Google's Eric Schmidt: "Don't Be Evil" was Stupid
May 14, 2013 11:00 AM
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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
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
. 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."
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RE: Google Glass is the future
5/15/2013 9:35:08 AM
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
5/20/2013 10:41:34 AM
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.
"The Space Elevator will be built about 50 years after everyone stops laughing" -- Sir Arthur C. Clarke
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