What happened?
Twelve years!
You hit me with a cricket bat!
Ha! Twelve years!

Wednesday, August 30

World

This Week In Australian Politics

About a month ago, I noted that two Australian politicians had been found after years in parliament to have never been eligible for election because our constitution forbids anyone holding dual citizenship with another country from becoming a federal representative or senator.

The number is now seven confirmed instances and at least another eight possible cases - including the Deputy Prime Minister and the Senate opposition leader.  Labor (the opposition party right now) are sitting on documentation of citizenship status after originally promising to release it, so there are almost certainly more shoes set to drop in coming weeks.

All of which means, basically, nothing, because no-one cares about Australian politics, least of all Australians.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 07:17 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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Saturday, August 12

World

The End Of Google?

Call for Mr Betteridge.  Mr Betteridge to the courtesy phone please.

Unless you've been sleeping peacefully under a rock for the past week - in which case, congratulations - you'll be aware that Google fired an employee.  With over 70,000 employees under the Alphabet umbrella, this is something that must happen every day of the year, but in this case it was handled so ineptly that the resulting chaos resembled a bored teenager setting off a cherry bomb in a nest of crazy ants.

What happened was this: James Damore, a biologist working for Google in some unspecified capacity, disagreed with Google's methods for meeting its diversity quotas and wrote a memo suggesting adjustments to the company's approach.  Damore, being a nerd, evidently forgot that if Rule 1 of Corporate America is CYA, Rule 1a is Don't rock the boat.

The usual suspects leaked this internal memo to the ever-hungry outrage mobs and the mainstream media - if there is any distinction these days - and the relatively dull memo was immediately spun into a latter-day Mein Kampf.  Within a day, the CEO of Google publicly announced the firing of the suddenly inconvenient Damore.

When the CEO of a major public company has to personally address the firing of a single, fairly low-level employee, who has broken no laws nor done anything that - without the leak - anyone outside the company would have even known about, it means that the corporate structure has screwed up, badly.

And the nature and scale of the panic exhibited by Google makes it clear that engineers are no longer running the show.

And that is a huge problem for Google.

We implicitly trust engineers because we know they view the rest of humanity with benign indifference, as long as we don't gum up the works.  Engineers want to build things, and they enjoy seeing the things they build getting put to use.  An engineer-led Google could be trusted implicitly with your email, because they were far more interested in shaving another fifty milliseconds off the response time of the search box than they were in anything you could possibly be mailing back and forth, short of a solution to the Goldbach Conjecture.

The Outrage Mobs, on the other hand, don't care about building things, don't think in fact that anything should be built, but are passionately interested in what you say and what you think and what your motives are.

And if the mobs are gaining power inside Google, as they seem to be, that means there is no longer that implicit trust, that rather, we can expect sooner or later the backlash will take the step from fellow employees to customers.

Which would be utterly disastrous for Google, of course, but as I said, the mobs aren't interested in building things.

Google have so far responded with profound ineptitude to what should really have been a trivial internal problem solved by a chat with HR.  What they do next could save or doom the entire company.

If I were playing the market, I'd go long on Amazon and Microsoft right now.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 08:34 PM | Comments (11) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
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