The Techcrunch blog is so often teh stupid, I hardly ever read it. But someone brought a recent post on the site to my attention, and after seeing it I’m reminded again why these days I largely avoid reading stuff like that anymore [2007 is over, by the way, people].
Some anonymous contributor offers an argument so stupid I’ll let it speak for itself:
“Returning to the continent metaphor, this ends up looking quite a bit like free trade. Various businesses (call them sellers), operating within this continent, wish to conduct business with the rest of the world (that is, the population of buyers). The border — which in this case is the search engine — thus has complete control of who can transact and how often.
If we lived in a world where Google didn’t hold sway over such a significant portion of consumer behavior, this kind of regulation wouldn’t be necessary. The market would be self-correcting, and we could trust the individual decisions of a healthy and competitive search industry. Regrettably, due to search dominance, the industry can’t be left to its own devices.”
Get that? I know it’s fairly incoherent, and if you think I cropped it to look that way read the post for yourself and you’ll see that’s not the case. Anyway, the view being advanced in the post is that search is like free trade, so that means Google needs to be regulated.
Not being a free-market ideologue or a Google fanboy, I still have to take the only intellectually palatable position here–that Google is a private business and people choose freely to use their product. They should have a right to run their own business and not be covered by unnecesary, crippling regulations just so some anonymous sissy can get more traffic for his little site.
But back to the absurb metaphor–I guess in the Techcrunch mindset, the discredited ideology of “free trade,” which has deindustrialized every corner of America and left huge numbers jobless, is to be taken as an unquestioned postive. It’s just very strange to then see this obvious free-trade ideologue then call for regulation. I guess that’s just the convenient position for his own interests.
As this anyonymous blogger bleats on, he starts trying to bolster his argument by giving credit to irrational behavior:
“I’ve seen companies choose to not work with Google’s competitors for fear that by building those relationships, they’re damaging the ability to be indexed properly on Google and are anxious that result sets will be compromised. Many likewise believe that by having a monetization relationship through Google, they will somehow achieve higher quality listings through organic search.”
We’ve all seen people who act according to superstition and assumption. But most of us don’t try to enlist the types of fools he describes–people who are making business decisions based on reading entrails–to help make our points for us.
You couldn’t reason with this greedy, stupid whiner–whoever he is. Techcrunch describes him as a “well known executive at one of the largest sites on the Internet.” I highly doubt that.