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Google Privacy Your Rights Online

Google About Openness 283

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the good-to-be-on-top dept.
sopssa writes "Several sites, including TechCrunch and The Register, are reporting about an email Google's VP Jonathan Rosenberg sent to employees on Monday about the meaning of open. 'At Google we believe that open systems win. They lead to more innovation, value, and freedom of choice for consumers, and a vibrant, profitable, and competitive ecosystem for businesses. ... Our goal is to keep the Internet open, which promotes choice and competition and keeps users and developers from getting locked in.' But are we likely to see Google open their search engine, advertising or the famous back-end system? In their words, that would mean Google and other companies would need to work harder and innovate more to keep their users, for everyone's benefit."
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Google About Openness

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @10:53AM (#30535724)

    We want systems to be open, so that we can freely use them, but we will keep our own system proprietary. Where Google makes Open Source, it does so to disrupt other people's business, so that Google can continue to use open infrastructure. Sure, it's good business sense, but spare us the "we are the good guys" bullshit.

    • by Aldenissin (976329) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:14AM (#30535920)

      We want systems to be open, so that we can freely use them, but we will keep our own system proprietary. Where Google makes Open Source, it does so to disrupt other people's business, so that Google can continue to use open infrastructure. Sure, it's good business sense, but spare us the "we are the good guys" bullshit.

      How about you RTFA, oh yea this is Slashdot. Perhaps I have fallen hook line and sinker, but I think their actions speak louder than their words, and their words are merely clarification, which is spoken on as well. Since you are not likely to read it, allow me to quote:

        "While we are committed to opening the code for our developer tools, not all Google products are open source. Our goal is to keep the Internet open, which promotes choice and competition and keeps users and developers from getting locked in. In many cases, most notably our search and ads products, opening up the code would not contribute to these goals and would actually hurt users. The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in. Not to mention the fact that opening up these systems would allow people to "game" our algorithms to manipulate search and ads quality rankings, reducing our quality for everyone.

        So as you are building your product or adding new features, stop and ask yourself: Would open sourcing this code promote the open Internet? Would it spur greater user, advertiser, and partner choice? Would it lead to greater competition and innovation? If so, then you should make it open source. And when you do, do it right; don't just push it over the wall into the public realm and forget about it. Make sure you have the resources to pay attention to the code and foster developer engagement. Google Web Toolkit, where we have developed in the open and used a public bug tracker and source control system, is a good example of this."

      • by gregarican (694358) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:53AM (#30536304) Homepage

        I won't respond to Anonymous Cowards. Show the courage to log in so I'll know you get responses. I'll not waste my time.

        Looks like you just did there fella...

        • I won't respond to Anonymous Cowards. Show the courage to log in so I'll know you get responses. I'll not waste my time.

          Looks like you just did there fella...

          Point taken, perhaps I will change the sig to "reply", not respond to.The difference? If an AC's comment is highly rated and wrong, I will gladly set the record straight. If they want to reply to me and feel they must be a coward, then I am arguing with someone obviously inferior, at least in courage. If you don't have the courage, then it is most likely a troll. It could be a troll either way, but trolling while avoiding negative karma is not something I will enable.

      • Money (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Snaller (147050) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @04:08PM (#30538882) Journal

        The reason they want the internet open is because that is where they make their money. No other reason. Nothing noble.

        "I won't reply back to Anon. Cowards. Show the courage to log in so I'll know you get responses. You won't waste my time."

        And that is just so much rubbish from your inferiority complex. Sometimes people write interesting stuff but just didn't go through the trouble of registering. And I have an account, but generally never read followups.

    • Data liberation (Score:3, Insightful)

      by thijsh (910751)
      This is not about FOSS, it's about not getting locked in and being stuck with legacy proprietary data. I'd say Google is on the right track with this site: http://www.dataliberation.org/ [dataliberation.org]
      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        They are talking about both things actually:

        He does acknowledge that Google stops short of open sourcing everything. But then, as Google so often does, he rationalizes the fact that the company has no intention of open sourcing the two things - its search and ad platforms - that have turned Google into something very close to an internet gatekeeper.

      • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

        by CodeBuster (516420)
        I don't trust them. I cannot trust them because in the United States a public corporation is required by law, first and foremost, to do what is in the best interests of shareholders which generally means anything which legally maximizes profits. As long as Brin and Page continue to deliver the profits, the shareholders will go along with whatever they want to do, but if it comes down to profits or data liberation, I am betting on profits winning the argument; whether or not that is good for "openness".
        • Re:Data liberation (Score:5, Interesting)

          by schon (31600) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @01:02PM (#30537090)

          I cannot trust them because in the United States a public corporation is required by law, first and foremost, to do what is in the best interests of shareholders which generally means anything which legally maximizes profits.

