Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Businesses Censorship Google Your Rights Online

Sergey Brin On Google and China 368

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the to-famous-for-slashdot dept.
yuhong writes "The NY Times has an interview with Sergey Brin on Google and China. A few quotes from it: 'Mr. Brin lived in the Soviet Union until he was nearly 6 years old, and he said the experience of living under a totalitarian system that censored political speech influenced his thinking — and Google's policy. "It has definitely shaped my views, and some of my company's views," he said.' Yes, business is personal, especially these days."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Sergey Brin On Google and China

Comments Filter:
  • by elnyka (803306) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:04AM (#31597036) Homepage

    Ha!

    Ha? At 6 I was already politically influenced during the Nicaraguan civil war of the 60's and 70's. Totalitarian systems, specially under Communism and Nazism knew the power of political indoctrination of kindergarten kids and first graders.

    Another concrete example from my country was after the Sandinista take-over. A common tactic for politically-blessed kindergarten/first grade teachers of the time was to do the following every so often at the start of a class:

    Teacher: Ok kids, do you believe in God?
    Kids: Yeaahhhh!
    Teacher: Do you want candy?
    Kids: Yeaaaah!
    Teacher: Why don't we pray God for a candy?
    Kids would close eyes and pray for a candy
    Teacher: Did God give you candy?
    Kids: No.
    Teacher: Why don't you ask me for candy?
    Kids: Teacher, can we have candy????

    At that point, the so-called teacher would proceed to give candy followed by an explanation that God was the creation of the oppressive classes, and how the revolution takes care of the proletariat, that they should report their parents if they were counter revolutionaries, that counter revolutionary are dogs and not people (yeah, they'd teach that to 5-6 year old kids), that the Americans were evil and that they would come to kill you if you don't help the revolution (at this point kids have their eyes open wide and you have to ask yourself what kind of animal would say such things to a little kid)... and shit like that... every fucking day of class...

    ... and sometimes they would see someone is no longer in the neighborhood because he was taken away for being a counter revolutionary with party-blessed graffiti vandalizing the home of such a person.

    Say "ha" as you please. You will neither understand the impact these things can have on 5-6 year old kids nor appreciate their ability to capture, understand and reason under such repressive regimes if you have never experienced it.

  • Re:Anger? (Score:5, Informative)

    by WindowlessView (703773) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:15AM (#31597162)

    > Now we wait to see if the US Government tries to step in...oh what a show this is becoming.

    Granted Slashdot is tech oriented but you can't look at the Google episode in isolation and expect to understand the entirety of it. Grievances with China have been building for a decade now. Things changed drastically when the Chinese insulted Obama during his trip to Beijing last November and they followed it up by publicly embarrassing him when they sunk the Copenhagen accords a month later. Eyes were opened and whatever goodwill between the Obama administration and China evaporated. The two countries may make token efforts to get along where they can but things have fundamentally changed and it has to do with much bigger economic issues than just Google.

    Put the Google stuff (which first emerged shortly thereafter) in this context. People can argue endlessly about whether Google is being hypocritical on flip-flopping on censorship. It is besides the point. The real issue here is corporate espionage, fair play in Chinese market, trade issues, etc.

    The next big thing is due out on April 15th. No, not your taexs. The Treasury department is due to release its biannual report on cheating trade nations. Even though China should have been on that list semi-permanently for a decade or more the US has always allowed them to slide. The big question is whether they allow it again this time. If China goes on the list it the first step to trade sanctions and possibly tariffs on Chinese goods. If you read the new lately China is screaming bloody murder and throwing every smoke bomb in their arsenal out to the press.

    So yeah, this show is becoming interesting but it going to be much bigger than Google.

  • by Cyberax (705495) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:26AM (#31597308)

    Actually, Jews were discriminated against in the USSR at that time (it was semi-official policy). So he might have felt the effects of this discrimination. Or his parents did.

  • Re:Bullshit (Score:5, Informative)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:29AM (#31597362) Homepage

    A corporation's goal is to increase its profits & market shares. Trying to make it pass as some kind of moral authority is at best a marketing trick for image polishing, and at worst utter hypocrisy.

    Bullshit. Every corporation has a charter which outlines the goals of the organization. Many of those charters include a "public good" clause, which is why corporations are often large charity contributors (other than the obvious tax benefits).

    There is absolutely *nothing* about the "corporation" structure that disallows moral behaviour, and there are many organizations out there that try to be good corporate citizens. Are those organizations in the minority? Maybe, I don't know. But your fundamental supposition that "A corporation's goal is to increase its profits & market share" and that "Trying to make it pass as some kind of moral authority is at best a marketing trick for image polishing" is complete crap.

  • by Denial93 (773403) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:34AM (#31597430)
    I lived a few hundred meters from the Berlin wall and even before I entered school I had heard of people who had been shot there. My dad was imprisoned for political reasons when I was four. In first grade, I was threatened into entering the Pioniere [wikipedia.org] ideological youth organization.

    These events not only made an impression, they are among my most dramatic, and hence vivid, memories from that age. Whoever thinks little kids don't get oppression doesn't have a fucking clue.
  • by EXTomar (78739) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:35AM (#31597446)

    There has been a history of officials over there going "We have these rules but we can negotiate and work out what is necessary for you to come and do business here". Although it isn't new or exclusive to China to have a government just change the rules out from under people or companies "just because" some of the scales are quite egregious. So I wouldn't be surprised if Google says "We like to come to China but censored searches messes with our technology" while their government said "We have our differences for the moment but setup shop here and we can work it out later". Later is now here and it didn't help they have a hunch where the hacking attacks are coming from....

