You Have No Idea

“If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle between ‘for’ and ‘against’ is the mind’s worst disease.” — Jianzhi Sengchan

Inside one of many Google data warehouses

I’d be remiss if I didn’t talk about Google’s latest shift in becoming more hands-on with filtering information. Yes, the purpose is to block what they consider being misinformation about COVID vaccinations. But this additional step in screening and then deciding what they feel we should see speaks to a much broader issue regarding Big Tech’s role in information distribution.

Looking at this from a 10,000 foot view and as an ex-Googler myself, I’m concerned about this latest development. It’s not about COVID, YouTube, or any other content. So let’s extract those from the discussion and talk about this from an overarching view on power.

Information is power. In fact, it’s the ultimate power. Often, I’ll randomly ask someone who/what they think controls the world. I’ll get answers like “government, media, billionaires, etc…” But the answer is Google.

Surely, they are a large company and most information flows through them, but they couldn’t possibly be the single most powerful entity in the world?

Yes, Google is BY FAR the most powerful entity on the planet, and here’s why:

  • Google’s search engine makes up 95% of the world’s market share. (You’ll see stats of 92%, but it’s 95%.) They are the #1 distributor of all information in the world.
  • Google owns Android, which absolutely DOMINATES the global mobile market. (Public facing data puts it at 72% share, but I know internally, the stats are more like 84% Android vs 16% IOS. Google doesn’t even remotely consider Apple as a competitor.)
  • Google owns the most popular social media platform, YouTube, with over 2 BILLION active users per month worldwide. (Sorry Tiktok friends, but YouTube is still the leader with total time watched.)
  • Google owns Doubleclick (which is the division I worked for) and is the advertising technology; serving, tracking, collecting, and measuring 99% of ALL online advertising and user data. (Yes, Google has a monopoly on every single ad and the data collected on 99% of all websites. The only large platform they DON’T have access to is Facebook. And therefore, Facebook IS considered a direct competitor to Google. Don’t talk to me about Microsoft. Who the hell are they?)

I remember presenting to my clients Google’s stats, persuading them to increase their multi-million dollar buys with us. And every time I got to the slide, which showed absolute sheer digital space domination, everyone laughed. It wasn’t meant to be funny, but we all knew how insane it was because it was true.

What doesn’t Google have control over?

There were a few times when ad agency directors would ask me if the U.S. government would ever go after Google for basically being a monopoly.

I’d always respond with, “I can’t answer that. Let’s move along. Next slide, please.”

Because the government took a blind eye to this thing called the “World Wide Web” many years ago, they left the door WIDE OPEN for Google to become a monopoly. No oversight. And it’s a private company, so they don’t have to share jack sh*t with anyone.

There are a handful of people in the entire company that know exactly how Google’s algorithm works. Anytime clients asked me, my response always had to be “That’s proprietary information”. And that’s exactly what Sundar Pichai (who now leads Google after the founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, stepped down) says when the government asks him.

“Our algorithm is proprietary information.”

Translation: “You jackasses allowed us to become a monopoly and now you want to know how it works? We’re a private company. Good luck with that.”

They have absolute immunity. And believe me, you felt it when you worked there. No one could touch us. Anti-trust lawsuits were laughable. Our internal legal team was unlike anything I had ever seen before.

Every single company in the world HAD to buy advertising/search/data analysis/cloud from us because we were THE market. There are no competitors to Google. They hold ALL the data.

It’s not so much about the algorithm, but more about the literal trillions of data points Google collects about you from all kinds of queries BOTH ON AND OFFLINE, completing an entire customer journey which advertisers pay 100’s of millions of dollars to use.

They have so many data warehouses across the globe which stores the trillions of queries from you it’s becoming an energy crisis.

“Google considers its water use a proprietary trade secret and bars even public officials from disclosing the company’s consumption. But information has leaked out, sometimes through legal battles with local utilities and conservation groups. In 2019 alone, Google requested, or was granted, more than 2.3 billion gallons of water for data centers in three different states, according to public records posted online and legal filings.”

My job was to sell this absolute monster amount of proprietary data and technology to advertisers to serve YOU (Mr. and Ms. Internet User) ads. Remember, advertising makes the world go ‘round. Without YOUR data, Google wouldn’t exist. I hate to say this, but Google owns you and I. That’s not to scare you. It’s just facts.

