Google: Is Technical Erosion Taking Place?

October 17, 2018

Two interesting reports caught my attention.

The first concerns the access problems experienced on October 16, 2018, with YouTube and YouTube Music. The details appear in “Back online. It’s Not Just You, YouTube and Other Google Services Are Down.” The write up states:

According to downtime tracker DownDetector, most people who are seeing the YouTube outage are in eastern and western United States and the UK. The site is seeing a very notable spike in reports of the web’s most popular video hosting site being down. Readers as far spread as Canada, India, Australia and Brazil are also reporting being affected.

Google’s infrastructure is large, complex, and subject to anomalies. Google was on top of the problem. The write up reports that Google dispatched “a team of highly trained monkeys” to rectify the glitch. Understandable, but YouTube is an ad revenue machine. The outage may have had an impact on Google Play, the pay-to-use-it service which will be available in the European Union soon. A YouTube outage is difficult to ignore even for monkeys. Did a monkey cause the problem or was it an annoying human user or a bad actor?

The second issue is related to Google’s self driving automobiles. “Google Engineer Triggered Self-Driving Car Accident That Went Unreported” asserts:

Google never publicly reported multiple autonomous vehicle crashes.

Let’s assume that the statement is accurate. The notion of a “failure to report” echoes the information in “Alphabet in the Soup for Keeping Quiet about Google Plus Data Leak Bug.” The article says:

Alphabet also failed to make investors aware that the company’s security measures “had failed recently and massively”; that they had been breached “due to employee error, malfeasance, system errors or vulnerabilities”; and that security protections had not shielded personal user data.

Google’s technology is quite good. Maybe there is no deterioration. What seems to be surfacing are examples of management decisions which are situational. I will pass these articles to the Beyond Search team compiling data about high school science club management methods.

Glitches and judgment could become the metaphorical equivalent of peanut butter and jelly, ham and eggs, or pressure and cracking in Inconel tubes.

Stephen E Arnold, October 17, 2018

Google and Its Smart Software: Stupid?

October 16, 2018

I received an email from the owner of a Web site focused on providing consumers with automobile information. The individual shared with me an email sent to his company by the Google smart entity “”.

The letter was an AdSense Publisher Policy Violation Report. In short, Google’s smart software spotted an offensive article. The Google document said:

  • New violations were detected. As a result, ad serving has been restricted or disabled on pages where these violations of the AdSense Program Policies were found. To resolve the issues, you can either remove the violating content and request a review, or remove the ad code from the violating pages.

Translating the Google speak: “You are showing ads on a page which contains pornography, contraband, hate speech, etc. Make this right, or no AdSense money for you.”

Okay, I was intrigued. How can information about cars be about porn, contraband, hate speech, etc.

The offensive item, my colleagues and I determined, was a review of a 2004 Saab 9-3 Arc Convertible, published about 14 years ago. The offense was that the review contained words of a sexual nature.

2004 saab label

Does this vehicle and the height of its truck or boot offend you? If it does, you are not Googley.

I read the review and noted that the author of the review does indeed focus on an automobile. The problem is that the review is a long tail news story. That means that old content rarely gets clicks. So what’s Google doing? Processing historical data in order to locate porn, contraband, and hate speech? Must be. This suggests that the company is playing catch up. I thought Google was on top of offensive content and had been for more than a decade. Google forbidden word lists have been kicking around for years.

Image result for saab 2004 convertible rear seat

I find this extremely suggestive? Perhaps that is why the reviewer described the tiny rear seating area as needful of a way to “ease rear seat access.” I am not sure my French bulldog would fit in the back seat of this Saab nor could he engage in hanky panky.

I noted that the Saab convertible has a “high rear.” Looking at the picture, it looks as if the mechanical engineers did increase the height of the trunk or boot in order to accommodate the folding hard top for this model Saab. I am not sure if I would have thought the phrase “high rear” was sexual because I was reading about how the solid convertible top had been accommodated by the engineering team. Who reads about trunk lids or boots as a sexual reference.

But wait. There’s more lingo about the car described about 14 years ago. Check out this passage:

While the convertible’s interior is similar to the sedan’s, with a semi-wraparound cockpit- style instrument panel, it has unique and very comfortable front seats, with the shoulder straps anchored to the seat frame to ease rear-seat access.

