Full Howard Stern Google Transcript

By Nathan Weinberg

Here you go, the full segment where Howard talked about Google. I’m surprised, but he was a lot more spot-on than I thought he would be, and Robin made some good insights. Robin seemed to echo what I’ve been saying about how odd Google’s hiring practices are. Still, I don’t think Howard gets that Google is trying to avoid the pitfalls of other startups, by discouraging extravagant spending. Read the transcript I compiled and let me know what you think.

Howard: I was watching 60 Minutes, they did like a infomercial for Google, I mean it was the most incredible –
Robin: I know. I wanna go work for them now.
Howard: It was the most incredible report on Google. Like, Google stock is through the roof, and, you know, I’m watching the thing, and they’re talking about how cool it is to work for Google, like you know it looked pretty cool. They make you these gourmet meals every day, so you won’t leave Google, you know, and you won’t go take a lunch break –
Robin: You don’t have traditional offices –
Howard: – it’s cool –
Robin: – They have a couch, and you don’t have to wear traditional business clothes –
Howard: And nobody busts anyone’s balls. You know, you could be on your computer all day screwing around, cause screwing around leads to good ideas.
Artie: Like our work atmosphere.
Howard: Yeah. So, watching this thing, and they’re talk about how a whole bunch of these people work for Google, and become multi-millionaires, you know, like some of them are worth like 40-50 million bucks; the two guys who run the place, who started it up are each worth six billion dollars cause the stock’s valued so high, and I’m watching this thing but they go, the catch is, all the people at Google like to pretend that they’re still poor.
Robin: Right. They can’t really spend the money.
Howard: It’s really funny, cause everyone has to walk around and p-, everyone has to talk about how little money they spend,
Robin: Even the guys who have six billion dollars we talked about, they still drive ratty cars –
Howard: Drive ratty cars, and they, and they’re like, “Yeah man, I don’t own a home, I just got some ratty apartment”. And some other chick who works there is like, “Oh no no no, I guess we made some money, but it’s not about the money, I mean, we don’t even have a new car. My last car I bought 1974”.
Robin: I couldn’t drive a Jaguar and park it around here.
Artie: It’s almost like mob guys who have to hide money.
Howard: Yeah, its really w-. They didn’t do anything wrong, but there’s some bizarre thing that the less money you spend, the less you act like you actually made some money, the more, the better you are, the better you are as a Google guy. You know, and I’m like, what’s the point then?
Robin: And the motto of the company, what was it, “Do No Harm” or something?
Artie: Do they think that people always stay hungry, if that’s the case?
Howard: I think it’s one big paranoid delusion, like they’re all afraid its going to go away, if they somehow admit they’re successful, cause you know how people on the internet turn on you in two seconds if you’re successful. It’s almost like a band, like Metallica becomes popular, and right away they sellout. “Oh man, you guys are sellouts, man”. They made money, so they’re sellouts, or something, and they’re so afraid its going to go away, cause, lets face it, another search engine comes along, and you know, people’ll dump ‘em, I mean, do you Google? I don’t. I Yahoo every time.
Robin: I do whatever’s up, I don’t particularly do anything.
Howard: I’m a Yahoo guy.
Artie: Somebody punched in my name into one of those things once, for me, and it was the most depressing thing I ever saw –
*scream sound effect*
Howard: Really?
Artie: Well, it was like, you know, Artie’s gonna die at 38 –
Robin: So you don’t really need a search engine
Artie: My name is on, I’m gonna say my name is on, last check, around 10,000 website. 9880 of them are negative
Robin: Hahahahahahaha.
Howard: So I can, I mean, I would Google, but years ago, I put in Yahoo as my default –
Robin: – search engine –
Howard: That comes up, so –
Artie: Well, wasn’t Yahoo, wasn’t this the whole rap on Yahoo, a couple years ago, that they, all their employees had got real rich, and anyone who invested in that –
Howard: Yeah, its fine to make money, but why, why hide it? Like why can’t the guy who just made six billion dollars buy himself a new car? How is that gonna ruin what they’re doing?
Artie: Yeah, spend the money.
Robin: And the only way they bust your balls is trying to work for them. Remember the test? Now they give all kinds of crazy tests –
Howard: It’s bizarre.
Robin: – with weird question on ‘em, and if you don’t answer the questions right, you can’t work for them.
Howard: And its kind of like, if you wanna work here, that’s not cool, or something. It’s a weird logic.
Robin: Yeah, they’d rather recruit you, than have you come and ask to work for them.
Some guy: Well something’s working for them.
Robin: Yeah.

