Why do Big Corporations Hate Google (and ICTAL) so much?

Why do Big Corporations Hate Google (and ICTAL) so much?  Because they promote Democracy with a capital "D".

While my car was being repaired today, I was fortunate enough to be sitting on a park bench overlooking the San Juan Bay on what was a truly beautiful day--blue sky, green mountains, blue water, a nice pleasant breeze, etc.  As I looked at the scenery before me, a mix of small planes quietly flying into the airport, the cruise ships coming into docks, the green mountainous background, I couldn't help but ponder how little we concretely know of reality.  I knew not the persons of the plane, the arrangements of the control tower, nor who the possible foreign representatives that might have been arriving at that given moment, amongst many other things.  None of this would be reported in the daily news at 6:00 p.m., so for all sakes and purposes, the person who arrived at 3:00 p.m. did not exist to me.

In fact, most of the information and knowledge we have about the external world, I would say nearly 90% of it, comes from secondary sources: radio, newspapers, gossip, the internet, television.  Our cognitive reality is in fact much closer to that found in the movie "The Matrix" than we often care to imagine.  Our world is what we are told what it is, rather than what we actually directly know it to be--which is why communications plays such an important role in human societies, and why it is often the subject of so many rarely-seen battles and turf wars.  He who 'controls' what you hear or see, generally defines the world for you; his information 'becomes' your world.  (This is just a fact of life, not some perverted aberration, as any historian of science could tell you.)    You do not really have time to verify every bit of news that you have access to, so you generally take it at face value.

Which explains why corporations hate Google so much. 

The wonderful thing about Google is that it organized the internet, thereby making it relevant and useful; the internet is as much Google as Google is the internet.  We may even reasonably suggest that had Google's powerful algorithms not occurred when it did, we would not attribute the same importance to the Internet that we do today.   "Thank God!" for Google--and its founders Larry Page and Serge Brin.

But Google's benefit is much more than just an 'organizer of information'.  It equally represents as well the instant categorizing of all information as currently valued and perceived by it human users.   For example, If you know a web page is saying a bunch of baloney that you know not to be true, you will not turn to that page further, which reduces the page's value in Google's ranking, saving future users from having to waste their valuable time and effort.    In other words, Google adapts instantaneously to human cognition rather than to some predetermined set of values and paradigms; it is made to evolve as humans evolve.   And Big corporation hate that. 

Big Corporations would love it if Google (or the internet) was predetermined--if it could, in some way, dictate what users could and could not see (as is the case with Microsoft's MSN search engine).  In practical terms, this means, that if Big Corporations could have their stories in the top 100 items of any Google list, they would in fact control the information distributed on the internet.  Why?  For the same reason we do not know reality in its entirety: most individuals only bother with looking at the first 30 entries of any Google search.   If you did not make the top 30 list, you might as well not exist. (Just kidding.)  The fact that they do not--that bloggers as Carmelo Ruiz appear in higher rankings than corporate biotechnology webpages--probably goes far in explaining why Google's founders met such a poor reception when they have paid a visit to the Republican Congress in Washington DC.  

It also explains why corporations hate ICTAL so much.

It has always surprised me how ICTAL's entries have tended to float up to top Google lists, showing up second or third out of a gazillion entries.   In some cases, a number of entries posted on ictal.org have tended to stay in that top Google list for months, an example of which might be Ada Monzon--a lovely woman who reports the weather down here in Puerto Rico.  

I am not sure whether Mrs. Monzon likes the fact that the video taken of her by ICTAL appears so predominantly on the Google list, and in that sense the internet.   It is certainly a very human image: a young meteorologist providing a history of hurricanes in Puerto Rico before a large audience of probably 200 important individuals.  I would have been very nervous as well.   Certainly, we cannot doubt its genuine and authentic character, very different in contrast to the very 'perfect' but static image of her portrayed in the Univision webpage.  For this reason, I am willing to place a wager of ten cents that Univision probably does not like the ICTAL video at all.  I would go even further and suggest that it probably even hates the video; after all, it was not 'predetermined' by them.

The same might be said for the other stories posted in ICTAL, which have also tended to float to the top of Google rankings.   Big corporations who have manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico would love it if all Puerto Ricans would cow to them as PRIDCO officials tend to do.  The arrogance of wealth leads its holders to presume they are always correct, often because they do not feel the direct repercussions of the errors of their ways. Anyone who dares to contradict them is seen as a fool.  

Nonetheless, the internet was not made to serve corporate interests, but rather to serve democracy, with a capital "D".   A healthy political entity needs to receive information essential to the public interest--particularly so if that information is at odds with the interests of powerful institutions.   Were it otherwise, the political entity as a whole would end up making decisions that would be detrimental to its future interests.  This is extremely clearer than the case of environmentalism, which corporations for the last 50 years tended to either deny or ignore environmental impacts.   The recent corporate change of heart towards environmentalism means that the information revolution is alive and well, contributing to Democracy.

We only hope that it stays that way, both in the United States and in Puerto Rico.

© 2014 Rodrigo fernos riddick