Cold treats

TechCrunch’s Mike Arrington takes a whack at the world’s largest search engine. “Google smugness is at an all time high,” he writes. Google’s sin? It offers its employees “specially packaged, trans-fat-free” ice cream sandwiches, a practice that, according to Arrington, will “just make your shareholders think you are incredibly lame.” That’s so true. In fact, I’m shocked that Google hasn’t disclosed that it gives workers frozen delicacies in its SEC filings.

Arrington’s smugness charge comes just hours after he told Business Week’s Rob Hof, “I’m hoping everything crashes. Then I want to go buy all the big blogs.”

23 thoughts on “Cold treats

  1. Anonymous

    Nick, with all the major issues facing IT and tech in general, your continuing to pick on Wikipedia and Arrington is mind boggling…how about picking on IBM, Microsoft, Oracle…that’s where most of IT spend does not matter…hey, it’s your blog but I hate to see your firepower (and your humor) wasted on petty stuff…

  2. Nick Carr

    Ah, Vinnie, you have your priorities all wrong. Remember what Jane Austen said: “For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors and laugh at them in our turn?”

  3. Nick Carr

    Oh, man, you guys are like my conscience. Ok, I’m suitably shamed. It won’t happen again. If I can help it. But you have to understand: The temptation sometimes is so very, very great, and the “publish” button is so very, very near.

  4. Bob Aman

    Most of the people worth influencing have unsubscribed from Mike Arrington some time ago anyhow. That or else they never bothered to subscribe.

  5. Hazel Motes

    I think Nick is just being efficient. One post like this tells you more about Web 2.0 than a bunch of long essays.

  6. Nick Carr

    Thanks, Paul.

    By the way, if you search for “ice cream sandwich” on Google, the Wikipedia entry comes up as the #7 result. I’m still trying to find a common keyword that doesn’t have Wikipedia in the top 10 results.

    gunpowder: #1

    arthropod: #2

    Mona Lisa: #1

    sex: #4

    web 2.0: #4

    lawn mower: #3

    trans fat: #1

    Holy Roman Empire: #1

    rap: #8

    poverty: #5

    ufo: #7

    sauerkraut: #1

    law: #7

    tweezer: #5

    Alfred Hitchcock: #3

    Shakespeare: #7

    Iraq War: #4

    stock option: #3

    Nicholas Carr: #3

    brothel: #2

  7. Nick Douglas

    Ignore them. Keep writing about Arrington.

    Okay, the Wikipedia stuff is boring. But yeah, keep writing about Arrington so I’m not the ONLY blogger wasting my time on him, ‘kay?

  8. James DeLong

    I would like to see a study on how much of the material on Wikipedia is original and how much has been lifted from other sources (including sources in the public domain). That is, is Wikipedia basically an aggregator? Based on casual observation, including Wikipedia entries that say specifically that they have used material from public domain versions of the Encyclopedia Britannica, I suspect that much of it is derivative. But I don’t know. Nick – do you know of anything?

  9. Nick Carr

    Paul, “chocolate ice cream” doesn’t count (it’s my blog, and I get to set the rules for all contests). It has to be a term that would reasonably be in an encyclopedia (“chocolate ice cream” is not in Wikipedia), so you can’t just slap an adjective on a noun. For the record, Wikipedia is #7 for “chocolate” and #6 for “ice cream.” It’s #3 for FTW (yes, I had to look it up).

    James, I’ve seen some scattered examples of direct liftings from other sources, but I don’t know how common that it.

  10. Nick Carr

    Book: #11

    Map: #17

    Sid wins, honorable mention to Yaacov.

    “Map” was an obvious one, since most people searching on “map” would be looking for actual maps. “Book” was a bit of a surprise.

    Speaking of Sid:

    Sid Vicious: #1

    Sid Caesar: #4

    Sidney Bechet: #3

  11. Sid Steward

    Sid wins … Thank you. I feel overcome by gratification 2.0. My strategy was to use terms related to Google’s markets. More: news, catalog, music. Hmmm… does this mean Google will soon enter the online music field?

  12. Thomas Otter


    I like the Jane Austen bits are you a distant relation?

    On the 24 Dec 1798 in a letter to her sister Cassandra, Jane Austen wrote, “I do not want people to be very agreeable, as it saves me that trouble of liking them a great deal.”

    I wonder what she would have said about your role as a “itinerant cogitatrix”, probably

    “‘I am afraid,’ replied Elinor, ‘that the pleasantness of an employment does not always evince it propriety.'”

    Sense and Sensibility, Chapter 13

    Wikipedia ranks #3 on the google Jane Austen search. But in deference to your views on Wikipedia, I cut and paste these quotes from elsewhere.

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