I used to love you with all my heart. When I first discovered your search engine in the super-early part of the 2000’s or late-late 1990’s, I creamed in my jeans. It enabled me to transform myself into a formaldehyde-soaked brain, floating in a vat, and leave my shell permanently for a life of pure knowledge and consciousness. I can now process several terabytes of information with my human, chemical-soaked brain. I owe at least one of those terabytes to you and you alone.
The data you are collecting is being sold to advertisers, and while user identifications are being protected right now, they will not continue to be so. Also, the information you are gathering can only be used for controlling human behavior. The more you know, the more you can get people to do what your partners (advertisers) want them to do. This is applied social science on a gargantuan scale, and none of the operatives have taken oaths to protect their informants or respondents.
This concept is the basis of Internet 3.0, and Zuck employs it through Facebook (now public–meaning shareholders will tell them what information to gather), so the idea is not unique to you. But, unique to you is the corporate motto of “Do No Evil.” I expect Zuck to do evil, as I watched The Social Network, but your kind of corporate motto demands a much higher standard of ethical behaviors.
If any government seizes or hacks in to your information, people could die or be disappeared. Also, we don’t like to be coerced into doing anything, and behavior shaping through data collection is your bread and butter now.
Please continue your forays into alternative energy. Solar thermal power in the southwestern states should be the next new Big Thing for a decade or so.
Finally, if you are serious about doing no evil, stop trying to make money. After all, your shareholders don’t actually care if you do no evil. They’re just trying to make money.
It’s interesting that many links on your website have been shut down. I also think that transparency of government is extremely important if we want to maintain harmonious international relations.
I’ve heard about the brushes with the law you’ve had lately, and I suggest you not talk to or be in the same room with anyone without a “y” chromosome. While the suspicious nature of your arrest discredits the charges, that there were charges at all might sink one of you, and the possibility that something importune happened will unfortunately always taint you. Some folks have said that David Koresh was similarly accused because the government hated him, too.
With the U.S. less transparent and honest than the nation of Uruguay, you have a lot of work to do, and your work is vital to economic health. In much of Latin America, where corruption is so widespread, folks have lost the ambition to produce, create, and generate wealth because no matter how hard you work the pay and accolades will only be given to the person with the best connections, who is usually not you. The GDP of nations with such widespread corruption then starts to fall, because no amount of work and excellence will ever provide you with the social mobility you desire. Transparency ultimately limits the income gap between the richest 10% and the rest of us by exposing the corruption that makes trying to earn more money pointless. Equality therefore necessitates transparency.
So please continue your excellent reporting. The health of the global economy depends on it.
Stay away from the Cartels. Nerd brutality is cool, but Cartel brutality is Epic. I loved the idea that you wanted to perform such an act of justice, but their websites are hard to find.
You are currently the most powerful force in the wired world, should you use your capabilities in very precise ways. You can beget anything and destroy anything. “With power comes responsibility,” Uncle Ben said to Peter Parker.
Use the hell out of it. You might be organized enough one day to avert a global catastrophe. Don’t forget to appeal to ethics along the way.