Can you spot offensive language. Well, there’s the cockpit, which I assume could be interpreted in a way different from where the driver sits to drive the vehicle. Then there is “rear seat access.” My goodness. That is offensive. Imagine buying a convertible in which a person could sit in the back seat. Obviously “rear seat” is a trigger phrase. When combined with “cockpit,” the Google smart software becomes. What is the word. Oh, right. Stupid.

Let’s step back. Some observations:

  • Google positions itself as having a whiz bang system for preventing offensive  content from reaching its “customers.” I must say that the system seems to be doing a less than brilliant job. (See. I did not use the word stupid again.) In my DarkCyber video news program for October 23, 2018, I point out that YouTube offers videos which explain to teens how to buy drugs on the Dark Web. The smart filters, I assume, think these vids are A Okay.
  • At the same time Google’s smart software is deciding that car reviews are filthy and offensive, the company is telling elected officials it does not know what it will do about its possible China search system. But today I noted “Sundar Pichai Spoke about Google’s China Plans for the First Time and It Doesn’t Look Like He’s Backing Down.” So Google is thinking more about assisting a government with its censorship effort when it cannot figure out that a car review is not pornographic? Stupid is not the word. Maybe mendacious?
  • The company seems to be expending resources to reprocess content which it had already identified, copied, parsed, and indexed. This Saab story was indexed and available 14 years ago. I wonder if Google realized that its index and Web archives are digital time bombs. Could the content become evidence in the event Google was subjected to a thorough investigation by European or US regulators? House cleaning before visitors arrive? Interesting because the smart software may be tweaked to be overzealous, not stupid at all.

Our view from Harrod’s Creek is simple. We think Google is a smart company. These minor, trivial, inconsequential filter failures are anomalies. In fact, the offensive auto reviews must go. What else must go? Another interesting question.

Google is great. Very intelligent.

I suppose one could pop the boot in the high rear and go for some rear seat access. I think there is a vernacular bound phrase for this sentiment.

Stephen E Arnold, October 16, 2018

HSSCM: Organizing for Success in Google Plus

October 16, 2018

I continue to collect examples of high school science club management methods. My thought is to extract the “principles” of this approach. With MBA programs looking at a decline in student enrollments, perhaps these ideas will spark some new thinking at these august institutions.

The source of this example is the write up “Now That Google+ Has Been Shuttered, I Should Air My Dirty Laundry on How Awful the Project and Exec Team Was.” The author worked at Google for eight months, if LinkedIn contains accurte information. These observations date from the period in 2011 and 2012. I pegged the Golden Era of Google as ending in 2006, so these observations come as Google’s trajectory to the “new and improved era” indicate the direction of movement at the online ad company.

I highlighted a handful of items from the essay, which I have edited to remove the language which might be offensive to some of the more educated residents of Harrod’s Creek, Kentucky:

Statement 1: “I’m still #%*/! about the bait and switch they pulled by telling me I’d be working on Chrome, then putting me on this god forsaken piece of #%*/! on day one.

Beyond Search goose observation: Ah, has. Get hired. Get assigned. Then condemned to prowling the Google internal comms system for teams you might want to join. In short, bait and switch or—more likely—disorganization within the Google personnel hobby shop.

Statement 2: The [Google interview] process felt very haphazard.

Beyond Search goose observation: Ah, disorganization. The implementation of “we’re so smart, whatever we do will work out”. High school science club members are quite confident their ideas are better than those generated by the doobies on the student council.

Statement 3: The CEO didn’t just have an office. The entire floor was his [the person with the four corner office is Larry Page, the flying car entrepreneur].

Beyond Search goose observation: One needs room in which to operate, to fly new ideas like Loon balloons and cars which take wing. HSSCM principle: Get the biggest: Company, money, online ad system, etc. The wrestling team can occupy a squalid corner of the locker room. That’s the area with splintered benches, bent lockers, and slime on the green and yellow tile.

Statement 4: During the 8 months I was there, culminating in me leading the redesign of his product, Vic [Gundotra, the former head of Google Plus and once a Microsoft wizard] didn’t say a word to me.

Beyond Search goose observation: Communication is for goofs. If you are Googley, you know what’s what. Don’t get it? Become a Xoogler or work on scripts for updating indexes in the building near the lawyers. HSSCC principle: Telepathy is a functional way to coordinate work.

Statement 5: If your team, say on Gmail or Android, was to integrate Google Plus’s features then your team would be awarded a 1.5-3x multiplier on top of your yearly bonus. Your bonus was already something like 15% of your salary. You read that correctly. A #%*/! ton of money to ruin the product you were building with bloated garbage that no one wanted.

