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Schmidt admits that he thought the "don't be evil" slogan was stupid when he first came to Google

In a recent interview with NPR, Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said that he used to think his company's famous slogan -- "don't be evil" -- was stupid.

NPR host Peter Sagal interviewed Schmidt recently on a segment called "Not My Job," which humorously speaks with important leaders and includes a game of some sort. 

Sagal asked Schmidt how Google came up with the slogan, "don't be evil." 

"Well, it was invented by Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin]," said Schmidt. "And the idea was that we don't quite know what evil is, but if we have a rule that says don't be evil, then employees can say, I think that's evil. Now, when I showed up, I thought this was the stupidest rule ever, because there's no book about evil except maybe, you know, the Bible or something.

"So what happens is, I'm sitting in this meeting, and we're having this debate about an advertising product. And one of the engineers pounds his fists on the table and says, that's evil. And then the whole conversation stops, everyone goes into conniptions, and eventually we stopped the project. So it did work."


Sagal then humorously accused Schmidt of being the "businessman" type out of the group (among Page and Brin) who felt that an American business couldn't be evil. 

"You're coming in, like, you're a businessman who's been successful in all kinds of Silicon Valley business," said Sagal. "And you come in, and you're like this thing about not being evil, that'll never work in American business. What, are you crazy, kids?"

Sagal and Schmidt discussed a few other topics as well, such as Google Glass. Sagal asked Schmidt what the glasses are used for exactly. 

"Well, we don't quite know yet," said Schmidt. "We have maybe 2,000 of these. We've shipped them out to developers, and we're seeing what they develop. There's obviously issues, shall we say, of appropriateness of how people are going to use these things. There's a right time to have Google Glass on, and there's a right time to have it off, if you take my drift. 

"So kind of watch and see what people do with it and then decide what to do."

Source: NPR



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RE: Google Glass is the future
By dgingerich on 5/14/2013 11:20:44 AM , Rating: 4
Yeah, I agree. We need more Star Trek. Not the old 60's Star Trek. Not the new super action Star Trek. We need the Star Trek I grew up with: hope for the future, technology that's easy to use and helps people, and working together with unselfish purposes. We're getting closer on the replicator thing. We're getting closer on medical technology. Now we need non-lethal weapons, shields, and transporters.

Unfortunately, people are generally too selfish and stupid to work together on these things. We have one camp that thinks it's OK to just charge the most they can to get the largest profit they can, and another camp that thinks they deserve whatever they want no matter if they've worked for it or not, and another camp that thinks they have to go around helping the world because they've fallen for the second camp's lies, and finally a fourth camp that works hard to get by but has most of what they work for taken by the other three camps. This country, and this world, will never get anywhere with mentalities like that.

We're doomed to just become a full planet like Africa is today: warring, starving city states screwing over each other for the last scraps of food and for a few men to have power.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By BRB29 on 5/14/2013 11:25:59 AM , Rating: 3
Unfortunately, the only way to get everyone to work together is to have a common goal for survival or a common enemy to war.

I say we discover those aliens quickly and build spaceships!!


RE: Google Glass is the future
By ShaolinSoccer on 5/14/13, Rating: 0
RE: Google Glass is the future
By BRB29 on 5/14/2013 12:14:33 PM , Rating: 1
murdered? come on now.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By maugrimtr on 5/15/2013 8:42:44 AM , Rating: 2
Quite true though. If your original atoms are not transported, then what comes out the other end is a copy. What happens to the original?

That's what a lot of current teleportation theory is based on since you can communicate information/data far faster than transporting actual matter, e.g. using quantum entanglement perhaps.

This is also a reasonably common theme to explore in science fiction. The Prestige (a 2006 movie with Hugh Jackman and Christian Bale, with David Bowie playing Nikola Tesla) covered it. A certain Christopher Nolan was the screenplay writer. For books, Ilium/Olympos by Dan Simmons.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By finetsky on 5/20/2013 10:16:27 AM , Rating: 2
You create a perfect copy and there is no difference between two atoms of same element. Nobody ever can distinguish two of those apart. Therefore you are perfectly yourself as a 'copy'. The 'murder' is just a philosophical kind of problem. It is in your head. There is no reason to be worried from practical perspective.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By acer905 on 5/14/2013 12:27:55 PM , Rating: 2
More like... temporary suicide...


RE: Google Glass is the future
By Flunk on 5/14/2013 2:24:13 PM , Rating: 2
No, you're dead. A replica of you is recreated but you're just stone cold vaporized.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By ChronoReverse on 5/14/2013 2:56:17 PM , Rating: 1
Our teleportation might be like that but they have technobabble in Star Trek that makes transportation an actual transmission of the original person to the point where you can stay conscious during transportation in some cases.

Even the accident that duplicated Riker resulted in a "real" and "fake" Riker (as in the "fake" one is subtly but definitely different from the actual original in a detectable way).