          So what you're saying is that you don't trust them because you have no idea what the law actually says, or how corporations actually work?

          Your name wouldn't happen to be Kyle Mortensen [theonion.com] would it?

          A publicly-traded company is required to maximize shareholder value in accordance with its prospectus.

          Before a company goes public, it produces a prospectus. The prospectus details the business plan of the company, as well as its philosophy and self-imposed restrictions. It is the responsibility of the investor to read and understand the prospectus before investing. If the prospectus states that the company will place customer loyalty above short-term profit, then any lawsuit based on "the company didn't maximize short-term profit because they weren't pricks to their customers" will fail.

          HTH.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by richlv (778496)

        too bad they still haven't answered to the highest-voted data liberation suggestion ;)
        http://moderator.appspot.com/#15/e=43649&t=4364a [appspot.com]

    • They haven't opened everything, but they do open things that give them a competitive advantage. The most recent would be the SPDY protocol.

      http://googleresearch.blogspot.com/2009/11/2x-faster-web.html [blogspot.com]

      Didn't they open their hardware design for power supplies? Apparently they save a fortune by running pure DC data centers.

      Google also releases patches for projects like MySQL, pays for Google Summer of Code, employs people to solely work on OSS projects (such as kernel developers), fights to protect open standa

      • by cbreaker (561297)
        Google's definition of Open Source plays to muddy the waters with "Free Open Source Software." Chrome is Open Source, and free to use, but it's not free software. The license creates unfortunate restrictions on what you can do with the software, they use use ambiguous terms such as "Intellectual Property" in it.

        For example, if you have modified Chrome browser and have a "distribution" of it, and Google wants you to include some new patch, you HAVE to apply that patch or you're no longer within the term
        • Really?

          http://code.google.com/chromium/terms.html [google.com]

          I sure thought they said all their code in Chromium is BSD licensed, and libraries they used retain their existing licenses.

          • by Rich0 (548339)

            That is for chromium - not chrome.

            Chromium is to chrome as iceweasal is to firefox. Except that at least mozilla publishes the exact code to firefox - we have yet to see if Chrome ends up being identical to the output you get if you build chromium.

            • by Enderandrew (866215) <.enderandrew. .at. .gmail.com.> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @12:42PM (#30536842) Homepage Journal

              The OSS code bases for the Chrome browser and Chrome OS are both called Chromium. You can do anything you want with the code basically, because it is under a BSD license.

              Chrome however is a trademark. Calling you release Chrome means meeting certain standards. As you noted, Mozilla doesn't allow official branding of unofficial builds.

              Are you going to say that Firefox isn't OSS because they have branding standards for what they call an official release?

              Last time I checked, Red Hat also has the same policies on branding, hence CentOS. Are you also going to suggest that Red Hat and Linux aren't OSS?

              • by Rich0 (548339)

                Are you going to say that Firefox isn't OSS because they have branding standards for what they call an official release?

                No, but they're a real pain in the neck...

                And the actual Firefox product is what you get when you compile the published source. So, people running Gentoo get the same browser as somebody who just downloads the binary. You can't redistribute your own builds with the logo/etc, but they are effectively the same.

                It is too early to say how Chrome will turn out since it really isn't a finished

                • Google pays the salaries of guys like Andrew Morton, lead Linux developer, and tells them just to focus on the kernel.

                  The paycheck comes from Google, but Morton effectively answers to Linus.

                  When people keep suggesting that Google is this evil company that doesn't do anything for FOSS, they do so in spite of the facts.

        • Whatever RMS.

        • For example, if you have modified Chrome browser and have a "distribution" of it, and Google wants you to include some new patch, you HAVE to apply that patch or you're no longer within the terms of the license.

          Open Source != Free Software.

          That seems fishy, but I can surmise why they would do that. But I agree perhaps they should make it completely open, even if they never did it for malicious reasons.

            As you say, open does not equal free...

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Rich0 (548339)

        Didn't Google just release Android out in the open, and Chrome browser, and Chrome OS?

        Yes and no.

        They have open source versions of both Android (AOSP) and Chrome (Chromium). Chrome is still very new and hasn't really gone into release, so it is a bit early to say how that will play out.