Beyond Search goose observation: In the handbook of HSSCM, it is not necessary to obtain information from potential user and actual users of an online service. The idea is to make decisions motivated by compensation. Combine this with the Microsoft method of soliciting feedback and then ignoring, and the HSSCC approach ensures a certain distance between what’s created and what users actually want. I don’t want to go “William James” on you, gentle reader, but this type of disconnection is important to effective HSSCC methodology.

Statement 6:

Everything being produced felt disjointed or siloed. Not part of the whole. The M.O.[modus operandi, a Latin phrase in case you did not recognized the acronym] was build and copy as much #%*/! as possible.

Beyond Search goose observation: HSSCM principle: If an employee does not understand the objective, the employee is not Googley. Obviously the failure to tune into the correct wavelength proves the inferiority of the humanoid.

Statement 7: None of this stuff was tightly integrated. More of a layer on top of everything. I wanted to change that. This was Plus when I joined. Lots of sections. Lots of junk. Bad navigation.

Beyond Search goose observation: Notice the duplication. In the HSSCC approach, everyone can do his or her own thing. (Yep, even my science club in 1958 had a female member. She changed schools, probably because of the general behavior of the advanced class toward those in “regular” classes. Welcoming is not a word associated with HSSCM methods. Operative concept: Wrappers, fixes, and good enough plus telepathy. Excellent guidelines.

Statement 8: They [fellow Googlers] didn’t care about what was better.

Beyond Search goose observation: HSSCC management does not require excellence. Membership means recognition. Stomp on others in the club so you get the recognition. Cue the theme music from Fame. Excellence? When one is a Googler, that’s like water to a fish. Ergo: Kill the other fish. Get the water.

Onward to management effectiveness.

Stephen E Arnold, October 16, 2018

Google and IBM: Me Too Marketing or a Coincidence?

October 15, 2018

I noted this article: “Google AI Researchers Find Strange New Reason to Play Jeopardy.” What caught my attention was the introduction of the TV game show which featured IBM Watson stomping mere humans in a competition. I dismissed the human versus machine as a Madison Avenue ad confection. IBM wanted to convince the folks in West Virginia and rural Kentucky that Watson smart software was bigger than college basketball.

I think it worked. It allowed me to crank out write ups poking fun at the cognitive computing assertion, the IBM billion dollar revenue target, and the assorted craziness of IBM’s ever escalating assertions about the efficacy of Watson. I even pointed out that humans had to figure out the content used to “train” Watson and then fiddle with digital knobs and levers to get the accuracy up to snuff. The behind the scenes work was hidden from the Madison Avenue creatives; the focus was on the sizzle, not the preparatory work in the knowledge abattoir.

The Googlers have apparently discovered Jeopardy. I learned that Google uses Jeopardy to inform its smart software about reformulating questions. Here’s a passage I highlighted:

Active Question Answering,” or Active QA, as the TensorFlow package is called, will reformulate a given English-language question into multiple different re-wordings, and find the variant that does best at retrieving an answer from a database.

I am not going to slog through the history of query parsing. The task is an important one, and in my opinion, without providing precise indexing such as “company type” and other quite precise terms, queries go off base. The elimination of explicit Boolean has put the burden on query processors figuring out what humans mea when they type a query using the word “terminal” for instance. Is it a computer terminal or is it a bus terminal. No indexing? Well, smart software which looks up data in a dynamic table will do the job in a fine, fine way. What if one wants to locate a white house? Is it the DC residence of the president or is it the term for Benjamin Moore house paint when one does not know 2126-70?

Well, Google has embraced Jeopardy to make its smart software smarter and ignore the cost, time, and knowledge work of creating controlled term lists, assigning and verifying index accuracy, and fine grained indexing to deal with the vagaries of language.

So, Google seems to have hit upon the idea of channeling IBM Watson.

But I recalled seeing this article: “Google AI Can Spot Advanced Breast Cancer More Effectively Than Humans.” That reminded me of IBM Watson’s message carpet bombing about the efficacy of Big Blue cancer fighting. The only problem was that articles like “IBM Pitched Its Watson Supercomputer As a Revolution in Cancer Care. It’s Nowhere Close” Continue to Appear.”

Is Google channeling IBM’s marketing?

My hypothesis is that Google is either consciously or unconsciously tilling an already prepped field for marketing touch points. IBM did Jeopardy; Google does Jeopardy with the question understanding twist. IBM did cancer; Google does a specific type of cancer better than humans and, obviously, better than IBM Watson.