</star trek geek>


RE: Google Glass is the future
By rameshms on 5/14/2013 3:50:14 PM , Rating: 2
Throw in the ability to move across time.. I think its called temporal inversion (something like that) caused by some particles..


RE: Google Glass is the future
By althaz on 5/14/13, Rating: 0
RE: Google Glass is the future
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2013 8:58:05 PM , Rating: 2
No that's wrong. Matter cannot be destroyed, it can only be converted. This is basic Einstein stuff here, come on.

"You" are not destroyed by the transporter. There is no "dead version" of you.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By karimtemple on 5/15/2013 9:38:17 AM , Rating: 2
Well, technically destroying something IS converting it. It's energy (and mass) that can't be destroyed, not matter. Also Einstein did not discover the Laws of Conservation of mass and energy.

Also, if you're talking about the matter, yes "you" are destroyed. The reason you aren't really destroyed is because "you" aren't really [just] matter. We had some inkling of that all those millenia ago, which is why [WARNING: I'M AN ATHEIST] we created the concept of spirit. The "information" sent by the transporter used to recreate you is as equivalent and exact to a soul as anything ever was. Technically (no, actually) we're talking about transhumanism here.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By karimtemple on 5/15/2013 9:43:01 AM , Rating: 2
Okay, to clarify, I was not talking about Star Trek here.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By Souka on 5/14/2013 9:15:22 PM , Rating: 2
both Riker's were %100 exact copies of each other at the time of the accident

Differences developed over time due to their enoviroment, and how they lived.

</star trek geek-er>


RE: Google Glass is the future
By maugrimtr on 5/15/2013 9:06:10 AM , Rating: 2
Star Trek uses the "matter stream" term to let it be know that the original is never destroyed (barring transporter accidents). It's still a bit tricky - you are being disassembled and reassembled from a "pattern buffer" which can store your pattern for potentially years (e.g. the ST:TNG episode with Scotty).


RE: Google Glass is the future
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2013 8:02:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
No, you're dead. A replica of you is recreated but you're just stone cold vaporized.


Uhh that's not Star Trek, that sounds more like The Prestige, where Tesla created a cloning machine.

Teleporters in Star Trek convert your matter into an energy beam that's collected by another transporter which converts your energy patterns back into matter. At an exact 1 to 1 ratio.

Nothing is "vaporized".


RE: Google Glass is the future
By althaz on 5/14/2013 8:40:41 PM , Rating: 3
What exactly do you think "converts your matter to energy patterns" means exactly, lol :).

It means ripping your sub-atomic particles apart in order to capture the information they contained (that's you).


RE: Google Glass is the future
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/2013 9:04:05 PM , Rating: 2
This stuff is over your head I guess. Sure it's science fiction, but claiming the Transporters kill you and create a clone of you in your place is absurd.

Also we know from watching the show that you are conscious during transport. The technology of the show is fantastic, but I'm pretty sure the transporter doesn't have mechanisms to transfer your consciousness and the entirety of your life experiences and memories into a new body.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By finetsky on 5/20/2013 10:25:50 AM , Rating: 2
"transfer your consciousness and the entirety of your life experiences and memories into a new body."
Consciousness and memories are function of your brain. When you transport and assemble it back together then you are perfectly yourself again.
'entirety of your life'?? What do you mean? I have never seen anyone being eternal by any means.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By Mint on 5/14/2013 1:09:38 PM , Rating: 5
quote:
another camp that thinks they have to go around helping the world because they've fallen for the second camp's lies
That's a pretty condescending view of philanthropy.

If we didn't have selfish/racist/nationalistic people with big mouths convincing the masses that richer nations can't afford giving away even 0.7% of their GDP to help make MASSIVE improvements in the quality of life elsewhere (and probably create domestic jobs in the process), these generous folk wouldn't have reason to help the world.

The western world's problems have nothing to do with excessive moochers or foreign aid.

It's ALL because people with the ability to spend don't want to spend more on themselves, don't want to spend more on others, and don't want the gov't to spend more for them. The whole point of them having high income is to have a bigger say in what and for whom the economy produces; in fact, it is their collective responsibility (even if we can't blame anyone individually). Choosing nothing is absurd.
quote:
Unfortunately, people are generally too selfish and stupid to work together on these things

We already have a means of working together to decide what problems the economy solves: Democratically voted gov't spending.

If the top quintile aren't generating enough demand, and their savings can't be used by banks to safely generate more demand, then what other choice is there?


RE: Google Glass is the future
By dgingerich on 5/15/2013 9:35:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
That's a pretty condescending view of philanthropy.