        However, Android and AOSP have a very weak relationship. If you build AOSP you get something that won't work right on anything but the android emulator. It lacks the drivers necessary to actually work on a phone, and it al

        • Are there people capable of making forks, and reflashing their phones with modified versions of the code successfully?

          Yes.

    • Funny, assuming you're right about the disrupted businesses*. Microsoft gives away free proprietary software to disrupt other people's businesses and ACTUALLY so does Google, they have lots of proprietary free stuff, but very little OSS that would compete with anything but other small OSS projects.

      Google's free proprietary apps
      *YouTube, Viacom claims they lose revenue due to YouTube, but YouTube isn't open source.
      *Google Maps to put Mapquest? out of business, oh wait that isn't open source either.
      *Gmail tha

    • Ho-hum. This sounds like a microsoft fanboy, munching away on his sour grapes.

      Let me ask - when was the last time Google charged you $100 bucks or more for using something of theirs? Or, if you are in enterprise, when was the last time Google had you count heads, and send them $50, $75, or maybe even $1000 per head? (or seat, whatever)

      So far, Google has never charged me a single cent. Nada. Zip. Zilch. My total cost for doing business with Google is $0.00US. Meanwhile, Microsoft dipped into my walle

  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @10:54AM (#30535740)

    These guys crack me up. Any day now there will be video of Schmidt dancing around, chanting "Developers! Developers! Developers!"

    • by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:18AM (#30535974) Homepage Journal

      i am a developer. leave aside the many measures google have taken to empower INDIVIDUALS, like enabling individual websites with adsense system and giving them the power to generate revenue whereas all of the big boys were treating small publishers as shit, google by itself provided many useful tools to aid us developers in the act of development. its so much that some of their accessories are invaluable additions to the dev environments and software we use now.

      i think you confused them with another company, which treated everyone but the big buck like shit, for over 20 years.

      • by jim_v2000 (818799)
        Google doesn't give two shits about "empowering" anyone. They just realized that small websites were an untapped revenue source.
        • by vegiVamp (518171)
          Untapped ? I had DoubleClick banners on my sites years ago, when it stil payed *something*. I'm not sure why the bottom dropped out of that, or how google has managed to make it interesting again, but it's not a new market by any means.
        • Google doesn't give two shits about "empowering" anyone. They just realized that small websites were an untapped revenue source.

          You are making 2 distinct statements. On the first, you seem to be wrong as evidenced by their actions. On the second, so what? Jealous much?

      • by bonch (38532)

        "Empower individuals"...hahaha. AdSense is about making Google money, not you. Why are people on Slashdot so distrustful of every other company but Google? It's like you automatically accept them simply because they use touchy-feely OSS buzzwords to reel you in. Their search and ad engines are closed source--they're just using open source as a tool to get you onto their closed source platforms!

        Slashdot obsesses over privacy every other time, but when it comes to a Google article, everyone is suddenly ea

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by KnownIssues (1612961)
      Don't be silly. This is Google. Schmidt will be dancing around, chanting "Advertisers! Advertisers! Advertisers!"
    • by rwyoder (759998)

      These guys crack me up. Any day now there will be video of Schmidt dancing around, chanting "Developers! Developers! Developers!"

      No, I think Schmidt would dance more like this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPasYRPEZ8c [youtube.com]

  • by thePowerOfGrayskull (905905) <marc.paradise@gma i l . c om> on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @10:58AM (#30535780) Homepage Journal
    Why should they open up everything? They're open in areas that aren't their primary business. That doesn't mean that in order to claim openness, they suddenly must give away the technology behind their core business. Open takes many forms: it can be a matter of publishing source code (as they do for many products) or interoperability specs (as they also do). The fact that they remain closed about other areas does not affect how and where they *are* open.
  • by nysus (162232) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:00AM (#30535800)

    We are seeing a shift from private to public, closed to open, secretive to transparent and it's all because of a far more efficient and cheap ways to communicate. The act of communication is so fundamental to how we relate to the world, that when you change the way you communicate, you change the shape of everything in the world.

    Corporate structures will change drastically. How, exactly, no one know. Can corporations like Google still exist 50 years from now? Will there be any need for massive bureaucracies any more or will the opposite happen, and just a handful of bureaucracies be able to control everything?

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by sakdoctor (1087155)

      To the extent that that is true, it's great.
      But openness is also getting abused to mean its exact opposite.

