Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader
Discusses Policy at Google

Written by Luke Thomas. Posted in News, Opinion, Politics


Published on May 14, 2008 with 7 Comments

May 14, 2008

Ralph Nader visits Google’s Mountain View, CA, headquarters as part of the Policy Talks@Google series. This event took place on May 12, 2008.

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas

Luke Thomas is a former software developer and computer consultant who proudly hails from London, England. In 2001, Thomas took a yearlong sabbatical to travel and develop a photographic portfolio. Upon his return to the US, Thomas studied photojournalism to pursue a career in journalism. In 2004, Thomas worked for several neighborhood newspapers in San Francisco before accepting a partnership agreement with the, a news website formerly covering local, state and national politics. In September 2006, Thomas launched The BBC, CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox News, New York Times, Der Spiegel, San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Magazine, 7×7, San Francisco Examiner, San Francisco Bay Guardian and the San Francisco Weekly, among other publications and news outlets, have published his work. Thomas is a member of the Freelance Unit of the Pacific Media Workers Guild, TNG-CWA Local 39521 and is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.

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  • Jerry Jarvis

    For such an anti corprate person Nader sure does have some odd bedfellows.

  • What a brilliant paradigm for illustrating the discomfort of technological innovation wasted when human needs are subordinated (the stage on which this dicussion is set).

    Two chairs, and neither the host nor Nader appear allowed to sit!

    Of course the real intention of the chairs is to advertise Google– and its power to make us all stand to attention, I suppose. (Can you picture Donald Rumsfeld, somewhere, smiling his unindicted lizard smile?)

    The fact remains that without the internet (and its largely inscrutable and proprietary search capabilities)– no one would likely chance upon Nader’s cogent (and discomforting) remarks today.– particularly his remarks about the paralysis of our having plenty of information but still being unable to do much of anything with it.

    Google can be commended for allowing him in the door. Can the anointed presidential candidates do the same?

  • marc

    Good to see Ralph Nader sucking up to yet another Big Brother corporation which collects personal data on us all.

    But the lure of the microphone was too much for Ralph to resist. Ralph Nader knows true love when he sees it, and that usually involves him and a microphone telling everyone how bad everything is.

  • Matt Stewart

    I’m impressed by how Nader can geer his speeches towards his respective audiences (particularly the part where he bashes Microsoft). He knows what appeals to them and what issues they can relate to and what effects them most directly. It also shows the breadth of his knowledge.

  • Matt Stewart


    The pot is calling the kettle black, now isn’t it? You are so vociferously bitter about situations in San Francisco that, like the Lorax, you plan on giving up and leaving it. If you do in fact leave, then are neglecting your duties and your life is a cop out. You need to look within yourself, not your surroundings. At least Nader never gives up.

    In addition, what do you expect from him? To tell everyone how fine and dandy we all are, thus, engendering a sense of social complacency? He is keeping peoples’ feet to the flames and encouraging them to recognize the injustice of our circumstances so that we are compelled to take action and make this world a better place.

    However, to your credit, I do agree that Nader should have challenged Google employees to recognize some of the nefarious aspects of the corporation that they work for.

  • marc

    Exudations of the paramecium?

    Techno twits?



  • marc

    Matt, I’ve lived here for almost 20 years and been involved in politics for almost 10 almost exclusively as a volunteer–I’ve been paid less than a total of $2000 on 4 projects to do political work over a decade.

    Nader has done politics for a living for almost my whole lifetime as measured in years.

    Nader has put food on his table by activism. I put food on my table by software engineering.

    There is nothing at all wrong with volunteers taking time from activism to live their lives as human beings, especially when paid activists are not stepping up.

    In recent years, Nader has made matters worse through the activism for which he’s been compensated. In recent years, I’ve helped make matters better through concrete achievements along with many others in my volunteer work.

    However our opponents have succeeded more than we and our allies, mostly paid staff, have not carried their weight in my opinion, as measured by effectiveness and results. So we fall behind and the situation on the ground continues to deteriorate irreversibly.

    I’ve given away enough of my life to various political pursuits over the past few decades to the extent that nobody has standing to criticize my family’s choices on where to allocate our time resources or where to live.

    Frankly, we have little interest in remaining in an Disneyland for hipster trust fund children, which is what the MIssion is turning into.

    And I have little time left for self indulgent egotists such as Nadero ins and his coterie whist upon pursuing identified failed strategies over and again, strategies that increasingly alienate progressive voters.