Does Eric Schmidt want to sniff the armpits of my mind?

Does Eric Schmidt want to sniff the armpits of my mind?

Summary: So Eric Schmidt, the Chauncey Gardiner of Silicon Valley, is at it again. This time, the wise old fool wants to organize my daily life.

TOPICS: Google

So Eric Schmidt, the Chauncey Gardiner of Silicon Valley, is at it again. This time, the wise old fool wants to organize my daily life. The Google CEO (Chief Eccentric Officer) confessed to the Financial Times today:

“The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and ‘What job shall I take?’ ”

Does Eric want his algorithm to sniff the armpits of my mind? Does he seek to read me like a book so that he can organize not only my daily life, but my work life, my second life, my unconscious life and my erotic life? Is Eric so lonely, so desperate for intimacy that he wants to know me better than myself? Yes. Google's Chief Eccentric Officer wants to be my shrink, my lover, my alter-ego, my subconscious, my pre-conscious. Eric wants to be me; or, more accurately, he wants to know me better than I know myself.

Oh Eric, stop sniggering into your algorithm. This is a serious matter. I thought you were a businessman rather than a looney. How can you possibly know what I want to do tomorrow when I don't know that myself. And how can you know what job I want, when I'm perfectly happy as an unemployable layabout?

What's going on here? Here we have a company with a market cap of north of $150 billion. It's the hottest thing in technology. And the straight faced Chief Eccentric Officer, Silicon Valley's very own Chauncey Gardiner, tells the leading global financial newspaper that he wants his algorithm to tell us what we should do with our lives.

Next thing you know, Eric will be telling me what book I want to write next. Let me guess. It's a book about Eric and his algorithm. It will be entitled One Flew Over the Googleplex.

Topic: Google

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  • A tip for Schmidt

    Most of us are far more non-linear than he thinks, didn't Terry Winograd teach him anything at Stanford?
    • A mistake on my part

      Or course Winograd was Larry Page's PhD supervisor at Stanford. Schmidt graduated from Princeton and received his PhD from Berkeley.

      Larry, try knocking some sense into this Schmidt guy.
  • could be fun

    That's could be fun to see the result, wait and see.
    Alexandre Jaquet
  • People don't know themselves and that's the point

    It's exactly why this could pick up -- because people don't want the responsibility of deciding for themselves. And if those advices from Google would yield half-decent results, many would be happy to give up even an illusion of having any personality or independent though. I've also covered this topic from a somewhat different standpoint on my blog:
    • Yes, that's how fascism made some headway

      If you want to preserve democratic freedoms then you have to educate people to think for themselves.

      It's interesting that one of the standard techniques of hypnosis is to first confuse the subject thoroughly and then offer them a single clear set of instructions which they will then follow unquestioningly. Mass hypnosis perhaps works in the same way, you take a group of people who have been driven to despair and confusion and then offer them a clear set of "answers".

      Maybe the people who are confused at being offered the first twenty of several thousand possibilities are just waiting to be told to do only one of them (provided of course that one answer brings a return on investment for Google shareholders of course).
  • More amusing than anything else

    It is entertaining to see Google "do a Ratner" (, though it has to be said that most tech executives are an accident waiting to happen in this respect.

    Given the general assumption amount the majority of geeks that the rest of the population are idiots who are only waiting for someone to tell them to do it was only a matter of time before this happened.

    So though we shouldn't see anything too sinister in it, it is entertaining to follow the sinister line of thinking:

    1. Google continually proclaim that they have created a "workers' paradise".

    2. Suddenly Google want to store all the data about everyone and start telling them what to do.

    3. Shortly Google employees who aren't smiling and saying everything is wonderful will be sent for "re-education" at some remote corner of the Google empire (which will presumably be called the Googulag).

    4. At this point many employees will decide it is time to leave, but they had better hurry, soon Schmidt will announce "Niemand hat die Absicht, eine Mauer zu errichten!" ("Nobody intends to put up a wall!") shortly after which a wall will be erected around the Googleplex to protect "real existing Googlism" from the "fascists" at the gates. Of course it won't be possible to leave after that.

    I don't think any of this should be taken seriously but I would like to know if it is too soon to sign up as a paid informer to Google's new surveillance subsidiary.