      Doublespeak! Beware openwashing [wordpress.com]

      • I think Google Jonathan Rosenberg is talking about that when he says that it is becoming Rashoman-like.

    • Now I think that that's an interesting thing to discuss. Not whether companies should act against their best interest for the sake of public good, which is what many on slashdot seem to be promoting, but what is a viable business model as information becomes increasingly easy to exchange. I think that suggesting that companies should act for public good is promoting a system based on conflicts of interest that will usually result in self-interest winning over public good.

      The reason that Google is so interes

  • by beakerMeep (716990) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:11AM (#30535896)
    CmdrTaco, kdawson(troll), all of you, need to chill it with the rhetoric. If I wanted sensationalist news I could easily hit up Fox or MSNBC. Of course while it's important to hold Google accountable once in awhile. But they are one of the biggest supporters of open source, and all you guys do is beat them over the head with a stick as if they are Microsoft. Sometimes I wonder if the editors here ever really grew up. Open source is great. It's one of the great achievements in human cooperation. But to belittle anyone who doesn't take the plunge 110% is really small of you guys. It's a good thing there are parts of the OSS community that welcome partial contributions with more open arms than do Slashdot editors.

    I'm not sure this will go over well, but I have karma to burn and sometimes we need to turn the mirror back on ourselves.
    • to belittle anyone who doesn't take the plunge 110% is really small ...

      Well said, MEEP MEEP! (Here, here!)

    • by jim_v2000 (818799)
      > all you guys do is beat them over the head with a stick as if they are Microsoft

      They're the Microsoft of search and online advertising. Their open source efforts are just a gimmick like Microsoft's.
      • by bhagwad (1426855)
        Is this claim of yours falsifiable? It seems that no matter what Gogole does, people like you are going to find something sinister in it. If so, then your arguments are just noise.
    • by bonch (38532) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @12:21PM (#30536658)

      "Slashdot's anti-Google schtick?" What Slashdot are you reading? So one or two slightly critical articles means Slashdot is anti-Google?

      Slashdot has been unrelenting Google's cheerleader for almost a decade. The reason for criticizing Google's lack of openness is to point out to people that Google is actually a closed source company that dangles free carrots in front of people to get them onto their advertising platform that will index all their emails, conversations, documents, and more. And we're supposed to trust the company because they said they're trustworthy. Do you realize how silly that sounds? Don't you think Slashdotters would mock the situation if it was any other company but Google?

      I'm not sure this will go over well, but I have karma to burn and sometimes we need to turn the mirror back on ourselves.

      Oh, give me a break. Statements like that guarantee an instant +5.

    • by hkmwbz (531650)
      I guess the problem is that Google is talking about how everyone should be doing something when it benefits Google, but they will not open up their core business. So why are they telling other people to? Of course Google should be criticized when they make hypocritical comments. Google is not above all criticism.
    • Apple was the big white knight around here the first half of decade. /. was cheering them on for using *iux (even it was BSDish), supporting CUPS, and then it was cheering for Webkit. Then the mood changed about 2006 - 2007 with the release of the iPhone and /. went from being pro Apple to anti-Apple and Google replaced them as the great white knight of opensource. Like Apple, that's been going on for 3 - 4 years, so now it's time for the mood to change to Google being the next evil(tm) company on /. /. i

  • Who is open? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by stagg (1606187) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:11AM (#30535898)
    Google definitely wants us to be open with our information!
  • Ok, Im sold. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unity100 (970058) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:16AM (#30535946) Homepage Journal

    this kind of memo by a vp, talking about 'open' like this. i think this is a serious indicator. totally in contrast to the behavior we see from other companies. i appreciate this.

    the comment of the poster is hilarious btw - google values openness will google open its search engine. if google did that, it would lose all the power it can use to enforce the openness, and 'closed' would prevail, through the efforts of stranglehold corporations opposing them. no, opposing 'us', for i am on the same side with google apparently, from what i understand from that vp's memo.

    regardless of how much one wants to be open, one should always employ wisdom.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by stagg (1606187)
      Allowing any single entity to safeguard your "openness" is never a good idea, especially when that entity is governed by profits. Even if those currently making decisions at Google are sincerely committed to openness who's to say the next ones will be?
      • Even if those currently making decisions at Google are sincerely committed to openness who's to say the next ones will be?