So what? My thought is that Google is shifting its marketing gears. In the process, the Google-dozer is dragging its sheep’s’ foot roller across the landscape slowly recovering from IBM’s marketing blitzes.

Will this work?

Hey, Google, like Amazon, wants to be the 21st century IBM. Who knows? I thank both companies for giving me some new fodder for my real live goats which can walk away from behemoth smart machines reworking the information landscape.

Here’s a thought? Google is more like IBM than it realizes.

Stephen E Arnold, October 15, 2018

HSSCM Method: October 13, 2018 Update

October 13, 2018

i read “Google CEO Refuses to Answer Detailed Questions on China in Letter to Senate.” CNET is a real news outfit, and I assume the information in the article is accurate. Perhaps Google’s information was not understood by the Senate. I do not think it is possible for the Senate to remain far from a political quasar.

The write up states that the Google  letter included this statement:

We are approaching these issues deliberately, and whether we would or could release a search service in China remains unclear. Accordingly, we are not in a position to be able to answer detailed questions.

That seems pretty clear to me, but I live in rural Kentucky. This fact may give me a different appreciation of the English language. For me, the passage quote above means something along the lines:

I am not going to provide information to you. So there.

I think this approach is characteristic of a high school science club refusing to explain to the chemistry teacher where the concentrated hydrochloric acid went.

I recall one of our chemistry aces, whom shall remain nameless, saying to Virgil Shepherd, our estimable chemistry teacher:

I don’t know. Maybe the regular chemistry class used it instead of vinegar.

Mr. Shepherd did not buy the statement. But what could he do? The science club contained a published author, most of the top 20 students in the school, and knew that the regular chemistry students would lack the insight to stonewall.

Hey, did Mr. Shepherd want Illinois State Scholars, students who also attended local universities to rack up college credit from leaving high school, and and people who just rolled over when nobodies like chemistry teachers asked semi informed questions?

Of course not. He wanted a rubber chicken dinner just like the other teachers who had half a clue.

Now back to the letter. It is my content that it demonstrates the HSSCM method of talking down to lesser mortals.

This behavior is a core principle. Those who are in a more rarified atmosphere do not have to grub in the polluted atmosphere of dullardness.

Back to the article, the letter allegedly was “sent”  on August 31. Well, that is a long time when measured in Internet minutes.

What’s the outcome?

First, it is now October 11, 2018, and the letter is ancient history when viewed from a science club’s perspective. Time’s a wastin’ when you are disruptin, some say.

Second, anger is not a trait one expects from august elected officials. Anger demonstrates a lack of judgment, patient, and rational thought. Logic and data are essential, unless one decides to do something due to a “feeling”. See this HSSCM example for a logical exception. The idea is, I believe, “we make the rules we follow, not some ageing group of former student council members.” Thus, the outcome will be more aloofness and objectivity from the author of the letter.

Third, nothing. Stalling is a known method of thwarting lesser mortals. These non Googlers often struggle to maintain focus. When delayed, the lesser mortals fight among themselves. The high school science club continues on its merry way. Science club members, we knew, were the future.

What’s the punishment? Detention in the library? A fine? Okay, parents will pay. Pull out of College Bowl (the TV show) or drop out of the state’s Quick Recall competition.


Today as it was then? Yep. High school science club management methods—works every time. Usually.

Stephen E Arnold, October 13, 2018

HSSCM Method: October 11, 2018 Google Item

October 12, 2018

I read “Google Home Hub—Under the Hood, It’s Nothing Like Other Google Smart Displays.”

In that interesting write up, I noted a remark which adds to the high school science club management methods I have been compiling.

First, let’s look at the statement, then I will extract the HSSCM method.

The statement:

When asked why Google was using a totally different platform from the third parties, Jolly told me, “There’s no particular reason. We just felt we could bring the experience to bear with Cast, and the experiences are the same. We would have easily given the third-parties Cast if they wanted it, but I think most developers are comfortable using Android Things.”

What’s the management method?

Here it is:

There’s no particular reason.

Yes, Google takes actions without having a “particular reason.” That is an interesting and, in my view, subjective way to approach significant technical approaches. Meh, no reason.

But there’s another HSSCM method tucked into the passage. Did you spot it? Notice this:

We just felt we could bring the experience to bear with Cast, and the experiences are the same.

The HSSCM method seems to be to avoid using data. Nope, just use feelings. Feelings are justification enough for a decision which may have an effect on partners and vendors. Meh, just feelings.

