Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mom! Dad! It's evil! Don't touch it!

Anyone remember Time Bandits?  I love that movie.  Good versus evil... Napoleon as a drunken, rambling little short man talking about other short men... Robin Hood's merry men punching the poor.... good times... good times....

In any case, there's some great lines in there about good in evil.  Kevin asks the Supreme Being why there needs to be evil (note:  if this had been an American movie, it would have been God... wouldn't want to offend the Christian conservatives you know).  The Supreme Being answers:  "I think it has something to do with free will."  See what I mean?  You get an all powerful Supreme Being who is a bit dotty... or maybe just sarcastic.

So now Google has decided to fight evil, by trying to do an end around the efforts of China's censorship blocks.  What's most notable to me about this is not that Google - the company that famously claimed its motto is "don't be evil" - is going to do the right thing for the people of China.  What's important is Wallstreet's attitude towards this event, the suggestion that Google stock prices will now tank because the massive population of China will no longer have access to its services and products.  I find that flat out the stupidest, most short sighted attitude possible.

What Google did was to affirm and uphold the promise of free speech for all, even those not of our country.  Yes, China immediately began blocking Google searches from Hong Kong.  Yes, Google is going to lose some partnerships that they derive income from in China.  But Google realized it was not worth the effort to try to gain a stake in this market at the cost of its own belief system.  Imagine that... a corporation putting morals ahead of profit!  Will wonders never cease!  It's as though the insurance industry woke up on its own, slashed premiums in half, and ordered that no one who wants coverage would be denied, regardless of their medical condition.

Google had the free will that the Chinese government still denies its own citizens.  They exercised it and did what I consider the right thing.  I wish that more American companies would be so bold in their relationship with censoring dictators like those in China.

Alas... evil doesn't fit in a toaster oven like the Sunday roast does....

"Never talk to me like that again! No one created me! I am Evil. Evil existed long before good. I made myself."

Good times.... good times....

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