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Monday, 07 December 2020 11:19

Google bosses should learn how to accept defeat with grace

Google bosses should learn how to accept defeat with grace Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

The boffins at Google know many things, but one of the lessons in life they have failed to grasp is that one should learn to acknowledge defeat gracefully.

Agreed, it takes a great deal of maturity and even wisdom to reach that point in life, but at times like the present, it is much better for the overlords at Google to sit back and gracefully acknowledge that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has them over the barrel. Time to fess up that they have been beaten by a nerd who bears the name Rod Sims. And he doesn't even have a middle initial.

It is evident that Google is behaving like a spoilt child, threatening, through that august journal, the Australian Financial Review, one which always takes up cudgels for poor businesses that are being bullied, that if a law that does not suit the Chocolate Factory is passed, then improvements in Google's search and other services will not be provided to Australians.

It is quite possible that the Google chiefs have gone whinging to Joe Biden, the man who is to assume office in the US next month, trying to use their ties to his old boss, Barack Obama, to influence Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to back off and ease things so that the news media code fits Google requirements.

As the good book says, there is a time for success, and a time for failure. There is a time for winning and a time for losing. And if one can accept the latter gracefully, then it only benefits oneself.

But, much in the same manner that the American tennis player Serena Williams reacts when she loses — it is always a case of her playing badly, not the other person playing well — I suspect that Ms Page, Brin and Pichai want to win every time.

The government was supposed to get the legislation passed this week but it looks like things have been delayed a bit with only the introduction of the bill to take place before Parliament rises for the year.

The people at Google appear to think that they are indispensable and Internet users cannot function without them. It is true that they have been trying and trying to control standards, much in the same way that IBM and Microsoft did during the last century, in an attempt to become overlords so that they will be kings of the roost.

When people get to that stage of thinking, it is a signal that their downfall is just around the corner. Just ask Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, now a much chastened man, about his taunts during the anti-trust hearing in the 1990s. Had it not been for the fact that a Republican, George "Dubya" Bush, came into office after Bill Clinton, Microsoft would have been split into two separate companies.

When Gates talks about his show of arrogance during the hearings — as he did on the documentary Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates — he is humility personified.

That's not something you can say about the likes of Sergei Brin, Larry Page and Pichai Sundararajan aka Sundar Pichai (the former is his original Indian name, but hey who wants those when you are American, eh?). They are riding high at the moment, feeling the Internet is their plaything.

Not for nothing has it been said that pride goes before a fall. I hope I will be around to see the day when these three amigos bite the dust.

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Sam Varghese

Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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