Plus, there is a third HSSCM method in the statement. Give up? Here it is:

I think most developers are comfortable using Android Things.

The HSSCM method is to make assumptions about how other humanoids perceive Google decisions. What about the “developers”? What exactly does comfortable mean to a developer?

The HSSCM methods extracted from this allegedly accurate quote from a Googler are:

  1. One does not have to have a reason for a decision.
  2. Feelings, not data, justify a decision.
  3. Assumptions about other people are more important than what those individuals say.

Quite a bountiful harvest of management methods. Let’s implement them today because without data, gut instinct, and inputs from other people, we can be agile and surprising. The upside is significant.

Downsides? Not important.

Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds. Wait. Isn’t Amazon consistent with its home devices?

Stephen E Arnold, October 11, 2018

Quote to Note: Google and Instilling Artificial Intelligence

October 11, 2018

Ah, ha. Another quote to note. This time from “Google Wants to Be Taken Seriously As Enterprise Player.” I highlighted this passage:

In the keynote address, speaking to Google Cloud customers, Diane Greene, Google Cloud CEO, said: “If you think about it, AI is everybody’s biggest opportunity, and cyber security is unfortunately everybody’s biggest threat, and Google has the best of both of these.” She said AI has been a priority at Google since the company was founded. “AI is instilled into everything we do. It is completely infused into G Suite, our  applications, which gives us extra insight into how to help you infuse it into your applications.”

So about that Google Plus security breach? Instilled? Perhaps there may be some skepticism that Google will stand behind its products for commercial enterprises? This list may suggest that caution is warranted.

Stephen E Arnold, October 11, 2018

A Reasonable Assertion: Google Is Dying

October 10, 2018

Nope, this is not the view in Harrod’s Creek. The idea that “Google Is Dying” comes from a write up in Vortex by Lauren, whom I assume is a real, living entity and not an avatar, construct, or VR thing.

google is dying

You can find the analysis at this link.

I am not going to push back against the entity Lauren’s ideas.

I want to point out that:

  1. Companies, like real living humans, have a lifespan. It does not matter that some Googlers are awaiting the opportunity to merge with a machine, save their brain (assuming that intelligence is indeed  the sole province of thought), and live a long time. Ideally? Forever. The death of Google, therefore, is hard wired, and, if I may offer a controversial idea, has already taken place. Today we are dealing with the progeny of Google.
  2. The missteps which have captured some Google embracers’ attention is the outright failure of Google’s ability to create a secure environment for management and for users of the descendent of Orkut. The lapses are not an indication that Google is dying. The examples are logical manifestations of the consequences of inbreeding. Imagine West Virginia’s isolated communities connected via a mobile system. That does not change the inbreeding for some individuals. If you are not up on inbreeding, here’s a handy reference. The key point is cognitive deterioration. Stated more clearly, stupid decision making, impaired analytic skills, etc.
  3. Google’s lab rat approach to innovation has not, so far, been able to disprove Steve Ballmer’s brilliant observation: “One trick pony.” But what few analysts care to remember is that the “one trick pony” was online advertising derived from the idea. My recollection is that prior to the Google IPO, a legal settlement was reached with Yahoo. This billion dollar deal kept good old Yahoo afloat for several years. Thus, Google’s big idea was a bit of a “me too.” One might argue that the failure to find a way to generate an equivalent amount of revenue is not surprising. Even the Android ecosystem is like a sucker fish on a shark. The symbiosis between online advertising, data harvesting, and revenue is difficult to disentangle. The key point: The big idea was, implemented in a Googley way.

After writing three monographs about the Google and adding comments to my research about the company, I could write more.

Read the alleged humanoid’s “real news” essay. Make your own decision.

I am not pushing back. I am just disappointed that 20 years after the Backrub folks morphed into Google, analyses continue to look at here-and-now events, not the broader trends the company manifests.

Maybe Generation Z will step forward and fill the void?

Stephen E Arnold, October 11, 2018

HSSCM Method: Update for October 10, 2018

October 10, 2018

The management methods inspired by high school science club behaviors are noteworthy. The goose calls these HSSCM methods or “high school science club management methods” to honor the behaviors of individuals who loved technology but were unfettered by such non essentials as football practice, the student council, and working as a volunteer at the retirement facility near the high school. Chemistry, math, physics, biology—the future.

Two items caught the Beyond Search goose’s attention this fine day.

