The twenty-first century Web leader, Google, invited to its campus an eighteenth century thinker, Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ron Paul (R-TX), with surprising results.
Dr. Paul (an obstetrician, and still practicing medicine as well as serving his Galveston-area Texas congressional district) followed Senators Clinton and McCain to the Google campus, as noted in our June article on Google's growing influence on politics and public discourse. Dr. Paul was invited, as were the other candidates, to explain his views to employees in the Google standard hour-long discussion. However, no other candidate has resulted in overflow crowds of Googleistas, as did Dr. Paul, and his Web presence, as evidenced by this TechCrunch article with link to YouTube video of the Google discussion, is unique.
There are few opportunities today to focus on a candidate, as modern media compels sound bite thinking; even NPR rarely spends more than three minutes in an interview story these days. By contrast, Google makes these lengthy campus discussions available, just as they have for other public policy discussions (e.g., this excerpt from 'Should Google Go Nuclear?' by Dr. Robert Bussard on aneutronic fusion and the consequences of very cheap power).
Large corporations and IT are finding significant costs in regulation. Just ask Microsoft to tally up all the costs of antitrust litigation, and then look at how Redmond has stopped ignoring politics. It should be no surprise that Google, with its huge demands for electricity, should gain some saavy.