For some of the world's most most vexing issues, Google executive chairman's response is, literally: "These problems will get themselves resolved."
Are you worried about the problems in American democracy and the new and possibly deleterious structural features of our information environment?
Eric Schmidt isn't.
Google's current executive chairman and former CEO spoke today with The Atlantic's Jeff Goldberg at the Aspen Ideas Festival about the role his company and his company's ideology has played around the world. What emerged is one of the clearest statements yet about how Schmidt's mind works. The man believes in progress and the eventual triumph of reason over the inanities and insanities of living, breathing humans. Time and again, without offering specifics, Schmidt said in one way or another, "It'll get solved," always in the passive voice. Even absent good actors he can point to, he's sure that they exist.
Eric Schmidt has a very high opinion of mankind.
That opinion remains despite the discovery that some of Google's bets on the power of information to create a more just (and better-for-Google) world have gone awry. Take Google's entry into China five years ago.
"Our theory was that if we put up with the censorship, which we did not like, we would empower the citizens and the citizens would revolt if this stuff was taken away from them," he told Goldberg. Obviously no such thing ended up happening and it was Google that ended up leaving mainland China and moving its servers to Hong Kong. Or as Schmidt described the fate of their theory, "Our experience was [that] we were wrong."