First, the goose noted “Leaked Transcript of Private Meeting Contradicts Google’s Official Story on China.” The source is one of the popular real news sources associated with some NSA related information. The point of the write up, which the goose assumes is spot on, is:

On Sept. 26, a Google executive faced public questions on the censorship plan for the first time. Keith Enright told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that there “is a Project Dragonfly,” but said “we are not close to launching a product in China.” When pressed to give specific details, Enright refused, saying that he was “not clear on the contours of what is in scope or out of scope for that project.”

Okay, that seems clear.

And, on September 23, 2018, a Googler said:

“Right now, all we’ve done is some exploration,” Gomes told the reporter, “but since we don’t have any plans to launch something, there’s nothing much I can say about it.”

The hitch in the git along surfaces in this comment from the write up:

In July, Gomes had informed employees that the plan was to launch the search engine as soon as possible — and to get it ready to be “brought off the shelf and quickly deployed” once approval from Beijing was received.

The HSSCM method is to say different things to different audiences. That seems similar to practices followed in the high school science clubs with which I am familiar. For example, “Did you hot wire the PA system to play rock and roll during Mr. Durham’s morning announcements?” Our sci club leader said, “No.”

Did not fly.

The second high school science club management method the goose spotted appeared in the real news story “Facebook Isn’t Sorry — It Just Wants Your Data.” Facebook, a firm which has been associated with Cambridge Analytica and the phrase “I’m sorry,” allegedly has created what BuzzFeed calls a “home surveillance device.”

We noted this statement in the write up:

It’s also further confirmation that Facebook isn’t particularly sorry for its privacy failures — despite a recent apology tour that included an expensive “don’t worry, we got this” mini-documentary, full-page apology ads in major papers, and COO Sheryl Sandberg saying things like, “We have a responsibility to protect your information. If we can’t, we don’t deserve it.” Worse, it belies the idea that Facebook has any real desire to reckon with the structural issues that obviously undergird its continued privacy missteps.

The HSSCM method is to do exactly what the science club wants. Need to experiment on pets, not frogs, as part of the biology course of study, have at it. I recall one of our science club members tried this stunt until the teacher learned that the student was expanding beyond the normal frog dissection.

These examples suggest that one just say what’s necessary to be left along. Then move forward. Fortunately the Beyond Search goose (a member, of course) evaded being cooked.

MBA programs may not have textbooks which explain the benefits of this approach. On the other hand, maybe the schools with forward looking professors do.

Stephen E Arnold, October 10, 2018

Google Censorship Related Document

October 10, 2018

I am not sure this is a real Google document with the name “Google Leak.” If the link goes dead, you are on your own. Plus it is a long one, chuck full of quotes and images and crunchy statements. Some Googlers like crunchy statements.

An entity named Allum Bokhari uploaded the document.

For me the main point is that Google can embrace censorship. Makes sense I suppose.

The images of the slides in a PowerPoint-type presentation could have been created by Google, a third party, or some combination of thinkers with a design firm added for visual spice.

The group through whose hands the artifact passed was was Breitbart, a semi famous outfit. I know this because the name Breitbart is overlaid in orange on each of the pages of the document. The document also contains the Google logo and the branding “Insights Lab.”

I know there is an Insights Lab in Colorado, but it is tough to figure out who crated the document from what appears to be hours spent running queries against the Google search engine and fiddling with a PowerPoint type presentation system.

But who exactly is responsible for the document? Anonymity is popular with the outputs of the New York Times, Bloomberg, and online postings like this one.

The who is a bit of a mystery.

To get the document from Scribd, yep, the service with the pop ups, pleas for sign ups, etc., you have to sign up with Facebook or Google. Makes sense.

Plus, the document contains more than 80 pages, and it takes some time to dig through the lingo, the images, and the gestalt of the construct.

Here’s an image, which explains that the least free countries are China and Syria. The most free countries are Estonia and Iceland. Estonia and Iceland are good places to be free. The downside of Estonia is the tension between Estonians and Russians, who are if the chart is accurate, not into living without censorship. Plus, the border between Russia and Estonia is not formidable. It is a bit like a potato field in places. Iceland is super, particularly if one enjoys low cost data center services, fishing, hiking, and brisk winters.


The future, it seems, is censorship. I noted the phrase “well ordered spaces for safety and civility.”

The document is worth a look if you can tolerate the fact that one registers via Facebook and Google to view the alleged Google document. Viewing the document for now does not require registration. Downloading may invite endless appeals for cash.

Stephen E Arnold, October 10, 2010

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