January 6, 2005 by Nathan Weinberg in:

7 Responses to “Full Howard Stern Google Transcript”

  1. Hashim Says:

    that doesn’t sound like he’s “raggin” on them at all

  2. Philipp Lenssen Says:

    Robin who? (I never saw Howard Stern, so…)

  3. Dave Says:

    I was recruited by Google a couple of years ago. I had a friend who was recruited by Microsoft in the early 90’s. The two experiences were very similar. Google tries way too hard these days and act very arrogant. Their apparent self-denial when it comes to their IPO is just contrived. It’s all especially silly when you consider that how many of their clever ideas has made any money? Exactly one, and only Sergey and Larry were behind that one.

  4. Jason Says:

    Which one? The search technology may have established Google as the market leader, but it costs millions of dollars to run it. Adwords makes the money. You think Sergey and Larry hammered out the code for the most advanced PPC advertising system out there? In addition, the Google toolbar and PR display have also heavily contributed to their continued success. IMO, they have every right to be “arrogant” if that is what they’re being.

  5. Hai Pham Says:

    There was once a search engine called SavvySearch, which had the same very bare home page, and gave quick results. It became glitzy Search.com, whereas Google held to the original idea, and its smart, creative strategies have kept it a useful tool. How many spiders does a Web need?

  6. Nathan Weinberg Says:

    Oh, Phillip, Robin is Robin Quivers, Howard’s sidekick, I believe. This time was the first time I’ve listened to Howard in years, so I can’t even claim to be up on my Howard Stern info.

  7. David Duke is a malignant narcissist. Says:

    David Duke is a malignant narcissist.

    He invents and then projects a false, fictitious, self for the world to fear, or to admire. He maintains a tenuous grasp on reality to start with and the trappings of power further exacerbate this. Real life authority and David Duke’s predilection to surround him with obsequious sycophants support David Duke’s grandiose self-delusions and fantasies of omnipotence and omniscience.

    David Duke’s personality is so precariously balanced that he cannot tolerate even a hint of criticism and disagreement. Most narcissists are paranoid and suffer from ideas of reference (the delusion that they are being mocked or discussed when they are not). Thus, narcissists often regard themselves as “victims of persecution”.

    Duke fosters and encourages a personality cult with all the hallmarks of an institutional religion: priesthood, rites, rituals, temples, worship, catechism, and mythology. The leader is this religion’s ascetic saint. He monastically denies himself earthly pleasures (or so he claims) in order to be able to dedicate himself fully to his calling.
    Duke is a monstrously inverted Jesus, sacrificing his life and denying himself so that his people - or humanity at large - should benefit. By surpassing and suppressing his humanity, Duke became a distorted version of Nietzsche’s “superman”. But being a-human or super-human also means being a-sexual and a-moral.

    In this restricted sense, narcissistic leaders are post-modernist and moral relativists. They project to the masses an androgynous figure and enhance it by engendering the adoration of nudity and all things “natural” - or by strongly repressing these feelings. But what they refer to, as “nature” is not natural at all.

    Duke invariably proffers an aesthetic of decadence and evil carefully orchestrated and artificial - though it is not perceived this way by him or by his followers. Narcissistic leadership is about reproduced copies, not about originals. It is about the manipulation of symbols - not about veritable atavism or true conservatism.

    In short: narcissistic leadership is about theatre, not about life. To enjoy the spectacle (and be subsumed by it), the leader demands the suspension of judgment, depersonalization, and de-realization. Catharsis is tantamount, in this narcissistic dramaturgy, to self-annulment.

    Narcissism is nihilistic not only operationally, or ideologically. Its very language and narratives are nihilistic. Narcissism is conspicuous nihilism - and the cult’s leader serves as a role model, annihilating the Man, only to re-appear as a pre-ordained and irresistible force of nature.

