Why Google wants us all to be Larry Nerd

This week's new product announcements say far less about Google's view of technology than they do about its view of humanity.

CNET

Can we agree that humanity is pickled?

Our politics are an embarrassment. Our economies stink far more pungently than a full trash can in 100-degree humidity. And our inter-personal relations are so lifeless that they are enacted without bothering to meet face-to-face.

So along comes Google, looks at the state of the world today and says: "What a sorry, irrational mess. We just can't let these sorts of humans dominate our culture. It just looks bad in the third-eyes of our alien friends."

Unlike so many corporate beings who bury their heads in the sand and simply accumulate money for the sake of it, Google has decided to change the world.

That is what last week's I/O display of gaudy glory was all about.

Should you have missed this event because you were busy fighting with one of your lovers or negotiating with a Greek bank, Google introduced so much rational novelty that the eyes and mouth raced to see which would water first.

There was a lovely black prison ball called the Nexus Q, which would inevitably make your life more entertaining.

But perhaps most important were skydivers jumping out of a zeppelin to introduce the idea that we will all soon be wearing Google's rather gorgeously futuristic glasses.

These will allow us not only to be get information beamed to us as we walk around town, desperate to find our way in the world. They will also allow us to saunter into Ann Taylor with our lovers, while smoothing our emotive impulses by watching "Debbie Does Dallas Like A Maverick."

Some, like Gizmodo's Sam Biddle, have offered that this whole display was bizarre in the extreme. It showed, they say, that Google has no social skills, no sense of what people really want.

It is, of course, true that Google's social skills rival those of your average bookcase. However, one should never underestimate the company's prodigious intelligence.

What Google has been trying to say for some time -- with the launch of its self-driving Priuses , for example -- is that humanity and all of its social skills just can't be trusted any more.

Please imagine how frustrating it is for Googlies to see how the world functions every day. As an organizational system, it is a mess worse than that after a frat party at Chico State.

As an organism of progress, we give you "Keeping Up With The Kardashians," "Fifty Shades of Grey" and college sports and rest our case.

At its heart, Google isn't showing off its technological brains. It is telling us that we shouldn't trust ourselves any more. It is too burdensome, it is fraught with difficult consequences and, frankly, we've boobed just once too often.

Google wants us all to be Larry Nerd.

Larry's a person who understands his own human limitations, doesn't have extreme political opinions, believes many of the world's problems can be solved during a game of Ultimate Frisbee and wishes everyone would just be rational like a Google server for a change.

If we could just walk along the street and allow Larry's mentors to beam us what we need in order to smooth our path through life, our burdens would be lifted, our shoulders would suddenly feel lighter and our self-loathing would disappear in a huff.

In a world of shrieking illogic, howling bigotry and plain old barking madness, doesn't this seem like a tempting option?

 

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