Google versus GO – it’s enough to commit seppuku


Live this week, it’s humanity vs the machines, as Google’s AlphaGo AI battles Korean champion Lee Se-dol at the ancient board game of Go. The five-game match is set to be as historic as the competition between IBM’s Deep Blue and chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov, and, even better, you can watch the whole thing unfold live on YouTube.

PLATONIC SPELUNKING: Google Capital(ism): the next holding company will be called Numbers, which will eventually be involved in the merger and acquisition of Alphanumeric

In the onward march of global capitalism the rhizome needs to grow and thank goodness the planet won’t be renamed Google (yet),


SAN FRANCISCO — Google was born as a company that did Internet search. Over time, it has broadened its interests into everything from drones to pharmaceuticals to venture capital.

Now Google is changing its corporate structure to reflect that it has essentially become a holding company with a disparate collection of businesses.

Larry Page, co-founder and chief executive of Google, said in a blog post on Monday that he was creating a new company named Alphabet that he would run along with Sergey Brin, the other co-founder of Google.

Alphabet is to act as a parent entity, with several other companies operating under the structure. The biggest among them would be Google. In addition, Alphabet is to house other businesses such as Nest, the smart thermostat maker, and Calico, a company focused on longevity, among others.

What Will Be Separated Under Alphabet?
  • Google
  • Calico, an anti-aging biotech company
  • Life Sciences, a company focused on health efforts
  • Nest, a maker of Internet-connected devices for the home
  • Fiber, high-speed Internet service in a number of American cities
  • Investment arms, such as Google Ventures and Google Capital
  • Incubator projects, such as Google X, which is developing self-driving cars and delivery drones
What Will Remain Part of Google?
  • Search
  • Advertising
  • Maps
  • YouTube, the video service
  • Android, the company’s mobile operating system

For Mr. Page, the decision to shake up Google’s structure is driven by the desire to reinvigorate the company with an entrepreneurial culture and to give operating divisions more leeway to make their own decisions. The structure is reminiscent of that of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren E. Buffett’s industrial empire, a giant conglomerate that includes railroads and Fruit of the Loom underwear.

So many of us seek to be a  Master of Go, yet only console ourselves as competent chess players that game played during breaks in the game of GO. Yet for most of us it is a game of Halt and Catch Fire.

For me it may wind up being a hang fire ultimately.


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3 Responses to Google versus GO – it’s enough to commit seppuku

  1. Go is one of those inscrutable games for me. Chess is more challenge than I can handle, especially since I once tried to play with a teenage Chess Master. It was truly embarrassing, and I very nearly went back to checkers. Or Tiddly-Winks.

  2. Don’t sweat that chess loss, Chuck. There’s a big difference between being a good chess player and a competition chess player. I’m pretty deft at the game. I had been playing with my dad since I was a kid. If I had to guess, I’d say my lifetime record has more wins than losses. But I had a buddy in college who was trained by his Grand Champion grandfather. He even competed a bit himself. We played a few times. It was ugly. You know how in those old kung fu movies a really tough fighter comes to town, busts up a lot of bad guys, and then gets the snot kicked out of him by a little old farmer who doesn’t break a sweat as he stomps the guy using only a tea cup, some soggy lo-mien and a dull panda cub as his weapons of choice?


    Now that I think about it, embarrassing is a very good word choice.

  3. Humans strike back: Go champion wins his 1st game against Google’s AI

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