What Do Google and Gangsters Have In Common?

Google's Eric Schmidt at Burning Man 2007

Google’s Eric Schmidt at Burning Man 2007. Check out the bandanna, does he wear that shit in Oakland? If he’s gangsta, he’s a Blood not a Crip

The idea that Google and Gangsters have some things in common is cautiously expressed in a fascinating article from Makeshift Magazine, which quotes from a book “The Misfit Economy”. Forbes introduces it with their own article and headline, highlighting Makeshift and the revolutionary new movement called “Maker” that underpins them, and this whole new economy.

Is this Steve Forbes taking a pot shot at Google, while its founders are out on the Playa, by suggesting they are “gangsta” and connected to the shadow economy? We know for a fact they’re closely connected to the NSA and the ruling oligarchy’s Bildeberg Group, “the most influential group in the world”.

Google were the first company to culturally appropriate Burner culture, using Burning Man’s logo to launch their own “doodle” in 1998.

google doodle

At that time, Google didn’t have a business model, it was a completely free service. A text box with search results. Adding graphics was a big, bold step for them. They deliberately linked their brand with Burning Man, in an effort to appear “hip” to their Stanford classmates and the fledging dot-com industry that was booming up around them in San Francisco. But it was more than just a symbol that they were cool – it was also symbolic of them becoming a company, just like Burning Man had before them. Larry and Sergey returned from the Playa and incorporated their company immediately upon their return from Burning Man. Burning Man, this Pagan fire ritual, was the symbol used to mark the corporate birth of Google.

How much money did they make since this commercial exploit of Burner culture? Not much, only about $400 billion.

They’ve boasted about their links to Burning Man ever since, with the help of Stanford professors. They used Burning Man to prototype Google Maps, among other technologies. Whoever knows exactly what other experimentation they’ve been conducting in this big desert petri dish, isn’t telling.

Google have more than a billion customers, and read half a billion peoples’ email looking for “keywords”. That’s mostly how they make money, selling that keyword information to advertisers.

zombie glassholeThis company, staffed with many Burners, is trying to put cameras connected to the Internet on everyone’s face, as well as monitoring our behavior in our homes with the Internet of Things. It is making robotic self driving cars, and calls its operating system “Android”. The guy in charge of all this believes that humans will merge with machines and live for centuries or longer – thus creating another, superior, dominant species: and relegating Man to the status of an animal. This is called Transhumanism and his name is Ray Kurzweil, if you’d like to look any of this up for yourself.

Recently Google acquired Boston Dynamics, the maker of some of the world’s most advanced military robots. Thousands of their robots have already been used in combat zones.

Page+brin_by_origaNothing to worry about, right? We all know SkyNet is good. And Google are Burners so they must be good! Right? Their motto is “Don’t be evil”, after all. What’s evil? There’s no book on it, according to CEO Eric Schmidt. “Evil is whatever Sergei says is Evil”. These days the CEO says “don’t be evil” is the stupidest rule ever, and the motto has changed to “You can make money without doing evil”. It’s the 6th of their 10 Principles Things, and there’s no further part that says “…and therefore, that’s the only way you’re allowed to make money”.

Lately, the Billionaire Burners from Google are talking about having their own Burning Man-style Autonomous Zones. Maybe we will start to see more robotic art cars on the Playa, on top of the hundreds of drones and famous glassholes.


 

First the introduction, from Forbes magazine:

According to an upcoming book and Kickstarter project, The Misfit Economy, it appears that Google and gangsters have more than a few things in common. The shadow economy, hidden economy, and informal trade are all names for what some also call the black market. It is that “place” where trade happens illegally, but these terms would not capture the full story of changes in the world’s economy.

Makeshift magazine writes about this undercover, below the surface, movement if you could call it a movement. I call it reality.

They are not, from my perspective, seeking to cover or promote solely illegal activity (such as drug dealing), but the innovation that takes place when resources are scarce. One could argue that people get into dealing drugs or trading illicit/illegal products do so because of a lack of education or resources or any variety of reasons, however, the reality is some of the rules are bound up in cultural rules that those on the fringe of mainstream society do not find relevant or fair or useful.

The fascinating part about this new magazine is that it has citizen journalists, blogger/travelers, who are finding and sharing unique approaches to commerce and innovative solutions to common problems…there are new rules of capitalism andMakeshift is catching that long tail in a new economy.

Read the rest of the introduction here.

From Makeshift:

What do gangsters and Google have in common?

Two young drug dealers marvel at the ingenuity of their Chicken McNuggets and imagine the innovator who must have become incredibly rich off his invention. An older, more experienced dealer, D’Angelo Barksdale, mocks their naiveté, explaining that the man who invented the McNugget is an unknown at the very bottom of the McDonald’s corporate ladder who dreamed up a moneymaking idea for those at the top. What does this story tell you? It’s essentially a debate on the provenance of innovation: is it driven from the top, by the big hitters? Or from the bottom, from the unknown, underground “misfits”?

This scene—one of the best in The Wire (if you could ever choose)—captures the essence of perhaps the most prevalent myth of innovation: that it comes only from those at the top, within the closed doors of corporate, Silicon Valley, and Ivy League labs across the globe. Most, like the young drug dealer, still believe the engine of the economy is fueled by innovators working in the formal world and on the pages of Harvard Business Review.

The Misfit Economy, an upcoming book and growing movement, is dispelling this myth. The “itch” to innovate also comes from the ships of pirates, the underground world of hackers, the havens of Mexican drug lords, and the enterprising underworld of Mumbai. Misfit innovators operating outside of the formal economy are a vital part of our economic history (consider how Johannes Guttenberg, Nikola Tesla, and even street peddlers shaped modern cities). And they are a part of our economic future: by 2050, one third of the world’s workers will be employed by the informal economy. If you combine the annual income of informal markets across the globe, it comes to a staggering USD 10 trillion.

…Gang life…is not all hip hop and Pimp My Ride. It’s also teeming with practical ingenuity… like every forward-thinking manager, [gangs strive] to create a culture of entrepreneurialism. Consider Google’s now-famous 20 percent rule. As the company grew more hierarchical, it sought to maintain its enterprising start-up feel. So it continued to encourage its employees to spend 20 percent of their time working on their own ventures, many of which became formal and indispensable Google products like Gmail and Google Talk.

In gang life, as in the corporate world, entrepreneurial spirit or the drive to “get ahead” can also threaten those in power. The pursuit of recognition and esteem drives progress yet can also be disruptive. But there are notable differences too. While whistle blowers in companies are often penalized, many within gangs constantly face opportunities to rat out colleagues. And the odds are, the bigger the gang, the higher probability there will be a rat. For this reason, gangs have had to radically downsize in recent years to ensure loyalty.

The art of loyalty is something Google knows well. In an effort to recruit and retain employees, Google is notorious for creating a “sticky” culture. The company is known for a culture of play and experimentation. Successful gangs are similar. They understand that culture is the number one value proposition. 

And in 1996, …[a gang] overhauled their vision and brand, transitioning from a “street gang” to a “street organization” with a more mission-centric focus. The [gang] involved themselves in political demonstrations while still maintaining its “sacred cows”…

Read the entire article here, and the Forbes introduction here.

googlegang

 

 

Also check out this interesting infographic from Makeshift:

infographic-mobility-700x494

9 comments on “What Do Google and Gangsters Have In Common?

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