[Disclaimer: This is a satirical piece. It is sad that I need to spell it out, but it is required. It could be very bad, or very good, but at least you know what it is]
Part 2 of 3
Davos, Switzerland from the WEF 2005
Enter The Google
I am still dreaming here in Davos, a wacky place of clean mountain air, snow, some polite protestors, lots of fence and barbed wire, and the whole collective body of those Who Run The Whole World. Conspiracy Theorists: you have no idea. It’s way, way beyond anything your small minds can comprehend.
I received an e-mail. Come visit with Sergey and Larry. The GoogleGuys! Cool! The coolest tech guys here. Bill Gates is so not cool. Yes he’s smart and yes he’s Mr. Software and yes he donates hundreds of millions of dollars. But is he cool? No way. Clinton? eh. Bono? The Edge is cooler. Dell? boring. The only guys here with their game really on are the GoogleGuys.
The GoogleGuys? They own this place. They’re on top of the world in every possible way you can imagine. This is a peak, but it should keep peaking. Since this is a dream, why not meet the GoogleGuys? I enter the chamber where they are holding court and survey a spread of the best chocolates, wines, cheese, pretty much anything. Come. Eat. Be a Shiny Happy Person. The leaders of the free and not so free world come by to pay their respects to the new rulers of the web, and soon to be world. The GoogleGuys! Larry and Sergey! Sergey and Larry! The whole place had that furry, friendly, poppy, sunny, Polyphonic Spree vibe. Free kool-aid for all! The GoogleGuys are kind of like muppets: you want to throw them in a box and bring them home for your kids to play with (they may not like that). How about Sergey and Larry action figures, fighting the evil overlord Bill with their sunshine superpowers and mega Power Rangers dual mind. The scary thing is that they themselves are a kind of biotech parallel processing supercomputer, communicating with each other through some secret Ultra WiFi tele-mind network, seeing and knowing all. Muppet velociraptors, hunting in pairs, killing you with their utter Googleness. They really are Google. They just ooze utter Googleness. It’s a shiny, happy place in GoogleLand, and all of the rules have changed. They gave me that hey dude, we know you hacked your way in too, but we found the cheat code book. We are so far ahead its sick. And we’re holding back like, so much. We’re the new dungeonmasters, the new sysops. This is like the ultimate video game and they won and now they own the arcade. They have infinite bonus lives, unlimited ammo, and they found the source code and are now building mods as they go. Wozniak, Jobs, Captain Crunch – hackers of the world – the Google guys have smoked you beyond belief. They have hacked in and taken over the kernel, and boy are they having fun. Much respect to the GoogleGuys. The rules of business are different in GoogleLand, because they hacked in and changed the rules. The GoogleGuys are not smart, they are beyond smart. Jedi level smart. Yoda smart. Winning Space Invaders all day long smart. Cool and fuzzy and we all live in a Yellow Google Submarine. VW Beatles. iPods. They’re actually like the Beatles, John & Paul (minus Ringo and George). Happy, smiley, goofy moptops who top the charts with every album, everything they do. They even have their own George Martin, who helps to turn their demos into Sgt. Peppers. In this dream, which just keeps getting wierder, you don’t use Google, you just query the GoogleGuys. It’s Google in the real world, in physical form. Google avatars. One of them hinted at aliens and life from another planet. Maybe. Maybe they are from another planet. There is that Mork quality of doing good, the friendly alien here to save the earth from evil corporate scum. They have come here to show us a new way, like a cool X-files episode, or some odd Star Trek meets Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Like the Raelians, but not in that wierd French sex-cult-hairgel-mousse kind of way. A new, Google way of doing business, of doing things, of Googling. I think I overstayed my welcome in GoogleLand, but it is just so happy in GoogleLand, you simply don’t want to leave. Everyone wants to come to GoogleLand, and be Googled. Larry speaking to someone who looks like he runs 40% of the free world. Hey guys, lets throw a nerf around! Uh, sure, but the pope is here and we need to talk to him for a second. Why don’t you just talk to that guy over there? Ok, hi, who are you? Oh, a Kennedy! Of course, we’re in GoogleLand, which is a higher level of dream than just Davos. It has its own reality distortion field, its own laws of gravity. Chocolate