The Jedi Return: Page and Brin Address Those Perceived to Be Really Smart

June 11, 2019

I read “Elusive Google Co-Founders Make Rare Appearance at Town Hall Meeting.” What these fine innovators do is not likely to become a talking point in Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky. I did note this passage in the write up:

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have long been the stars of the search giant’s weekly “TGIF” town hall meetings. But for the past six months, the pair had been no-shows, an absence that coincided with Google controversies over antitrust concerns, work in China and military contracts.

Interesting but what happened to the discrimination and sexual harassment dust ups? I assume that certain management flubs are more important than others. It is clear that the researcher working on this CNet article did not come across information about a certain liaison which triggered a divorce and an attempted suicide. And what about the Googler, the yacht, the alleged female of ill repute, and a drug overdose? Obviously fake, irrelevant, or long-forgotten items I assume.

I also noted this passage:

The disappearing act drew criticism from those who see Page’s and Brin’s absence as dodging accountability during the most tumultuous period in the company’s 20-year history.

What’s that reminder about correlation and causation? Probably the six month hiatus is a refine of the firm’s management techniques. Are there antecedents? What about restructuring to Alphabet to provide more insulation in the Googleplex from the heat of certain investigations? What about the “Gee, we’re not really working on a China centric search system”?

How about this statement from the article?

But as Google’s issues mount, the company’s co-founders have faded into the background.

There’s even a reference to the YouTube clown car.

Most recently, Google-owned YouTube drew blowback last week after the service refused to take down the channel of Steven Crowder, a conservative comedian who hurled homophobic slurs at Carlos Maza, a Vox journalist and video host who is gay.

And the discrimination and retribution approach to human resources warranted a comment:

One of the questions during the Q&A portion of the May 30 TGIF concerned alleged retaliation from management against employees, according to a partial transcript viewed by CNET. The question was about the departure of Claire Stapleton, a Google walkout organizer who said she was unfairly targeted because of her role in the protest. Stapleton announced her resignation in a blog post Friday. The questioner asked if “outside objectivity” could be added to HR investigations.

The write up is interesting, but there are aspects of the Google matter which warrant amplification, if not by the real new outfit CNet, then some other entity, perhaps former MBA adjunct professors embracing the gig economy of the MBA implosion?

What the write up makes clear but does not explain is the unwillingness of the Google to be forthright about what it has done, when it began to implement certain interesting monetization procedures, and how it decided upon certain management processes to deflect criticism and understanding of the firm’s Titanic algorithms.

The CNet write up is interesting, not for what it reveals, but for its omissions. Today that’s real news.

Stephen E Arnold, June 11, 2019


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