Google’s ATM

How profitable is Google? Imagine an ATM, spitting out $20 bills, ten per second, running twenty-four hours a day, year-round. That gets you to the right order of magnitude.

I love this image. Someone should create a visualization that shows profits of various corporations as $20 bills spitting from an ATM. I bet we’d be better judging changes and relative profits from that visualization than from reading SEC filings. It would be like an electric meter — we can all understand intensity of usage by glancing at the speed of that spinning disc.

“Doing no evil. If you say that, you have to be looked at,” Clemons told today’s conference. “Anybody who argues they’re doing no evil while making amazing profits deserves a quick - or a not so quick - look.”

There’s a revealing insight into Brin and Page’s view of books in the latimes review of Googled. Reviewer Joy Press quotes from Ken Auletta’s comment in the acknowledgments:

“Google’s founders and many of its executives share a zeal to digitize books, but don’t have much interest in reading them,” noting that Brin and Page initially thought that participating in Auletta’s book “would be an ‘inefficient’ use of their time.”

It is deeply alarming - but in view of Brin and Pages conduct to date, not surprising - to learn that the literary heritage of the world has been commandeered by cultural cretins.