An example of this is the subscription economy article posted a few days ago. Companies like Adobe decide to not sell licenses anymore, rather to rent access monthly. Not that I use Adobe, but Feedly dinged me for $69 for their Pro option again this year. Do I really need to pay yearly for a damned RSS reader?
The other one is music. The music industry doesn't want to sell you perpetual licenses for individual tracks or albums anymore. It's too hard to manage. Apple managed to force them to do it, and Google got in under that umbrella, but the music industry wants to move directly to subscription services rather than build out a customer-friendly rights management regime for individual tracks. I hate subscription music services with a bitter passion and absolutely refuse to use them.
If the industry manages to wipe out individual track sales, I will pirate music. I would hate to go back to those days, but it's preferable to not having control over my music. It's already absurdly, ridiculously hard to move music from one iPhone to another. To be told, 'no, you can't have this track you fell in love with because it wasn't released yet on your stupid service', is an even greater snub.
The music industry will have to pry my music library out of my cold dead fingers.
It's exactly how music sales and distribution should be done.
>> lot more interesting than what's going on on the major labels anyway.
I knew kids in middle school who would spend hundreds of dollars a month buying iTunes songs with their parents credit cards. Now kids just need a $10 subscription. That's a solution for consumers.
For life. If the track they want is on that service, otherwise they need 2 $10 subscriptions. Or 3. Now tell me - do you think that helps the small artists who get a tiny % of listens and thus practically no revenue at all from sales?
I bought hundreds of pounds worth of music, and now I listen to it. Sometimes I buy some more stuff. I'll never have to pay to listen to Dark Side of the Moon again though - and I'm happier that way.
I'm a person for whom a subscription makes perfect sense, for the most part I don't have a list of artists I'm a fan of, I just want decent quality and variety.
This may not be a boat we see ourselves being in, but the subscription services (once dominant) are free to raise prices. Maybe it hits $25 a month and suddenly what was convenient and cheap is just more than you can justify because you've lost your job and are living off savings.
Suddenly you no longer have access to your music. The playlists you love, the one that gets you through a shitty day etc.
If you don't own a collection of music, then you're just working to support the stream of music in your life. If you truly value specific music which can't be had in other free means, then it's worth your time and effort to own what gets you through your day.
Music has really taken a turn since the age of the television though (I get it). It's just too unimportant to so many people, though. I'm sure these same people bought their TV outright, and aren't renting that either.
I could rant on this forever. Nice infographic here (https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/apr/03/how-much-...).
But honestly, I see the appeal; I really do.
For some of us, music subscription services are liberating. I absolutely love Spotify. I've discovered more new artists and genres of music that I enjoy in the last 2 years than I did in my entire life prior to that. All because there is no marginal cost to hearing a good song and immediately checking out that artist's entire discography. It beats pirating, even that has additional work in the form of finding a working torrent with good quality and managing the actual files myself. Having a recommendation engine, being able to piggyback on my friend's playlists to see what they've been listening to, having new releases and curated playlists available in a few taps...all gravy on top. I wasn't always a believer, sitting around somewhere I have a hard drive with 50GB of music I haven't touched in years. I put a huge premium on keeping my music under my control and organized. And then one day I gave it all up and discovered it was actually better this way.
I find it interesting that there is some sort of problem with Spotify but not with say, Netflix, even though it's essentially the same model. Why the difference? Is it because cable television has always been a subscription model, with individual purchase being optional? Is it because music is a fundamentally different media with different expectations? I do know that if I was forced to choose between the two, I would go with Spotify 10/10 times.
That is getting harder and harder by the year. Both Apple and the music companies go out of their way to make it incredibly difficult to manage my library.
It took two days and third-party tools to move my library from one iPhone to another. In the end I had to resort to manually copying down the name of every single track on my current phone to make sure it gets moved over onto the other phone. This is because the tools couldn't get everything. Getting all the metadata over still hasn't been 100% completed.
The problem is that I don't have a static, well-defined music taste. It changes all the freaking time. My music library needs to be able to keep up with what I want out of it. As it's virtually impossible to easily get tracks in and out of an iPhone, the single source of truth for my music library has become the tracks on the phone itself.
If I don't take painstaking care to ensure that every last file is moved, then some tracks which I really really love to hear, that I can listen to on repeat for hours, can completely fall off my radar and I won't hear them again for months / years.
Managing music files manually is something I absolutely must have. But there's nothing those goddamn assholes want more than to push me onto their shit fucking subscription services where my music life becomes accountable to their greedy whims.
