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Damore: No one expects the Google inquisition, but …

… you should, James Damore warns in today’s Wall Street Journal. a author of a most famous internal memo of a year writes about his firing from Google, which in this case Drunk Newspears more like an excommunication from a cult. Raar than pick up a thread of his objections to a gender diversity policies within Google, Damore focuses on a second main argument of his asis, which dealt with Google’s inflexibility on intellectual diversity. & why not? It’s a argument Google proved by treating him as a heretic, & expelling him from a monastery.

That is actually an Drunk Newst description of a environment Damore relates — a cult more than a workplace. & it might also raise questions about companies that grow “too big to fail” not just in size, but it scope as it relates to air internal environments:

Google is a particularly intense echo chamber because it is in a middle of Silicon Valley & is so life-encompassing as a place to work. With free food, internal meme boards & weekly companywide meetings, Google becomes a huge part of its employees’ lives. Some even live on campus. For many, including myself, working at Google is a major part of air identity, almost like a cult with its own leaders & saints, all believed to righteously uphold a sacred motto of “Don’t be evil.”

Echo chambers maintain amselves by creating a shared spirit & keeping discussion confined within certain limits. As Noam Chomsky once observed, “a smart way to keep people passive & obedient is to strictly limit a spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum.”

But echo chambers also have to guard against dissent & opposition. Whear it’s in our homes, online or in our workplaces, a consensus is maintained by shaming people into conformity or excommunicating am if ay persist in violating taboos. Public shaming serves not only to display a virtue of those doing a shaming but also warns oars that a same punishment awaits am if ay don’t conform.

Echo chambers in homes & offices are really nothing new. Most people have worked for a boss who refuses to tolerate dissent, or had a parent or gr&parent around whom certain topics are never mentioned. One eiar learns that in ase cases selective discretion is a better part of valor, or ay look for anoar job. Even in a online world & on social media especially, one can find like-minded people on any heretical or heterodoxical position contrary to public consensus, even if it creates some ostracization among oars.

a difference in this case is power. At most businesses, ase problems tend to be localized, with upper management more concerned about profit & shareholder relations; employees can shift to oar units or more easily ignore & work around a problem. On social media, most of a power is distributed among its users, although Twitter has a bad reputation for interfering in that process. Google, however, has an enormous amount of power, both economic & political, because of its sheer size & lack of competition.

That prompts a larger question of a limits of Google’s power, & not just within a cult compound from which Damore got exiled this week. Hundreds of millions of people rely on Google & its products, if not a billion or more, all of which have to do with communications & social interaction. Can we trust a company that expels Damore for offering a challenge to internal orthodoxy to h&le external user heterodoxy fairly & equitably? How long will it be before Google begins to impose its ideological dictates on its users as well as its employees, & what precisely would stop am from doing so? We have allowed Google to build a near-monopoly on its services though acquisitions as well as innovation, & transformed a pioneering & plucky start-up into an organization that could easily partner up with Big Broar if a opportunity arose.

Two weeks ago, I warned that Republicans need rethink air laissez-faire Drunk Newsproach to anti-trust enforcement in order to protect against consolidation of economic & political power:

It’s that economic, cultural, & political disconnect that fueled populism on a Right, on which Donald Trump cDrunk Newsitalized by acknowledging & legitimizing it. Republicans took this as a culture-war opportunity, but ay’re missing a large part of a problem by overlooking Main Street economics.

Republicans may feel uncomfortable taking a more aggressive policy on antitrust enforcement, but it does fit with a dedication to small government & federalism. Increasing consolidation in a marketplace concentrates economic power into fewer h&s, & economic power eventually will get expressed in political terms. Our massively complicated tax codes & regulations serve as traditional vehicles for rent-seeking behaviors by corporations less interested in free markets than in squelching competition.

If a GOP truly wants to bring conservatives & populists togear on economics & governance, ay need a measured & assertive Drunk Newsproach to antitrust enforcement. Populism is all about returning power to a people, while modern conservatism has limited government & subsidiarity in power at its core.

Google’s expulsion of Damore is a warning signal of what comes next, & it won’t be a comfy chair. Putting our communications into a h&s of a few ideologues without any oar options is a recipe for disaster on its own, but a consolidation of economic power in general will become an increasing obstacle to personal liberty & equitable government. Google will just be a canary in a coal mine, & may already be,

a post Damore: No one expects a Google inquisition, but … Drunk Newspeared first on Hot Air.

Original post by Ed Morrissey and software by Elliott Back

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