Google co-founder Larry Page has become increasingly disengaged from the company as time has gone on and is now a virtual recluse:
Larry Page was a no-show. The co-founder and de facto leader of Google is famous for his wild bets on airborne taxis and space elevators, but he apparently couldn’t make the flight to Washington, D.C. Page had been called to testify on Capitol Hill, alongside Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey and Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, about the ways state-sponsored actors have exploited their platforms. Page spurned the request. When the hearing before the Senate Intelligence Committee began on Sept. 5, a black leather chair reserved for him sat empty next to Dorsey and Sandberg. A place card marked “Google,” in front of a blank notepad and muted microphone, served as a blunt reminder of his absence. As senator after senator tore into the company for skipping the hearing, they often directed their ire to the void where Page would have sat, with Florida’s Marco Rubio labeling the snub “arrogant” and fellow Republican Susan Collins of Maine calling it an “outrage.” News cameras panned to the unoccupied seat.
With so many challenges clouding Alphabet’s future, it was more than a little surprising that Page and company left the chair empty at the high-profile hearing. Sundar Pichai, who became head of Google after Page removed himself to run Alphabet, also declined to fill the spot. “I don’t get it,” Senator Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia who’s called on Page to answer for Google’s harmful effects, said in an interview with Bloomberg TV. “It’s going to hurt their reputation, not just with the policymakers but with a whole lot of Google users. What do they have to hide?”
What’s occupying Page’s time today? People who know him say he’s disappearing more frequently to his private, white-sand Caribbean island. That’s not to imply that, at 45, he’s already living the daiquiri lifestyle. He still oversees each Alphabet subsidiary, though the extent of his involvement is vague. Along with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, who’s now Alphabet’s president, Page even occasionally holds court at the company’s weekly all-hands “TGIF” meetings at its Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. He sometimes fields questions from employees, though he mostly defers to Pichai and other corporate leaders, according to current Googlers. Page has reached a point where he takes on only rare projects that deeply fascinate him, like the sci-fi pursuits at X, Alphabet’s secretive research lab.
These days, there’s a sense within Google that futurism has taken a back seat to more pressing concerns. The company long had a public face in Schmidt, who happily defended it against Congress and critics until he stepped down as executive chairman in January. During key moments over the past two years, such as the protests of President Trump’s 2017 immigration ban and this spring’s internal upheaval over Google’s jockeying for AI contracts with the Pentagon, it was Pichai and Brin, not Page, who spoke to employees.
The comment about futurism “taking a back seat” particularly interested me. The “official” explanation by the Democrats and the media is that Google, like most of the other tech companies, is grappling with Russian hackers and conservatives using their services to promote “fake news.”
The REAL reason the futurism has taken a backseat is because of two broad problems. The first is that the Democrats are trying to essentially absorb Google and use it as an arm of the government to enact their preferred policies. The Democrats preferred policies do not involve innovating. The Democrats instead want to use Google as a tool to control the population and censor conservative content on the internet. Similar pressure is being brought to bear on Facebook and Twitter.
The second reason futurism is taking a backseat is that the company seems to have been completely captured by social justice warriors. Some of the employees were probably regular Democrats who were radicalized, like much of the rest of the party has been. However, I have no doubt that SJW entryists also infected and helped radicalize the company. Social justice warriors care about only one thing, and that is their bizarre religion. They could care less about making new products; for them, the only issue is The Revolution.
None of these companies are really resisting these changes very much and are increasingly fixated with fighting conservatives and Trump. The company’s original mission, to make money, is increasingly falling by the wayside as the social justice warriors continue to convert the companies into political operations.
Google can’t really depoliticize now, either, because social justice warriors also view depoliticized people as enemies to be destroyed just as much as they view conservatives as enemies. If Google attempts to return to its previous content-neutral stance, you can expect the Democrats to regulate them aggressively.
This is why Google is helpless to avoid regulation. Republicans cannot afford to allow Google, Facebook, and Twitter to purge and censor them, and Democrats will never let these companies de-politicize either
Of course Mark Warner is going to be shocked at Larry Page’s behavior – he doesn’t see Google’s job as making new technological devices, he sees their job as working with him to destroy Republicans. Page spending time in a lab or living a normal life is incomprehensible to him and any other social justice warrior, for whom only The Revolution is important.
The fight over Google is one of the many examples of how the country is falling into a cold civil war. Neutrality is not an option because neutral people are seen as an enemies by the Democrats. Anyone who is not explicitly with them and working for their cause is seen as an enemy.
Unfortunately, there are many Republicans who either don’t understand this or don’t fully grasp the implications of this, which is why many in the GOP still loudly demand that conservatives stop criticizing Google or Facebook because of the free market.