Tons of music is available as non-DRMed files, or CDs, and I can move those files around however I want on my devices. I suppose some really popular stuff might be exclusive to streaming or DRMed channels, but I can't say I could name any right now.
I don't care where I get my music from. Honestly I just get most of it from the iTunes store. I just need to be able to manage it once I get it.
I tried using iTunes manual management. It's awful. Unless all your music comes from iTunes, then you're back to manual file management. Now I don't even sync my phone to my laptop anymore, I just don't trust it to not fuck with my music collection. iTunes touches the phone only when I have music that I can't buy through the iTunes Store or I'm switching phones.
I am not willing to carry around a third device just for music. I am not willing to devote space in my apartment to CD storage. I'd love to be able to store my music in the cloud, but the difficulties Apple has placed on music file transfers mean that the phone itself has to be the repository for the state of my music library. Even if I do that, I still have to be extremely careful when moving devices, it's not a magic bullet.
If Apple makes this any worse then I will be forced to migrate to Android. I tried it once a few years ago but was burned really badly by the LG Nexus 5, a truly horrid device that could not stream Bluetooth music properly. I was actually happy when that thing took a 5 foot dive onto a tiled floor so I could run back to the Apple Store and beg the ghost of Steve Jobs for forgiveness and absolution.
You'll have to play by their rules then, unfortunately.
Maybe I should write a blog post, "How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Subscription Music Services"?
That's the problem. If it's not well and truly all of my music, then it's worthless. I will take the pain of manual library file management over not having every last one of my tracks available in one big library that I can shuffle.
You can generalize this to, I will never put my music lifestyle in the hands of your company's relationship with the music labels.
Actually facebook and its more savvy advertisers and posters seem to really good at this sort of thing. The amount of people, whom I would consider educated, who share freebooted and farm-produced content surprises me.
Similarly there is a UK Fishing forum that requires you to accept and open promotional emails from the store that owns the forum in order to be a member. I'll happily throw in a few quid a year to support a useful forum, but going through the hoops of having to open marketing emails to reactivate my membership is just too much.
However, as with apps, at some point the money will stop flowing in. And then you have a problem keeping your business.
If we compare this to the past: you bought some software for managing your contacts. This cost 50$. Then, one year later they released a new version with new features and bugfixes, again for 50$.
Even if your userbase didn't grow, they probably bought the software ever x years, giving your company revenue.
Now however, nobody dares to charge for a new version of some software. (Even in the AAA game industry people are asking for DLCs instead of a 20xx full version), reducing income from one-off licenses.
This might all have started with the app stores.
Not sure if that's true. I'd love to read a more detailed analysis on history and driving forces behind the current DLC fashion. The way I see it, it's what the companies figured is a better way to extract money from players - instead of spending a year or three on another game, they can release a bunch of smaller DLCs every few months.
Actually, that might be the only thing holding me back. 100% of my computing is done on a laptop. I'd have to start using desktops again to get a decent experience.
The earlier physical/analog artifacts could degrade with time if not properly preserved, but anything that's ever sold digitally will last until the copyright expires; the songs ripped from CDs that I bought in 1990s will be available to my family forever.
Now I'm a massive Spotify user (and fan). It has given me the ability to listen to a huge range of music that a. I couldn't afford to buy and b. I couldn't afford to keep in physical format.
Most of my old CDs haven't been listened to or touched in a long time, partly because I can stream that music on my phone and but mostly because my tastes in music have changed, also that they're all now sat in my parent's loft gathering dust.
For the vast, vast majority of the music I listen to, I'll happily use Spotify and I don't have this great big anchor of a CD collection following me around. I can have most music I'd ever listen to always to hand almost whenever and wherever I am. And I don't have to deal with backing up MP3s on external storage.
I must say, I feel like I've got more control over my music than I ever did with a massive CD and MP3 collection following me around.
"Serra states that the case exemplifies the U.S. legal systems preference towards capitalistic property rights over democratic freedom of expression."
I've come around to the subscription model. Customers are not satisfied with the 'single purchase' model. They want to purchase the product, and also purchase lifetime updates. Its not really sustainable to sell software at a fixed price point while providing free updates. I would rather companies do the subscription model than give stuff for "free" and then do other unethical anti-privacy things.
As bonuses, I get my catalogue easily sync'd across devices, easy access to new music, and youtube ad-free.
I don't mean to discount your view, I just wanted demonstrate that there is a rationally minded market for these services.