    I wonder if the best idea is for Google to stay in China but make it super apparent what is going on. When one access google.(country code) they should see the usual localized Google. When one access google.cn, they should see "Results Filtered" immediately below. Click on that and get a brief, exact, and legal citation explaining why the quality of service is effected. The Chinese net users won't be in favor of Google's actions unless they are aware of how it effects them. If they can't show them what they are missing, the next best thing is to let them know they are missing out where the worst would be pulling the plug.

  • by wtbname (926051) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @10:36AM (#31598374)

    Get the fuck out.

    Personal Attack

    Like the GP Alex Belits, I have also lived in Eastern Europe and Russia when my work required me to.

    Anecdotal Evidence, Appeal to Authority

    It's true that US is trying to get the culture and influence around in those countries and I do not like it. I think every country should be able to practice their own historical culture without fucking Americans affecting it.

    Burden of Proof, Appeal to Spite, Questionable Cause, Confusing Cause and Effect, Appeal to Tradition

    And I am from a country that has highly changed it's ways to US standards. It's bullshit, let me say that. Or is having 200kg women fed by McDonalds a good way?

    Biased Sample, Hasty Generalization, Fallacy of Presupposition

  • by yossarianuk (1402187) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @10:42AM (#31598478)
    You are correct, my great grandfather escaped the Jewish persecution during Stalin's time in power when it was official (not public) policy - to Scotland.

    Although by the time that Brin was a lad is was not official policy any longer the effects of state persecution against any minority will take a long time to wane

    Just think what the general American (and UK) populations perception of Muslims is now and how long it may take to normalise.
  • Re:Bullshit (Score:4, Informative)

    by Abcd1234 (188840) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:32PM (#31600308) Homepage

    Uhh, the lawyers and individuals involved in the process of incorporating. A corporate charter is a legal document, not a marketing pamphlet.

  • by EllisDees (268037) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:34PM (#31600336)

    I agree with you to some extent. There are simply so many little things that we take for granted that are what define our culture. See this page [zompist.com] for a long list. Here are some examples:

        You seriously expect to be able to transact business, or deal with the government, without paying bribes.

        You're used to a wide variety of choices for almost anything you buy.

        The biggest meal of the day is in the evening.

        You don't care very much what family someone comes from.

        If you have an appointment, you'll mutter an excuse if you're five minutes late, and apologize profusely if it's ten minutes. An hour late is almost inexcusable.

        If you're talking to someone, you get uncomfortable if they approach closer than about two feet.

        About the only things you expect to bargain for are houses, cars, and antiques. Haggling is largely a matter of finding the hidden point that's the buyer's minimum.

  • by psst (777711) on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @12:45PM (#31600512) Homepage

    You are confusing two kinds of lines.

    Most American grocery store lines are due to restricted "checkout bandwidth." The Soviet grocery store lines were due to limited availability of goods. In the US you place the goods in your cart and wait to check out. In the USSR (at the time) you waited in line to get the goods themselves.

    Sometimes you see the other kind of line in the US as well: for example, people stand for hours in long lines in the wee hours of Black Friday to buy a discounted TV. This is caused by the scarcity of these TVs. In the USSR the problem was the scarcity ("deficit") of essential goods (food, soap, toilet paper), and people had to stand in long lines to get them.

  • by Alex Belits (437) * on Wednesday March 24, 2010 @09:30PM (#31606674) Homepage

    You seriously expect to be able to transact business, or deal with the government, without paying bribes.

    And in other cultures you do not have to "transact business" or "deal with the government" in any active manner just to survive.

    You're used to a wide variety of choices for almost anything you buy.

    ...all those "choices" being inferior to the standards one would expect in other societies, thanks to governments pandering to businesses, monopolies, runaway cost-cutting and "creative" kinds of outsourcing.

    The biggest meal of the day is in the evening.

    ...and this is why (plus the above as applied to food) obesity is both common and the most common reason for social ostracism.

    You don't care very much what family someone comes from.

    Instead you merely care how much money that family thrown at him/her.

    If you have an appointment, you'll mutter an excuse if you're five minutes late, and apologize profusely if it's ten minutes. An hour late is almost inexcusable.

    This is not acceptable in any culture. In US recently arrived foreigners are often late to their appointment because they don't have a car yet (something that in other countries is not strictly necessary to get anywhere).

    If you're talking to someone, you get uncomfortable if they approach closer than about two feet.

    This is the only thing that is actually valid in this list -- and only because Americans are trained to distrust each other and see a body of another human as some kind of abnormal, threatening or repulsive presence in their lives, while for others it's something ordinary, not significantly different from their own.

    About the only things you expect to bargain for are houses, cars, and antiques. Haggling is largely a matter of finding the hidden point that's the buyer's minimum.

    In USSR the only place one would be haggling is a farmers' market and maybe when buying a used car (from the previous owner). The idea of haggling for cars that happens in US is still something that I can't distinguish from outright scam, and I am not even going to explain what US real estate marker is.

Ever notice that even the busiest people are never too busy to tell you just how busy they are?

Working...