Dominick Sorrentino

What happens when a podcast turns 10 episodes old? The hosts weigh the commercial versus ethical obligations of Google and Elon Musk, that’s what.

The ethics of paid search

Mesothelioma lawyers are paying $226 per click for ads using the keyword “mesothelioma cancer lawyer.” What does this mean?

Consider the premise behind PPC: You pay Google to put your ad at the top of search results for chosen keywords. If those keywords are competitive, the cost per click (CPC) on your ad goes up. In other words, if these lawyers are paying this much per click, they must be “making a killing off of people with cancer.”

Jeff is morally conflicted about this. After all, aren’t content creators, and Google, at least somewhat responsible for prioritizing the best, most sought-after information for the searcher, irrespective of commercial intent? It’s a tricky question.

As Francis pointed out, though, people are searching for “mesothelioma cancer lawyer.” So is a mesothelioma lawyers’ (and Google’s since they get paid) drive to commercialize cancer on the web just a symptom of the free market that should be left alone? Or is there some sort of obligation here that isn’t being met?

Listen to the full discussion to hear more.

Dear Elon Musk, we’re not sure where you’re going, but we kind of like it

On the entire other end of the spectrum, you have Elon Musk. He almost exclusively prioritizes what he thinks is “right or cool” over what his shareholder’s think, and somehow this has worked for him despite not having made any profits.

For example, did you know that a combination of buttons will make the Tesla dance? Do his shareholders support this use of company funds? I suppose if you subscribe to the Vonnegutian view that “We are here on Earth to fart around,” Musk is winning at existence.

So here’s some food for thought: Are his shortcomings as a CEO actually benefiting humanity? Whether it’s championing renewable energy, rekindling our interest in space exploration or just intriguing us all with bizarre antics like “Boring Company” flamethrowers, Musk appeals to our sense of curiosity, childlike wonder, exploration and, dare I say, collective progress.

But we want to know what you think. We’ve put together a very brief survey that will say a lot about how people really feel about Musk.

I want to be in the flying car, I want the “Boring Company” flamethrower in the back of the car for security and I want to be doing donuts in space around Mars.

Do you agree? Let us know in the comments!