Culture Watch: Gore and Google at Davos, and How To Be a Soulja Boy

You could and probably should dive into Jeff Jarvis’s reports from this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos, where the theme is Innovation. I  found his report on an exchange between Al Gore and Google Foundation head Larry Brilliant extraordinary in revealing the amoral flaw of Google’s famous "do no evil" mantra. Moderator Thomas Friedman of The New York Times asks Brilliant what Google is doing to help influence the response to global warming. Brilliant says that Google’s role is to get information to people, as much information as they can.

Gore replies from the audience: “That’s the way the world used to work. The world doesn’t work that way anymore." Gore implies a theme he outlined in much greater detail at our very first We Media conference – that the nature of public discourse is strangely disconnected from the challenges society should be confronting. At the time the context was the bizarre disconnect between what news reports told the world about weapons of mass destruction and the rationale for the invasion of Iraq – and the truth (oops, no WMDs, sorry). The provocative question Gore is obviously still thinking about: What should media companies with enormous influence on public opinion and policy – including Google – do to make sure we have access not simply to lots of information, but to the most important information – and that we don’t simple access it but do something about it?

Meanwhile, back on earth … you could and probably should also check out what’s really been on people’s minds (more than 25 million views on YouTube): Soulja Boy Tellem – How to Crank That – INSTRUCTIONAL VIDEO!