Saturday, January 27, 2007

why I'll never be a businessman

Most vomitous:

Google's decision to censor its search engine in China was bad for the company, its founders admitted yesterday.

Google, launched in 1998 by two Stanford University dropouts, Sergey Brin and Larry Page, was accused of selling out and reneging on its "Don't be evil" motto when it launched in China in 2005. The company modified the version of its search engine in China to exclude controversial topics such as the Tiananmen Square massacre or the Falun Gong movement, provoking a backlash in its core western markets.

Asked whether he regretted the decision, Mr Brin admitted yesterday: "On a business level, that decision to censor... was a net negative."

A "net negative." You have to love such a sterile euphemism for "abetting oppression." I'm reminded of the late, great Ellen Ripley:

Bad call? These people are DEAD, Burke! Don't you have any idea what you've done here?! I'm going to make sure they nail you right to the wall for this. You're not going to sleaze your way out of this one. Right to the wall!

It is, of course, doubtful that Google's owners will be held accountable for acting like whores. In the Alan Dean Foster novelization of "Aliens," Burke (the corporate prole at whom Ripley shouts the above line) ends up being impregnated with an alien, but is given a grenade by Ripley as a final, grudging gesture of mercy on her part. He blows himself up with it. Would Google's masters have the strength to do themselves in should they find themselves in a Chinese jail?


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