The evil A to Z of Google and Alphabet: A look at our horrifying future

The evil A to Z of Google and Alphabet: A look at our horrifying future

For years, Google’s unofficial motto – “Don’t be evil.” – has been picked at like a scab that will never heal. I don’t believe Google or the new expansive Alphabet umbrella company are places where ‘evil’ people gather, but even collections of relatively good people can end up producing very bad things. Here’s the alternative alphabet that covers that…

Warning: Contains satire.

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A is for AI

Artificial Intelligence (AI) could solve humanity’s problems. AI research could lead to wonderful things. It could also lead to our ultimate annihilation.

Google had its metal fingers in a huge number of AI projects, now Alphabet does too. I’m not saying its scientists, engineers and researchers want to bring about our enslavement by a rampant robot brain, but don’t say I didn’t warn you when we’re strapped into chairs having our energy drained to power the battle bots…

Read more: Google AI research features a chilling chatbot who hates children

B is for battle bots

Spot will remember the guy who kicked him. That man will die in laser fire.
Spot will remember the guy who kicked him. That man will die in laser fire.

…and talking of them: Alphabet owns Boston Dynamics, an engineering and robotics firm that developed BigDog, a truly horrifying robot – created with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) – that provokes visions of a blasted wasteland with the last few humans being hunted down.

I’ll be screaming that phrase as the future version of BigDog bares down on me, shrugging off the automatic weapons fire like a cloud of gnats, coldly intoning its battle cry: THE HUMANS ARE DEAD, THE HUMANS ARE DEAD.

C is for Calico vs. Death

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Death? It’s a bug, not a feature, right?

Rich men don’t want to die. The biggest problem that needs ‘disrupting’ is death and Calico is the Alphabet company that’s working on it. They no doubt picture utopian visions of a world where disease is eradicated. I see the consciousnesses of the uber-rich preserved in digital amber as AI, like Wintermute in William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer.’

Calico’s name is shorthand for the California Life Company. Does that honestly not stink of Orwellian ‘Newspeak’ to you?

An uneasy feeling in my stomach tells me Calico could be Larry Page’s Ozymandias moment:

And on the pedestal these words appear:
‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings:
Look on my works, ye Mighty, and despair!’

 

D is for defence contracts

Google honored Boston Dynamics’ military contracts when it purchased the company. There’s a revolving door between the military and Google’s public lobbying efforts. Don’t expect Alphabet – shorn of that shaky connection with Google’s ‘don’t be evil’ fortune cookie motto – to be any different.

I predict its companies will go harder, faster and with less qualms about snuggling close to the military industrial complex. Google refusing DARPA cash for new Boston Dynamics projects was a sop, not a hugely principled move.

E is for…well…evil

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The banality of Newman… I mean evil

F is for rampant financial freedom

Why did Google become Alphabet? Well, a lot of people surmise it’s to make limboing under tax problems and swerving around monopolies regulation a lot easier. I mean, you’d have to be very cynical to think that. But I am and I do.

G is for Google

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Taiwanese animators nailed Google creepiness in one GIF

It’s still lovely right? Apart from all that cozying up to surveillance agencies and the remaining influence of Eric ‘Uncle Creepy’ Schmidt.

H is for homelessness

Google was so kind and respectful to the homeless people of San Francisco. Alphabet will be just as cuddly, surely? Cuddly like a parasite with a multicoloured shell and enough teeth to sheer your leg right off.

I is for intelligence agencies

See here.

J is for juicing the ad wars

Google is now free to focus on its real core mission. No, not making all the world’s information searchable. That’s just a lovely side-benefit. Google’s true reason to exist is pumping so many ads into your life that you come to believe that everyone has glowing white teeth and bright, dead smiles. If it can design a way to broadcast them straight into your brain stem, it will.

K is for killer drones

See ‘A’ and ‘B’.

L is for lasers

Google laser glasses. Because that's totally cool and not alarming at all.
Google laser glasses. Because that’s totally cool and not alarming at all.

Google patented a version of Google Glass that shoots lasers. Totally cool, totally fine.

M is for mapping dominance

The Mercator projection distorts the way we see the world. So does Google Maps.
The Mercator projection distorts the way we see the world. So does Google Maps.

Own the maps and you own people’s perspective on the world. Just look at the Mercator Projection.

N is for news control

Wait and see, Alphabet will start hiring more journalists in earnest. You want evidence? See Apple’s news efforts. See Facebook’s news pressure. See Twitter.

O is for odious culture

If entitlement was a gadget, Page and Brin would own the patent on it.

P is for power, unchecked and untrammelled

Could Alphabet look and sound any more like the evil mega-corp in a sci-fi dystopia? The answer is no, no it could not.

R is for (permanent) revolution

Planetary Resources is already on the asteroid mining mission
Planetary Resources is already on the asteroid mining mission

In 2100, Alphabet becomes a smaller component of Earth Inc as Page and Brin (by this point, brains perched inside exoskeletons and backed up by an army of AIs based on their own brain patterns) decide that this planet is over and announce a bigger push into asteroid mining.

Earth Inc’s off-world bases remain in beta, starving people staring at their Gmail accounts desperately hoping for an invite in the global lottery.

S is for surveillance

See ‘I’.

T is for totalitarian

See ‘S’ and ‘I’, see the giant posters of Brin and Page which will one day tower over us, winking and scowling in an endless loop. See all your information sold off for convenience. See a darkness creeping in at the periphery of your vision.

U is for unscrupulous

See ‘H’, see ‘K’, see ‘O’.

V is for video dominance

See YouTube.

W is for weapons sales

See ‘A’, ‘B’, ‘D’, ‘K’.

X is for X Labs

Y is for YouTube stars

See this thing I wrote about how Vine stars are essentially a carbuncle on humanity’s ass? Replace all the references to ‘Vine’ with ‘YouTube’ and you’ll get it. Unless you are one, in which case, you’ll send me angry comments.

Z is for ziggurat

Alphabet is a monument it might be rather tricky to demolish, even if we suddenly find we really want to see it gone.

Read nextWhy Alphabet? Google became too small a word to contain Page and Brin’s ambition

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