Thursday, December 8, 2016

Silicon Valley Bubble

I was disheartened to see this job posting today (maybe it's been up for a while, I just saw it today, December 6, as I first type this) from Google.

I first heard of the job from this article from The Daily Mail:
Suddenly Obama-friendly Google needs a 'conservative outreach' manager to help shape agendas with policy makers after Donald Trump's election win
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4004220/Google-advertises-conservative-outreach-manager-Donald-Trump-s-election-win.html


Here's the Google job:

Manager, Conservative Outreach and Public Policy Partnerships
Google
Legal & Government Relations
Washington, DC, USA

https://www.google.com/about/careers/jobs#!t=jo&jid=/google/manager-conservative-outreach-and-public-washington-dc-usa-2141570013&

I'll post the description here, because it won't be open forever.
As a member of Google's Public Policy team, you help shape various product and issue agendas with policy makers inside and outside government. In addition, you will help advise our internal teams on the public policy implications of their products, working with a closely coordinated and cross-functional global team. The role requires significant experience either working with or in government, politics or a regulatory agency as well as an ability to grasp complex technical and policy issues.
As a member of Google's Public Policy outreach team, you will act as Google’s liaison to conservative, libertarian and free market groups. You are part organizer, part advocate and part policy wonk as you understand the world of third-party non-governmental advocacy organizations. You are eager to represent Google among those organizations. You can work a room, tell Google’s story in an elevator or from a podium and work with partner organizations on shared projects to advance Google’s public policy goals.
20th century laws don't always solve 21st century problems, and Google Legal crafts innovative approaches for tackling some of the toughest legal challenges of the information age. Whether you're a patent attorney, an intellectual property expert or an engineer headed to law school, Google Legal lets you tackle unanswered legal quandaries and create new precedents. Our innovative services raise challenging questions that demand creative and practical answers. We provide those answers by working at the crossroads of the law and new technology, helping Google build innovative and important products for users around the world.

Responsibilities

  • Manage Google’s partnerships with conservative, libertarian and free market third-party advocacy organizations, think tanks, and activists.
  • Represent Google externally at meetings and events held by advocacy organizations.
  • Organize programs and events to help advocacy organizations better understand Google’s products and services.
  • Meet regularly with organizations and work closely with groups on joint projects.

Qualifications

Minimum qualifications:
  • BA/BS degree or equivalent practical experience.
  • 8 years of direct experience in or around national politics, either in government or in advocacy roles.
  • Direct experience working with conservative groups, advocacy organizations, think tanks and foundations on issue campaigns or public policy advocacy.

Preferred qualifications:
  • Experience with difficult political and policy issues.
  • Experience with conferences/events and large trainings; willingness to attend events after hours and on the weekends as needed.
  • Self starter with the ability to think, plan, and execute large projects.
  • Effective public speaker, excellent communicator and external representative who can help promote Google products, policies and people in panels, one-on-one meetings and large group settings and can help translate complex ideas and requests into understandable language and action plans.


I'm not even sure where to begin commenting.  I think it's sad that government is so big that companies feel that they need "public policy" teams.  I think it's doubly sad that a company like Google specifically needs someone to reach out to conservative groups.  It's not like they don't already have an army of people doing outreach and public policy.  What, were conservative and libertarian groups previously ignored?  It appears that the answer to that is yes, since they feel the need to hire someone to reach out to them now.  What was the default mission of the group they already had?  I think the fact that they need to hire someone for this purpose speaks for itself.

You think that Silicon Valley is not in its own bubble, its own echo chamber?  Think again.  I have seen it first-hand.  It is real and it is stifling.