    Narcissistic leadership often poses as a rebellion against the “old ways” - against the hegemonic culture, the upper classes, the established religions, the superpowers, the corrupt order. Narcissistic movements are puerile, a reaction to narcissistic injuries inflicted upon David Duke like (and rather psychopathic) toddler nation-state, or group, or upon the leader.

    Minorities or “others” - often arbitrarily selected - constitute a perfect, easily identifiable, embodiment of all that is “wrong”. They are accused of being old, they are eerily disembodied, they are cosmopolitan, they are part of the establishment, they are “decadent”, they are hated on religious and socio-economic grounds, or because of their race, sexual orientation, origin … They are different, they are narcissistic (feel and act as morally superior), they are everywhere, they are defenseless, they are credulous, they are adaptable (and thus can be co-opted to collaborate in their own destruction). They are the perfect hate figure. Narcissists thrive on hatred and pathological envy.

    This is precisely the source of the fascination with Hitler, diagnosed by Erich Fromm - together with Stalin - as a malignant narcissist. He was an inverted human. His unconscious was his conscious. He acted out our most repressed drives, fantasies, and wishes. He provides us with a glimpse of the horrors that lie beneath the veneer, the barbarians at our personal gates, and what it was like before we invented civilization. Hitler forced us all through a time warp and many did not emerge. He was not the devil. He was one of us. He was what Arendt aptly called the banality of evil. Just an ordinary, mentally disturbed, failure, a member of a mentally disturbed and failing nation, who lived through disturbed and failing times. He was the perfect mirror, a channel, a voice, and the very depth of our souls.

    Duke prefers the sparkle and glamour of well-orchestrated illusions to the tedium and method of real accomplishments. His reign is all smoke and mirrors, devoid of substances, consisting of mere appearances and mass delusions. In the aftermath of his regime - Duke having died, been deposed, or voted out of office - it all unravels. The tireless and constant prestidigitation ceases and the entire edifice crumbles. What looked like an economic miracle turns out to have been a fraud-laced bubble. Loosely held empires disintegrate. Laboriously assembled business conglomerates go to pieces. “Earth shattering” and “revolutionary” scientific discoveries and theories are discredited. Social experiments end in mayhem.

    It is important to understand that the use of violence must be ego-syntonic. It must accord with the self-image of David Duke. It must abet and sustain his grandiose fantasies and feed his sense of entitlement. It must conform David Duke like narrative. Thus, David Duke who regards himself as the benefactor of the poor, a member of the common folk, the representative of the disenfranchised, the champion of the dispossessed against the corrupt elite - is highly unlikely to use violence at first. The pacific mask crumbles when David Duke has become convinced that the very people he purported to speak for, his constituency, his grassroots fans, and the prime sources of his narcissistic supply - have turned against him. At first, in a desperate effort to maintain the fiction underlying his chaotic personality, David Duke strives to explain away the sudden reversal of sentiment. “The people are being duped by (the media, big industry, the military, the elite, etc.)”, “they don’t really know what they are doing”, “following a rude awakening, they will revert to form”, etc. When these flimsy attempts to patch a tattered personal mythology fail, David Duke becomes injured. Narcissistic injury inevitably leads to narcissistic rage and to a terrifying display of unbridled aggression. The pent-up frustration and hurt translate into devaluation. That which was previously idealized - is now discarded with contempt and hatred. This primitive defense mechanism is called “splitting”. To David Duke, things and people are either entirely bad (evil) or entirely good. He projects onto others his own shortcomings and negative emotions, thus becoming a totally good object. Duke is likely to justify the butchering of his own people by claiming that they intended to kill him, undo the revolution, devastate the economy, or the country, etc. The “small people”, the “rank and file”, and the “loyal soldiers” of David Duke - his flock, his nation, and his employees - they pay the price. The disillusionment and disenchantment are agonizing. The process of reconstruction, of rising from the ashes, of overcoming the trauma of having been deceived, exploited and manipulated - is drawn-out. It is difficult to trust again, to have faith, to love, to be led, to collaborate. Feelings of shame and guilt engulf the erstwhile followers of David Duke. This is his sole legacy: a massive post-traumatic stress disorder.

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