25 January 2006

Money Talks, Bullshit Walks - Spinal Tap*

Now is your chance to buy a Green Goddess and if that doesn't tickle your fancy how about a yellow one? The UK MoD's Defence Disposals Agency online.

Old-Maps.co.uk has been the hit sensation this week in my office. It's fascinating to see how towns have changed and on the 1850 maps most of the places I have lived were fields.

Google censor services
Google have succumbed to the lure of filthy yuan and have agreed to censor its services on its new Google.cn site. Google have said that when a search result is censored they will inform the user that this is the case which MSN and Yahoo search engines, already in China, do not do. They are also not introducing certain services into China, like blogger in order to avoid ever being put in a situation where they are asked to release user detail to the Beijing government. However it is still censorship and avoidance of a potential problem;one they are fighting in the States at the moment.

A lot of moral froth is being generated about this right now, but I think that Google are making the best out of the bad hand they are holding. Google have shareholders and in order to satisfy them they must maximise their profits through increasing their market share - expansion and then squeezing the punter dry until he squeaks sorry exploit that market share efficiently for revenue - the Google ads you see to your left for instance. Faced with the huge potential market that there is in China, principles like silver can get a little tarnished. I do not like the regime in China and am not condoning what Google have done but I can understand why and China is now such a big economy that none of us can avoid doing business with them, clothing, computers, sundries, white goods all made in China.

* Possibly my favourite line from Spinal Tap, that and "None more black"


  1. Cool link - I love to look at maps. I have a map of Boston back in the 1800s compared to today and it is amazing that they can actually swallow the ocean with dirt!

    The internet ... last bastion of freedom I think. Will not be long before they are trying to regulate website content as well ... completely.

  2. I can't agree with the rationale that corporations must maximise profits to satisy their shareholders. Once you accept that you throw away your moral compass because anything is game. Google are being evil here, not only are they removing links but they will send specific links to goverment propaganda sites, search for 'Falun Gong' to see the horrors the chineses goverment gets up to,coogle.ch will redirect those searchs to government anti Falun Gong sites.

    'Yeah well we didn't wanna destroy the rainforest but what can ya do? we had to make money to satisfy the share'olders'.

    'Look mate, no one likes to see some 8 year old nipper working 22 hours a day in a sweat shop for 2p, but we gotta go to the cheapest bidder, share'olders mate'.

  3. Gillian - It does of course depend on the shareholders but I'm willing to bet quite a lot of money that the majority of Google's tradable shares are held by corporations such as banks and pension companies who do think that profit is all because corporations don't generally have a moral compass if it's legal they will do it.

    Rainforest allegdly cleared so we can eat cheap beef

    Nike, Levi, Dyson have all closed factories in the first world to move them to the developing world so that they can maximise profit.

    I don't agree with it, I don't think that Google should deal with China but they are as are the rest of the world. I did think that all the mud being thrown at Google was a bit rich MSN and Yahoo are in there. My computer is a Chinese IBM machine, when we shop we look first for the cheapest price not whether the goods are ethically sourced and even if we did it's almost impossible to avoid the unethical.

    Personally I think that for most companies anything is game as long as it's legal, to a few the legality doesn't really matter either.