Reginald Braithwaite on people wasting their lives and not caring about others

We take a generation of incredibly smart people who have been rigorously trained to deliver amazing code, running on a massive computing engine, and when confronted with a human being trying to learn something, they try to distract him with games. Can you imagine Google in charge of textbooks? In my children’s time, textbooks will be immersive experiences, complete with Google’s avatars whispering “Psst! Math is hard, let’s play games instead of studying.” Can you imagine Google making eyeglasses? They would obscure anything educational with virtual billboards for dating sites.


the whole point of having values is that sometimes you don't do the most expedient thing or the most profitable thing or the easy thing. That’s what makes them values...

Google (and the Internet) make me sad almost every day.


Google's biggest innovation in the ad space in the 10+ years they've been in it? In the face of ad click-through rates which never left anything asymptotically approaching zero, Google spat in the face of one of the few cultural touchstones common to the entire Internet-using population of the world. People inquire into the new defining characteristics of our new common internet culture that unites us in a world still divided by class, gender, nationalities, religion, language and a variety of other criteria. I'll give you a clue, and it's more than just our ability and desire to kill time talking about and doing nothing: it's our universal, (not near-universal) distaste, dismissal and ignoring of advertising sprayed across our retinas from screens in front of us. Find me a person who says they like ads, click on them, find them useful or beneficial to society and you've either got yourself a crazy person or someone who works for an advertising company (probably masquerading as something else.)

So, what did Google do in response to the fact that NO ONE was clicking on ads and it became increasingly clear that no one EVER WAS going to click on them? They put ads right on top of the Youtube content you were watching and with Zizekian inversion jujitsu "forced" you to click on them in order to actually see the content. Did you catch that? Because if you didn't I can assure you this is some serious ninja kung-fu action. To get rid of the thing you always wanted to avoid touching like the plague, Google started "forcing" you to do the one thing you wanted more than anything NOT to do.

People "choose" free services with ads like they "choose" the jobs they hate. What anyone with half a brain realizes is that people aren't "choosing" ads, but are rather "choosing" not to pay. No one is "choosing" to have their data sold and let companies do with it as they please.