Google's Magic Sauce: The Common Pursuit of Knowledge
What Larry Page and Sergey Brin have in common is a real intellectual curiosity. They want to understand how the world works.
From 1999 to 2005, Doug Edwards was was director of consumer marketing and brand management for Google. He is the author of I'm Feeling Lucky: The Confessions of Google Employee Number 59. Other work experience includes stints as online brand group manager for the San Jose Mercury News, communications director for KQED FM, admission officer for Brown University and Novosibirsk correspondent for the public radio program Marketplace. He blogs athttp://xooglers.com, a gathering spot for ex-Googlers to reminisce and comment on the latest developments in search.
I think one thing that Larry [Page] and Sergey [Brin] have in common, and they’re both the children of academics, is a real intellectual curiosity. They want to understand how the world works.
They come to that with a very scientific approach, a very logical approach to understanding what happens if you do A, what is result B going to be. And so I think that’s the basis for the connection that they have. It’s a common pursuit of knowledge. And the differences between them—Larry, I think—well, they’re both very bright. Larry is more of a visionary. Larry is always looking far down the road—five years, ten years—to what technology has the potential to deliver. And so he constantly amazed me with his insights into where the industry was going way before things were generally recognized as going to be important.
That doesn’t mean he’s infallible. I think certainly social networking was something that was not on his radar for a long time. But Sergey is more, I think, attuned to business opportunities and is more of an entrepreneur and possibly more of a traditional manager. He understands the business side.
Again, there are shades of grey there because Larry is certainly very astute when it comes to business as well. Sergey has a much more direct sense of humor. He is a jokester and he loves to play practical jokes on April Fools; a very sly sense of humor and very quick witted. Larry is a little more reserved and quieter in public settings.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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