If you haven’t been living under a rock for the past fifteen years, I think you may have heard of Google. The Silicon Valley tech giant that started out with a single page and a few ideas on how to deliver better Internet search results seems to have its hands in everything these days; not just search, email, mapping, and the whole catalog, but also self-driving cars — and as it turns out, flying drones.
Yes. Google means to purchase a drone manufacturer called Titan Aerospace.
But wait – put those worst-case scenarios out of your mind; Google plans to use these drones to provide Internet service, power, and improved real-time aerial mapping — or so they say. But hey, my experience with the company over the past fifteen years and my gut tell me I can trust them more than the United States government with this technology.
This past weekend I was listening to the Stuff They Don’t Want You to Know audio podcast, wherein host Ben Bowlin suggested that a possible future of governance might rest with corporations — not in a shadowy overlord kind of way, but in a future in which we might actually want to live.
“Luxembourg: powered by Google.” I thought it a little funny, but it made me wonder whether that wouldn’t be better than the system we have – the one that keeps progressing through ever more sticky pools of stagnant party-driven rhetoric instead of administering policy that benefits the nation and its people in a fair and just manner. Could Google run the federal government?
Should it? Is it possible that a well-meaning mega-
corporation, with its resource and talent pools – not to mention a single style of leadership across the board – could outperform the doddering party politics of today? Fix the federal budget and Social Security? Find a solution to address the size of our military that will satisfy people on both sides of that fence?
Could you imagine that? Creative brainstorming over foreign policy. How to deal with this country’s transgressions or that one’s dangerous pollution levels? Let’s pin a bunch of ideas and talk about it — find a synergistic solution together, something we can realistically do. Domestic policy? Hey, let’s do a round table, I’m buying the protein smoothies!
To be honest, I’m at least a little interested in hearing more about the idea. After all, who’s afraid of Google? I bet they could do a lot to help this country move forward . . . a lot more than our current President, who for all his effort can get nothing done while having to deal with the barrel of moneys that is the Senate.
What do you think? Is there a way to evolve beyond the current system of government? Do corporations seem like the logical way (whether we like it or not?) Would you vote for Google, or do you have some other corporation in mind? (Please, no United States of Wal-Mart!) Let us know in the comments!
It seems like a good idea in principle, but I don’t think it will work because you will simply be replacing one political entity with another. In the end, my bet is that Google would become more like the Capital and less like Google.
That’s definitely a possibility, and a strong instinct we get from the cautionary aspect of some tales where you trade one bad guy for another.
Okay – so you’ve never readany Jasper Fforde then? Am I right?
laughing to myself — well … as entertaining a prospect as it certainly might be – I vote “nay” —simply because, either side of the border/fence, although perhaps more on your side given the slightly differences in how our governments operate, (as in systems), big business already have more than their hands in our stuff – and I honestly can’t think of one single instance where it could possibly really and truly work in favor of long-term economic and social benefit and sustainability for the people and the planet.
But thanks for sharing your thoughts – and yeah, I could see the appeal – but I’d never “buy” into it. 😉
I don’t know, I’d like to think that there’s a lot more corporate activity under the visible layer of American administration than most people realize. And honestly, I don’t see how anything could work long-term if you stretch out the “long” enough, when part of the basic human instinct is to resist change . . .
And no, I hadn’t even heard of Jasper Fforde!
Well, if you’re ever in need of some literary allusions and witty fun, check out Fforde’s “Thursday Next” series — totally smashingly wonderful read.
I agree – I don’t think you have to *think* there is more going on that what we,the public, perceive or know —- there is wayyyyy more than we could ever truly appreciate or accept — all very frightening and kind of Orwellian.
Great post and food for thought 🙂
Thanks! If you’re into things like that you could do worse than check out the podcast series I mentioned – they do a lot of different crazy things that maybe . . . they don’t want you to know.
when I have a bit more time I might just do that 🙂
Ooh, heady stuff, Rob. =) Interesting idea… will admit, I love it in theory, but wonder how it wold actually play out. I think that if everyone does not support doing things differently simply because “it will all end up being the same anyhow”, we will never do anything ! =) I say go for it, try something new, and if that fails, get up, dust off and create something new again, learning from our past mistakes. Nope, cannot call me jaded… I prefer to think that good can rise out of the ashes… =)
AMEN to the wallyworld comment !
Right? That’s exactly how I feel: yeah, we take a risk by changing the way the system works, but heck — we take a risk just by electing this politician or that one, so why not stop beating at the same old bush and try something else?
I’M SAYIN’ !! =)
I don’t think I could put that much power into a corporation…Google has its own set of interests and people are so much more malleable than they think. reminds me of that film, Idiocracy….Before we knew it COSTCO would be our university and we’d be watering the plants with gatorade.
Ha ha! I love that movie, and I never even thought of it while writing this post — if such a fate were ever to befall us as the corporatization of government, we could only hope that it wasn’t one whose sole interest in achieving leadership was to sell us a product. Although 20th Century Fox tried their darnedest to bury that movie, they can’t hide the idea that Mike Judge could be right about the idea that given the right . . . quality of populace, we could end up in a place that seems farcical compared to how it is today.
Which would just be sad, because it would make life seem like a farcical downward spiral.