        That is the beauty of it. Making these proclamations means they are now "Tiger Woods". The moment they get caught cheating over and over, then it will come crumbling down. Will they mistakes? Sure, they are human. I just hope the public (yea, I know) is wise enough to forgive them, where it is due. As long as they stay righteous, they shouldn't have any problems.

        • by stagg (1606187)
          That's just it. They're not human! Google is a corporate entity and therefore motivated primarily by profit.
    • Sounds like doublespeak to me.

  • by ghostis (165022) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:19AM (#30535996) Homepage

    Open Privacy! A new standard for making access to your private information easier across all platforms...

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      At some point a flood of everyone's private info will drown it into privacy again. Right now if your private info is leaked it's like a small town and everyone knows it. Once it is all out there then it becomes as anonymous as someone living in a large city.

  • Answer is in TFA (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pgn674 (995941) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:24AM (#30536042) Homepage
    From the OP:

    .' But are we likely to see Google open their search engine, advertising or the famous back-end system?

    No, actually, we aren't. The email says [blogspot.com] so, in the fourth paragraph under Open Technology > Open Source:

    While we are committed to opening the code for our developer tools, not all Google products are open source. Our goal is to keep the Internet open, which promotes choice and competition and keeps users and developers from getting locked in. In many cases, most notably our search and ads products, opening up the code would not contribute to these goals and would actually hurt users. The search and advertising markets are already highly competitive with very low switching costs, so users and advertisers already have plenty of choice and are not locked in. Not to mention the fact that opening up these systems would allow people to "game" our algorithms to manipulate search and ads quality rankings, reducing our quality for everyone.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Aldenissin (976329)

      From the OP:

      .' But are we likely to see Google open their search engine, advertising or the famous back-end system?

      No, actually, we aren't. The email says [blogspot.com] so, in the fourth paragraph under Open Technology > Open Source:

      Don't you love it when the submitter doesn't even read the article in question? Get mad all you want, yes I am looking at you CmdrTaco. You may not have submitted it, but you green-lit it.

      • by sopssa (1498795) *

        Yes I did. But Google isn't really opening any other services either that benefit them, like the earlier poster said [slashdot.org] (gmail, youtube and so on).

        Google only opens things that benefit them to offer their services and advertising, it's not about making everything open.

        And it seems "openness" is the new buzzword, after years of FOSS people saying to everyone its a great thing.

  • Isn't Hadoop an open version of part of their back end?

    • by ArsonSmith (13997)

      it is to an extent hdfs hadoop and mapreduce are implemented as part of a paper put out by google based on their googlefs and mapreduce ideas.

  • I think Google means having hardware YOU OWN be open. Their servers are their own property.

    • I think Google means having hardware YOU OWN be open. Their servers are their own property.

      *Groan*, is right. I think too many people assume what other's mean and won't even bother to listen to the words they are trying to interpret.

    • by nschubach (922175)

      Uh, no. They mean having the data you send to them and the data they send to you be an open and understood format. They mean being able to open an email client and have someone send you an email/Contact from GMail and still be able to read it without requiring Outlook. You can close your client if you like, but they'll give you the ability to read data provided by them or anyone for that matter without needing to install a special client.

  • by stagg (1606187) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:32AM (#30536110)
    A pig and a chicken are walking down a road. The chicken looks at the pig and says, "Hey, why don't we open a restaurant?" The pig looks back at the chicken and says, "Good idea, what do you want to call it?" The chicken thinks about it and says, "Why don't we call it 'Ham and Eggs'?" "I don't think so," says the pig, "I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved."
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by eigenstates (1364441)

      Well- let's continue with the cooking metaphor. Leave the pig out it for a second.

      Let's say the chicken has a great hand me down recipe from his great grand chicken. They implement that recipe and the restaurant's success is overwhelming based on that recipe. The chicken then decides to divulge everything about the technique used to create the dish- but not the actual recipe.

      Why in, any environment, should the chicken be forced to reveal that recipe?

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mounthood (993037)

      A pig and a chicken are walking down a road. The chicken looks at the pig and says, "Hey, why don't we open a restaurant?" The pig looks back at the chicken and says, "Good idea, what do you want to call it?" The chicken thinks about it and says, "Why don't we call it 'Ham and Eggs'?" "I don't think so," says the pig, "I'd be committed, but you'd only be involved."

      If the internet went all Silverlight in the next few years, Google would be dead. So they're committed to an open internet. Witness Chrome, ChromeOS and Android, all of which are made to keep the internet an open platform. Not a Google-controlled locked-down internet, like Microsoft has consistently tried to create (MSN, IE, ActiveX, Silverlight, etc...), but an open platform.