Besides the several anti-trust lawsuits they’ve battled for YEARS with the EU and Australian governments, the U.S. filed in October 2020, the LARGEST ANTI-TRUST suit ever over unfair competitive practices against Google. In fact, our very own DOJ is about to file an additional anti-trust suit against Google’s monology on digital advertising.

For years, Larry and Sergey were on an absolute acquisition binge. They wanted to OWN every market, not just corner it.

Why?

Because who was going to stop them? They’re a private company. It’s BECAUSE Google owns so many properties that they can track you everywhere. Yes, you’re tracked offline. In fact, I targeted you.

The sheer volume of acquisitions became so unwieldy it forced Larry and Sergey to create an umbrella for this absolute beast they built. They named the umbrella “Alphabet”. This happened when I was working. There was no way Larry and Sergey could oversee every single piece of Google. It became way too massive and scrutiny was increasing around how pervasive they were becoming in all areas of life, to be very honest. So they had to create the parent company “Alphabet” in order to stave off the prying eyes of the U.S. government.

You see, we have government officials who oversee our radio, television, and telephones. It’s called the Federal Communications Commission. And yet, there’s NO oversight for the internet? That is just absolutely insane. There’s no other word for it. But that ship has sailed. We waved ‘bye-bye’ to that long ago when we elected 80-year-old men who didn’t have the faintest idea what a URL was.

When someone gives me the very archaic argument of “Well, they’re a private company. They’re allowed to do whatever they want!” in response to YouTube now banning anti-vaxx videos, I say:

“You don’t have the faintest idea as to what you’re talking about.”

I mean that with all due respect. I really do. However, this is NOT about COVID. This is NOT about misinformation or whatever being distributed out there. No. This is:

  • A private company with ZERO oversight, who’s also the largest information distributor and data collection company in the entire world, who has several anti-trust lawsuits filed against them by many countries INCLUDING our own. And now they are in the business of filtering out what they feel we should and should not see.

Someone at Google better update their mission statement because “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” doesn’t work anymore.

90% of people were tickled pink to see this YouTube news because it supports their own ideology! How would you feel if they banned pro-vaccination videos? Probably pretty differently, huh?

Is there misinformation out there? Yep! Did we elect Google to filter our content for us? Nope! And that’s the problem. Since when did Google become the bearer of Truth?

Then what’s in it for YouTube to ban anti-vaxx videos?

I don’t know. I ran away from that place because it’s quite literally like working in an insane asylum. Water cooler conversations were about what nervous breakdown # you were on and what month you were going to take your mental leave of absence. I wish I was kidding…

What I do know is Google is a machine. Machines do not possess feelings. Don’t think for one second Google’s not getting a big fat payday in exchange for banning anti-vaxx videos. They’re not doing it out of the “kindness of their heart”. Algorithms don’t have hearts. Just like how Apple is not scanning your photos to find child molesters. C’mon people, work with me! These companies do not care about you. Say it altogether now!

Here’s the deal:

Google doesn’t care about you. They didn’t just get a little humanitarian tingle in their ball sack. Google’s concerned about one thing and that’s MONEY. If they cared about anything other than money, you wouldn’t have Googlers staging walk-outs and creating a union.

NOT EVEN WALMART HAS A UNION.

So now what? We shouldn’t trust Google?

Here’s my opinion:

  • I don’t think Google is evil.
  • I use Google. I have Google products in my home. (I also sold my soul to them long ago, so what difference does it make now?)
  • I trust Google as a whole. However, I DO NOT trust them to tell me what content I should and should not see. Had this happen when Larry and Sergey were still in charge, my answer would be very different. Shit changed when Sundar took over. There are a plethora of news articles which speak to this.
  • We need to create an updated constitution, which includes digital rights and powers. This is actually from the genius brain of my long-time friend Geoff Pilkington. But he’s right. Our U.S. Constitution from the 1700s is incredibly outdated. If we update our IOS every other day, we certainly need to take a hard look at a document which was written over 200 years ago.
  • I believe in decentralization. (I invest in cryptocurrency after all) Open the floodgates of information! No entity should have the ultimate power to decide what humans should/should not see. The brain fully develops by the age of 25. Surely, at that point, one can decide what information they want to ingest into their brain. And any age prior to that needs to be in the hands of parental control in terms of digital usage.

