Tedster, you make great points as you often do. I believe that Amit once stated that he couldn't even write down all of the nuances that are currently in the algorithm. Yandex stated that the size of their algo has grown exponentially. The complexity of the system has gone beyond a singular person, and into a collective structure built by dozens. From an IQ standpoint, none of us can compete with that.
However, I will push back in two areas. By not having a singular vision of what the results should be, there are blind spots a person would not otherwise experience. Decisions have been made that have been forgotten, but can still impact real businesses. Add the sheer number of diverse queries that we all track, and I think it's actually our responsibility to point out areas where BigG is getting it wrong. SEOs experience the edge cases more profoundly than others.
Second, Google has an awesome responsibility. They, for most, are the front door to much of human knowledge, especially that which has been recently generated. The results they display have a chance to alter perception. Not showing legitimate complaints, or showing potentially false ones can change opinions about brands. It opens up all sorts of extortion possibilities, on both sides. This is a real case where I have to worry about far more than my own information.