Let me let you in on a little secret. Doing things for someone doesn't really help them, unless they are completely without ability to do it themselves. It actually hurts them. they develop a sense that they can't do things on their own, and after a while pretty much give up on trying. this is seen a lot in the inner cities. Many minorities see "the man" holding them back when in fact it is their own dependence on public assistance and a lack of self confidence that is actually holding them back. They are certainly capable of doing things themselves, but with the mentality of the government and "philanthropic" type people within the government, it's perpetuated. It's even made worse, as the welfare, medicaid, and food stamp programs all punish any attempts to work to try to get out of it. (The Republicans are partly to blame for that part, too, but mostly the Democrats for setting up the system in the first place.) What started out as some good people trying to help whose who need help has become political slavery. Those who perpetuate it as as guilty of that slavery as the ones who fully take advantage of it.

It is much more wise for this to be handled by small, private charities who can spot the ones taking advantage of the situation and don't have any particular political advantage in doing charity work. It's far more efficient because they don't have to deal with the large scale bureaucracy issues of government and large charities. (United Way is one of the worst run private charities in existence today, with less then 15% of what's donated going to actually help people. Most of their money goes toward actually helping anyone. However, they are still more efficient than the US government.) Another bad part is that the money intended for enhancing society (NASA, for instance) gets diverted to perpetuating this political slavery, by the very people who are claiming to help people, and then blamed on the people trying to save this country from being eaten alive.

If we keep this up, we're going to go bankrupt before 2015. The current rate of overspending will make us unable to even cover our interest payments from our tax collections at that point. There will be no more money for anything except paying interest on debt. Have you ever known someone who has their entire income go toward credit card payments, unable to do anything else with it? I have. There is no way out at that point. People who think this is avoidable while still spending money like this are just deluding themselves.

I'm convinced that our President and his cadre know this and see this future as a way of consolidating and increasing their power. If they drive the country to bankruptcy, they can kill private industry due to currency devaluation and take over with a state run economy. Any opposition would be rendered powerless. It will be a disaster. It would turn us all into political slaves.

It's disgusting. I don't intend to let it happen.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By finetsky on 5/20/2013 10:41:34 AM , Rating: 2
I am EU citizen. EU is far more socialist then US and we don't have such a dept as you have. So the social spending is not the biggest issue. You spend far to much on war/military and subsidies (oil,farmers etc).
I agree with you about misplaced help. But there are much more sophisticated ways to help. It is not right to give someone on regular basis for no work but it is right to help sick for free. If you have cancer you have no resources to help yourself. It is right to help if you loose a job for a while. It is right to help if you have newborn in the family and it is right to give you chance to study university for low price if you are smart and your parents cannot afford it. Of course all this needs to be given to right people under strict conditions but It works perfectly then and life is pleasure and not constant struggle. Have you ever been to Sweden, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Norway or even Germany? You would be surprised. High standard of living and low dept.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By Azethoth on 5/15/2013 10:19:14 PM , Rating: 4
Ah ignorance. Here is a fact for you: the third world loses much more money to corruption than they ever get in charity / assistance / handouts.

Increasing aid is just another way of saying increase corruption.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By half_duplex on 5/14/2013 4:31:23 PM , Rating: 3
Amazing.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By Reclaimer77 on 5/14/13, Rating: 0
RE: Google Glass is the future
By Cheesew1z69 on 5/14/2013 8:46:15 PM , Rating: 1
Africa is a planet?


RE: Google Glass is the future
By NA1NSXR on 5/14/2013 9:41:25 PM , Rating: 2
This kind of errant thinking was throughly debunked by Adam Smith 200 years ago. It is the masses of have-nots throughout history who have complained of the greed and lies of those of those who have, yet never improved their condition over the course of over a thousand years. It is the profit motive that was the real liberating and quantum leap in human thinking which lead to an unprecedented improvement in the standard of living for all, even for the poorest among us, in a scant two centuries.

People pursuing their own interests for selfish economic purposes, cooperating voluntarily with those they wish to, is the only system in recorded history that has improved the human condition. It is proven to maximize the freedom of the individual and the benefit of the masses to the greatest extent.

History doesn't bear out your story. At all.


By inperfectdarkness on 5/16/2013 4:12:04 AM , Rating: 2
Agreed. But most people's views on Ayn Rand only extend to playing Bioshock.

Selfish pursuit of happiness is what has pushed progress; yet it is disparaged as barbaric & evil.


RE: Google Glass is the future
By karimtemple on 5/16/2013 8:57:41 AM , Rating: 3
By oversimplifying the situation, you've missed almost every point. You think the "profit motive" was something invented centuries ago? The world truthfully hasn't changed all that much -- the only 'quantum leaps' we've had have been due to the decrease of the legitimacy of violence, the increase in cooperative thinking, and science .

Selfishness is not a virtue and it's not a tool; it's just there. It's just one reality of the way consciousness works. What guides it to being either useful or detrimental is principle (or the lack thereof). Ayn Rand was an idiot.


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