Which is? Are you denying manipulation being an objective?
> unless you'd like to dismantle all television networks, newspapers, magazines, Google, Facebook, and put a huge dent in the earnings of every company that gets a return on its advertising investment
I said "advertisement in the way it's employed most of the time". Admittedly this is vague, and I've have to think more about it to be precise, but I didn't say "advertisting, period" on purpose, because I do acknowledge the general idea to get honest information out to potential customers. But let's not use that as a fig leaf.
Television, newspapers and magazines get destroyed and become destructive anyway to the degree they are beholden to advertisers. It might reduce the variety of products peddling the same things worded slightly differently, but since there IS a demand for information and entertainment, the remaining ones providing value might be able to live from, you know, getting paid for the work they do by the people they do it for. Are you for example saying there have been no newspapers in the US before 1840? ( http://library.duke.edu/digitalcollections/eaa/timeline/ )
And Google and Facebook are so new, my response is "maybe, so what?" You're talking about a business model, not technology. Besides, I think the web really needs to ponder some form of micropayments or subscriptions again, either way. Advertisement allows the situation that there are readers for something, but no advertisers. So in a way it's a middleman, that often enough is as manipulative as it can get away with. It's not a sustainable situation IMHO.
> put a huge dent in the earnings of every company that gets a return on its advertising investment
Again, so? If there is a "huge dent" across the board, it ends up as no dent at all. And maybe it wouldn't be across the board, maybe it would be a huge dent for those who live on manipulation of emotions, people identifying with brands and so on, and a huge boon for those who make the better products...? Who knows?
The issue is that there's no way to have a huge dent across the board because we now live in a global economy. Advertising-based businesses would have to be dismantled globally. Frankly, I think this is unrealistic and not really worth speculating about.
If democracy is being subverted through this kind of surveillance then society is in danger. If society is in danger, then you are in danger by extension.
It's not that I feel warm to communism, but that I want the liberty to adhere to an unorthodox idea should I encounter a sufficiently compelling on. If there are socioeconomic penalties for the development (not necessarily the expression of or action upon) such unorthodox beliefs, then we're in an era or soft Orwellian thoughtfcrime.
If it changes the population, it directly affects me.
I'm not sure what you're not getting.
What I suspect is that it affects the population via emotional response, which in turn affects you, so you have a kind of second-order response.
Have you ever picked your nose when others are watching? Or is there something innately offputting about doing so? Have you ever tried to "sneak" it when you thought nobody was watching?
What if you always thought someone was watching?
If you won't do something as harmless as picking your nose while being watched - what other human behaviors do you think are affected when people think they are being watched? Maybe they don't want others to know they attend a dance class. Maybe they're embarrassed to buy condoms or other contraceptives. Maybe they don't want others to see them buying medicine they need for an embarrassing medical condition.
It's not about personal threat it's about privacy.