rivers flow freely, and I completely expected to walk outside to a land of rainbow trees, purple skies, and chocolate chip cookie plants. Cutthroat business? Slash and burn? Corporate scum? No, this is GoogleLand and it’s a special place, like the place at the end of the Skittles Rainbow (just don’t fall off). The GoogleGuys are like the guys in high school who probably aced every single math and science test, tutored all the cheerleaders in math (while their boyfriends were out practicing football), ran the varsity chess club, and probably taught computer science to the whole school. The popular kids likely wrote them off, but on prom night they would show up in some supercool levitating batmobile, with the hottest dates (genetically created in a dish but still superhot, with 5 girls for each of them). Wierd Science but even more. They win over the school, become co-prom kings, and have the kind of prom night one can only imagine friendly aliens from Roswell would have with 10 genetically engineered supermodels. Mind over matter. The popular kids from high school? They now work as janitors in GoogleLand. But in GoogleLand even the janitors are happy, well-fed, and full of zip-da-dee-doo-dah. There is no revenge, no anger in GoogleLand. Only rankings. GoogleZen is the new religion. You reach a state of GoogleNirvana and for a moment you can see the true buddah-nature of the GoogleGuys. They are both Neo and The Matrix.
The GoogleGuys have redefined cool for a whole new generation of kids (football? basketball? screw that – computers rock!) The GoogleGuys have redefined business. Yahoo "powered by Google". Holy crap that was so cool when Yahoo was powered by Google. Yahoo powered by Google. Say it again. It is a secret mantra, and if you repeat it enough times you will reach the next level of GoogleConsciousness. There needs to be a business degree at Harvard devoted to how they pulled that one off. "NBC, powered by CBS". "GE, powered by Siemens". "China, powered by Guam". "The U.S., powered by France". They should have fired everyone at Yahoo just for letting that happen. And the GoogleGuys did it. They are 21st century Mafia godfathers. They took over the whole neighborhood. They are the new dons, albeit friendly and warm and fuzzy, but hey, if I was Gates I might be worried about getting a stuffed toy horse’s head on my bed. The GoogleGuys. Imagine if they ran the world. Fast. Simple. Clean. Efficient. Good interface. All knowning. Algorithms? That’s total B.S. The GoogleGuys are from another dimension and they’re just playing around with us. It will be a fun ride until Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones show up and haul them back to their home Planet Google, who sent them here on a class field trip (homework assignment: build a company and become billionaires and take over the web. Next assignment: create new forms of life without carbon).
It’s actually not fair that there are two GoogleGuys. As a challenge, they should give Larry to Microsoft and play more fairly. And Microsoft can swap out Balmer to Google (No, you don’t need to use him. Just have him hike the ball and play lineman). Everyone else, be afraid.
Oh yeah. The World Economic Forum does have a real Wizard of Oz. I met him. He’s kind of like Auric Goldfinger, but with a happy twinkle in his eye. I heard the term "secular messiah" tossed about. I think maybe he made the GoogleGuys in his secret underwater lab, or maybe he’s also from the same planet. The whole world comes to his party, his land of Oz. What a long, strange trip it is. And it’s even wierder than Oz. The Wizard isn’t a bad guy – in fact he kind of is like the real Wizard, behind his curtain, pulling strings, but hoping in his heart that maybe he can hand out a heart here and a brain there. In true Utopian fashion, the Wizard is trying to do good, to make the world a better place. In fact Davos for the week is Utopia, an utterly beautiful, clean capsule of the world in which only the best and brightest live, the hand-picked cherries of the globe. In this dream there is a huge filter that keeps out the rest of the nasty evil world so the elite of the elite can think, eat, sleep, laugh, and play. Davos is what the world would be if basically everything and everyone average and below average was gone (except to hang your coats and give you directions to the next session, but even those people were the best of the best). But is that a good thing? While you are there you are lured into feeling different, special, better – but is that a good thing? Yes Oz is a wonderful place, full of wonders beyond wonders. But is the rest of the world living a nightmare while we dream?