The Right Coast

January 29, 2006
Be Evil. Whatever.
By Tom Smith

Google protest graphics.

Image censorship. So nice and seamless. This really makes me sick. Let's just edit history. We have the technology.

Question: can two play that game? Maybe Congress should consider some new law, say the Oppressive Regime Anti-Butt Kissing Act of 2006, to the effect that you get to pay some gargantuan fine if you help any country with more than a dozen or so gulags with their censorship program. Or call it, the We'll Help You Not Be Evil Act of 2006. What, you mean you can't be evil for free? At least let's have hearings and let the young billionaires explain why it's good for everybody in the long run to help bring mind control into the twenty first century.

Hey, and if you can mess with your algorithms to make nice with the nice Commies, why not pass along all that great intentionality info to whatever they call their KGB in the PR of Red China. Maybe they could do some insanely cool math and figure out if you search Gershwin, jazz, and whiskey within two weeks of each other, you have an 80 percent chance of being a subversive. Then it's off to the reeducation camp, which thanks to Google, has the latest in internet technology! We find it helps a lot with the reeducation process. That, and the thorazine. Sergey grew up in the USSR, so he knows all about that stuff, you know. Maybe he should have lived a few more decades in a free country before he became a billionaire. Maybe he should take a remedial class on good, evil, and the importance of individual humans and their decisions. (Sergy -- this is America. You are supposed to do the right thing, even if the government doesn't make you. Didn't you get a pamphlet or something?) At this class, maybe he could practice standing in front of toy tanks. Or spend a day in a day in a hell hole eating cockroaches and rats. I don't recall -- do they serve cockroaches and rats at the Googleplex? I know they have their very own chef. Those guys are just so cool, you know. Maybe instead of street hockey they could try guards and prisoners, and if a prisoner talks back, they could beat him senseless.

And another thing. Talk about a case for liberal education. Did these guys never take a class where they read some real books? Or was it just all matrix algebra and such? I mean, this is Werner von Braun with lava lamps and code. Maybe someone should introduce these larvae to the guys at Lawrence Livermore Lab, who helped scare the USSR into collapse by working on x-ray lasers and the like, and let them explain that just because you are an engineer, doesn't mean you have to cut deals with the devil. You don't have to betray everything you said you stood for.

Oh, I know! Let's put the latest in information technology at the service of the most brutal, scariest, and most threatening to freedom dictatorship on the face of the earth! We're geniuses, so it must be a good idea! How could it not be! I mean, maybe there is like some new model of mass human slavery yet to be worked out, and we can help!

Aquinas had a phrase for this, I think -- the corruption of the best is the worst. So maybe it should be: We weren't Evil; But now we are, and really good at it, too. Another tricky thing about evil is, often the evil are the last to know. Or maybe they were just a bunch of souless robot squids all along. Rich, though. Boy, they sure are rich.