  • by HerculesMO (693085) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @11:41AM (#30536184)

    When most of your "profits" don't come from "open systems" but rather advertising, where you data mine every piece of information and sell it off in order to sustain the rest of the business which is "open". Sure it's open, because if they charged fees for closed programs, nobody would develop for them.

    Only Apple can do that lately :(

  • by 12357bd (686909)

    The sooner we start using AGPL for every piece of FOSS code, the better. IMO it's the only way to avoid FOSS being marginalized by big companies like MS or Google.

    USA has a monopoly on IT (MS has the PC section, Google the Internet search market), and those companies are both killing FOSS. MS fights openly (the viral factor anyone?), while Google is fagoziting FOSS, (Android vs Linux kernel), (Chrome vs Safari).

  • Our goal is to keep the Internet open, which promotes choice and competition and keeps users and developers from getting locked in.

    I'd be more inclined to believe this if they did things like make the address book for Gmail easily accessible and easy to update and manage by third party applications. Yeah, you can export it and there are a few third party ways to do it but realistically your ability to synchronize contacts outside of Gmail is limited at best. I realize the reasons why they haven't done this but saying you want open standards without actually making the user data (the one thing I actually care about) open and accessible

  • So Google, when will you be adding SIP support to Google Voice? Looking forward to it.

  • by Paul Fernhout (109597) on Wednesday December 23, 2009 @01:37PM (#30537432) Homepage

    As I wrote about here, inspired by the Virgle April fools joke, I see Google as being conflicted about its identity in a world that could provide abundance for everyone if we made a post-scarcity ideological shift, but which currently does not because a scarcity ideology is still dominant:
    "A Rant On Financial Obesity and an Ironic Disclosure "
    http://www.pdfernhout.net/a-rant-on-financial-obesity-and-Project-Virgle.html [pdfernhout.net]
    """
    Look at Project Virgle and "An Open Source Planet":
    http://www.google.com/virgle/opensource.html [google.com]
    Even just in jest some of the most financially obese people on the planet (who have built their company with thousands of servers all running GNU/Linux free software) apparently could not see any other possibility but seriously becoming even more financially obese off the free work of others on another planet (as well as saddling others with financial obesity too :-). And that jest came almost half a *century* after the "Triple Revolution" letter of 1964 about the growing disconnect between effort and productivity (or work and financial fitness):
    http://www.educationanddemocracy.org/FSCfiles/C_CC2a_TripleRevolution.htm [educationa...ocracy.org]
    Even not having completed their PhDs, the top Google-ites may well take many more *decades* to shake off that ideological discipline. I know it took me decades (and I am still only part way there. :-) As with my mother, no doubt Googlers have lived through periods of scarcity of money relative to their needs to survive or be independent scholars or effective agents of change. Is it any wonder they probably think being financially obese is a *good* thing, not an indication of either personal or societal pathology? :-( ...
    The fact is, there are far more than six *million* millionaire families in the USA who would never have to "work" another day in their lives if they were frugal (and so could work full time on space settlement or other worthwhile charitable free ends).
    http://www.dba-oracle.com/t_billionaire_next_door.htm [dba-oracle.com]
    There must just be a failure of imagination that keeps them from it. Or an excess of a certain capitalist religion shown on a libertarian-leaning college mailing list I am on (and usually disagreeing :-). Or a failure to be able to define "enough" and move beyond a fear of becoming poor. And the millionaires I've known or heard of who became suddenly wealthy generally are suddenly adrift in a life that has not prepared them for thinking about deep questions like what their values and priorities really are and why -- and working through that takes time which they often don't have as money runs away from them spent on trivialities of "their stillborn adult lives". And the stable millionaires who have slowly earned their wealth are often so enmeshed in the current order of things to make it hard to see beyond it (a current order which they may well have genuinely and sincerely tried to make better, like at Google, and even succeeded at doing so to an extent, within the bounds of Empire.) ...
    Maybe the millionaires and billionaires and trillionaires (governments) out there should think on Spock's choice as capitalistic and militaristic irrational exuberance starts reentering the stratosphere (wars over food, water, arms, climate, and oil profits, and yes, blowback from terrorism).
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=globalization+blowback [google.com]
    And actually do something besides compete and mak

I am not now, nor have I ever been, a member of the demigodic party. -- Dennis Ritchie

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