But Kira, without filtration in place, it would release all kinds of awful content onto the web and cause the end of the world!

You’re projecting YOUR fear and disdain of fellow human beings, and I simply won’t have it. Will there be some wicked, crazy shit on the internet? Yep! Do I think humans are inherently good? YES.

I do not feel the freedom of information would cause our planet to collapse. In fact, I think it would increase critical thinking skills, as the brain would have to step up and think logically for a change.

How dare anyone dictate what I can and can not read/watch! This is not the CCP. Though, it’s looking a little like it. (I said, “A LITTLE”. Calm your tits.)

Allow Darwinism to happen. If some people watch a video and decide to eat horse dewormer, allow it! That’s an adult who’s deciding how they want to live their life. This is the basis of survival of the fittest. Do their actions affect the rest of us? Yep! But so do your actions. It’s called being part of the same species. We all affect one another in some way, shape or form, life or death. It’s the beauty of existence.

Bottom Line:

  • I’m not saying don’t trust Google. What I am telling you is to have a critical eye. Things are not always what they seem. You distrust certain media outlets and yet never think about the actual distributor of information? Yikes…

Don’t go looking for or fearing the wolf. But also, don’t be surprised if the wolf shows up as one of the sheep.

Did You Know?

China is currently experiencing an enormous energy crisis.

Who cares?

Have you tried to buy a sofa, for example, and the retailer said it’ll be available in 8 months?

  • Coal generates electricity. Electricity is needed to run manufacturing. The problem is coal is ASTOUNDINGLY expensive. China’s literally in the dark trying to conserve enough energy for the factories.

And?

  • The U.S. is the largest importer of Chinese goods. That includes mobile phones, computer chips, auto parts, FOOD, basically all electronics, and much MUCH more.

What’s this mean?

  • Well, we have a bit of a supply and demand problem on our hands. Think back to Economics 101. Everything is completely bottle-necked right now, and it looks most likely to increase tenfold over the next year.
  • On top of the crisis in China, when the goods do get delivered to our U.S. ports, we don’t have enough truck drivers to get them into the stores!

Why?

Ah! Well, that’s because U.S. companies have taken FULL advantage of their workers for many years. And it just so happens Americans aren’t taking it anymore. They’re sick of pissing in plastic bottles, racing around delivering packages for barely minimum wage.

Human beings are not robots, and they actually need to be paid a LIVING WAGE. Mental and emotional health is paramount or the brain will say, “F*ck it!”. And that’s where American workers are at. Can you blame them?!

  • We have our own capitalism problem here. And I’d HIGHLY recommend reading this article to learn more about it and its origins.

A bit of doom and gloom, Kira, yeah?

No, just reality. Though you better buy those holiday gifts like yesterday. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Silver lining: WE DON’T NEED SO MUCH SH*T IN OUR LIVES. Maybe this’ll help people become a bit more aware of valuing people over stuff, experiences over luxuries. Oh, and it’s probably time we get just a wee bit more self-sustaining as individuals and as a country.

Start up those hobby farms! The chickens have officially come home to roost.

Would You Rather?

Be 4 years old your entire life or be 90 years old your entire life?

Holy crap, this is hard! At first, it’s not, but when you really sit with it, it can be very debatable in your mind. Interestingly enough, I think I’d choose to be 4 years old my entire life. The whimsical life of a child is such a fun thing to watch. To not fear the world and to not truly see the darkness it holds is the thing of envy. I would enjoy this life as a child, never worrying about growing up. I’d forever stay in Neverland.

Though one could argue, I never truly grew up.

Which one would you choose?

Make Humor Great Again

A blonde woman was speeding down the road in her little red sports car and was pulled over by a female police officer, who was also a blonde.

The blonde cop asked to see the blonde driver’s license. She dug through her purse and was getting progressively more agitated.

“What does it look like?” she finally asked.

The policewoman replied, “It’s square, and it has your picture on it.”

The driver finally found a square mirror in her purse, looked at it and handed it to the policewoman.

“Here it is,” she said.

The blonde officer looked at the mirror, then handed it back, saying, “OK, you can go. I didn’t realize you were a cop…”

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