From the New York Times:
Google Doesn’t Want What’s Best for UsSounds plausible, but it turns out that the proof of this is purported to be the existence of Trump supporter Peter Thiel.
By JONATHAN TAPLIN AUG. 12, 2017
After all, Thiel and Google are both associated with Silicon Valley:
… The rise of Google and the other giant businesses of Silicon Valley have been driven by a libertarian culture that paid only lip service to notions of diversity. Peter Thiel, one of the ideological leaders in the Valley, wrote in 2009 on a blog affiliated with the Cato Institute that “since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women — two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians — have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron.”I recently told a friend I couldn’t remember if Thiel had invested in Google as well as Facebook. He replied: “Thiel would a lot richer if he’d also invested in Google.”
If women should not even have the vote, why should we worry about gender diversity in the engineering ranks?
But who can be bothered to Google that before writing an NYT oped?
Today Google is under growing scrutiny, and the cognitive dissonance between the outward-facing “Don’t be evil” stance and the internal misogynistic “brogrammer” rhetoric was too extreme.As a general rule, you can be sure that anybody who uses the word “brogrammer” non-ironically is yanking your chain.
Google had to fire the offending engineer, James Damore, but anyone who spends time on the message boards frequented by Valley engineers will know that the “bro” culture that gave us Gamergate — an online movement that targeted women in the video game industry — is much more prevalent than Mr. Pichai wants to acknowledge.On August 31, 2016 Wired reported that more money was donated to Hillary Clinton by Google employees than by any other company in the country during the previous month. The ratio of Clinton to Trump donations from Google employees that month was $174,000 to $250.
The Google Transparency Project found:
Google’s Support for Hillary Clinton
Google executives and employees bet heavily on a Clinton victory, hoping to extend the company’s influence on the Obama White House. They lost that bet, and are left scrambling to find an entrée to the Trump administration. …
Google’s extraordinarily close relationship with President Obama’s administration led to a long list of policy victories of incalculable value to its business. …
Google’s executives and employees employed a variety of strategies to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump. Google permeated Clinton’s sphere of influence on a broad scale, rivaling the influence it exerted over the Obama administration. A review found at least 57 people were affiliated with both Clinton—in her presidential campaign, in her State Department, at her family foundation—and with Google or related entities. In addition, 10 people who worked under Clinton at the State Department later joined the New America Foundation, a Google-friendly think tank where Google’s Eric Schmidt served as chairman and was one of its top donors.
Although the company and its chairman, Eric Schmidt, were ultimately unsuccessful in electing Clinton, their efforts underscore the profound and novel ways a corporation can influence our democracy beyond simple financial donations.