, it’s under fire for automatically signing Gmail users into its Chrome browser (which is a key link in its chain of monopolies meant to lock users into its search engine). After the outcry, Google, as usual, offered a partial retreat.

The scandal is fairly typical of Google which runs on privacy violations and monopolistic abuses. Before Google was rigging search results for political reasons, it was rigging them to favor its products. Search for “mail” and the first result won’t be the post office, it won’t even be mail.com which actually predated Google by a few years, it will be Google’s own Gmail. And that’s how it always works.

Google searches drive users to Google products. And Google products drive users to Google Search.

Its monopolistic vision of the future is of an Internet of Things, a smart home run on Google with eternally watchful smart speakers in every room of your house, processing your questions through Google, and sending every conversation in your house back along its servers to be analyzed by machine learning to better target you with ads on your smart fridge. And then it really will be Google’s world.

Or Amazon’s world.

America’s political and cultural elites already live in one world or the other. But despite the wide range of both companies, many Americans are unhappy with the power and control they wield over their lives.

And so the utopia in which Google is your home, your car, your clothes, your entertainment and your life, may never arrive. The company has more power, but also more enemies, than ever before.

Even as Google aspires to run the world, investing in a variety of moonshot businesses, from self-driving cars (Waymo) to delivering internet by balloon (Loon) through Alphabet, its mothership company, its core business, search, that delivers most of its revenue through ads, is stagnating. While Google dreams of answering your questions before you ask them using machine learning and voice search, it’s doing a terrible job of answering them when you do ask of them. Like all monopolies, its product is mediocre.

Google Search was retuned for mobile search by making every search trending. Search for “Supreme Court”, and Google will deluge you with Kavanaugh hysteria and assorted lefty media background pieces delegitimizing a “Republican” Supreme Court from FDR’s day to modern times.

This isn’t just a monopolistic abuse of power for purely partisan purposes; it’s also a poor product.

The Rest…HERE

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