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I still don't quite comprehend why people feel personally bothered by such things. Yes, it is better for society to have safeguards in place to prevent certain kinds of surveillance as a check on governmental and corporate power – and we need to fight for this – but some data about you stored on some servers, a targeted advertisement? What exactly is the immediate personal threat?



If the data exists, there is a way to get it, theoretically. We're so far from a provably "secure" anything, that is, a complete chain, that until we have that, why risk it? "Some servers" can be collated before you can say "fascist takeover". And while this might seem like fear mongering, considering that the "benefit" is advertising, well, I personally think even a slim risk for a grave occurance outweighs that, and that advertisement in the way it's employed most of the time is a problem we should solve, not "improve". Talking about free markets with one side of the mouth, while constantly seeking to badger and influence people is the same abomination as it was when it was invented, no matter how used to it people get. Though personally, I'm for a social solution: total boycott of those who advertise that way, turning ad-block off to make black lists for shopping. I know it's a pipe dream, but it's mine.


I think this downplays the panoply of great things that advertising-based business models have made possible, not to mention that actual function of advertising in society. Why risk it? Because the risk is worth taking, 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. Sounds like economic collapse to me.


> not to mention that actual function of advertising in society.

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?


> Again, so? If there is a "huge dent" across the board, it ends up as no dent at all.

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.


In my opinion just knowing that your activities are monitored alters your behavior. Which for me is enough to be seriously concerned...


I think "seriously concerned" is different from "personally bothered". Concern has to do with the situation as a whole and what you might do about it, not i.e. feelings of personal violation, no?


Because ubiquitous surveillance of the entire population of a country changes the behaviour of that population and is oppressive to democratic processes.

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.


I'm asking: 'why do people feel personally intruded on?' which we could then use to answer the question as you interpreted it: 'why does it change the behavior of the population?'


Well, suppose I decided to be a communist, albeit one that rejects violence. Living in the United States, this would subject one to all sorts of potential problems when dealing with officialdom, even though there's no Constitutional barrier to it, unless you are using very narrow definitions of communism, and even then one could legally amend the Constitution to get around those problems.

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.


In what way is this threatened under current conditions? It seems your biggest risk would be i.e. compromise of your email account by hackers, not surveillance by intelligence agencies.


I answered your question.

If it changes the population, it directly affects me.

I'm not sure what you're not getting.


If that's your answer, then we also need to answer "why does it change the population?"

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.


Let's go with a harmless example.

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.


But my point is that still nobody is watching! The idea that there is a "somebody" there is a projection. Google isn't going to make fun of you because you pick your nose.



I have no idea whether this statement is true! Can you provide some justification?


Some people (myself included) find it very invasive. Everyone has different personal "privacy settings."


This is kind of tautological. "We feel this way because we do." Why do you feel that it is invasive? And certainly you're using "invasive" here metaphorically because there isn't actually any coherent entity that is intruding on you.




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