But it's not your right to have this music and you're just stealing it. They're not taking anything away from you, you're just deciding you'd rather steal it than pay for it.
When the real product is eyeballs on ads
You start to optimize for that.
You get users to keep reloading. You get users to stick around. Because the more pages they load, the more money you make.
It doesn't matter why people keep reloading. Doesn't matter if they're being shown things they really need. Doesn't matter if they're being shown truth or lies. Doesn't matter if they're reloading a lot because they're in the middle of a flame war. Doesn't matter if they're left happier or stressed out by using your product.
It just matters that they saw a lot of ads.
This is why the much-loathed algorithmic timelines happen: here's something a lot of your circles spent time engaging with, maybe you'll like it too! Stick around. See more ads.
Of course we can debate on the definition of what is "best" for the user. Maybe users like and need clickbait headlines and fake news. But to me it's just a softer version of "Maybe users like gambling machines and being addicted to cigarettes"
* You don't need to change toothbrush every 6 months, that's BS. Toothbrushes are plastic they are going to last hundreds of year more after we are all dead.
* You don't need to put so much toothpaste on your toothbrush, it was Colgate ads that started showing people putting a fat and thick long toothpaste on toothbrushes to encourage more use/consuming of toothpaste.
* The alkasetzer guys wanted to double sells, what did they do started showing commercials of people throwing 2 tablets instead of one.
* Also shampoo and hairproducts, they started showing people putting a ton of shampoo in their hands and making bubbles in their head. Actually you don't need that much shampoo.
Sure, it hasn't physically decomposed, but there's no reason to expect a $1 piece of plastic to keep the same performance after hundreds of thousands of abrasions in a wet, acidic, bacteria-ridden environment.
Always go with the softest brush you can find, to spare your gums, and also try not to use all that much tooth paste. You really don't need more than just a thin flat spread over the brush, or a ball about the size of a small pea.
If your gums often bleed after brushing, you should go see a dentist. Even if it doesn't happen every day, please go.
Source: my father is a dentist and I worked for him a number of years in the past, so picked up a few things.
You can be brushing every day and still have bleeding gums, probably because your brush is too hard but possibly because of bacterial build up causing inflammation. A dentist will do a simple test to check your gums and can tell you straight away whether your gums are ok or not.
My point being, bleeding gums are just not a good thing, ever. It doesn't have to mean you have gingivitis, you could just have nicked them with too hard a brush or whatever, but you should still look it up if it happens regularly when brushing or flossing.
And obviously you should brush at least twice a day, and also floss daily (full disclosure: I'm a hypocrite on the flossing, but I try to be better) – if you eat / drink particularly acidic foodstuffs you'd do well in brushing after ingesting this as well. Brushing after every meal can be inconvenient or even difficult (I don't always bring a tooth brush to dinner) but some sugar free chewing gums are a decent enough substitute.
You're saying "That should never happen".
He's saying "That's nice, but frequently when I switch to a new toothbrush it happens".
Meaning that his old one was no longer cleaning his gums properly. Hence his original proposition that one needs to change toothbrushes more every few months.
Gums bleeding with a new toothbrush means the old one wasn't cleaning well and the "good thing" is it's a good thing the switch was made as now the oral hygiene is improved.
I think I often naively assume that advertising only exists to encourage us to buy one product in preference to another. Of course, as you say, it's much more insidious than that: they are aiming to change cultural norms about the use of their products. It doesn't matter if that helps their competitors too - if they grow the overall size of the toothpaste market then it's worth it.
I'm sure there are many more examples like the ones you mentioned. The most famous one I can think of is the notion of diamond engagement rings being invented by a diamond company.
I wouldn't be surprised if conversations like the one in this comedy sketch really do happen .
A more modern attempt, selling women on the need for douching, largely failed.
But for the rest of us, having a helping hand to cover up excessive BO is actually quite helpful.
I was merely commenting that here are two very similar products, both purporting to be hygiene related, both appealing to "what will other people think?", and one caught on massively (though, per the article, after some initial pushback), while the other has all but died out except in jokes. It's interesting that one caused a major cultural shift (which you yourself are a product of; it's not that you didn't smell in the past, it's that -people expected it-. Much like in many non-western countries; if you go there you'll curl your nose at the BO, but to the residents they don't even notice. It's also why that's a stigma to immigrants here in the US; some immigrants come from places where deodorant simply does not exist), and the other did not.
I would also add that people from other parts of the world tend to have different body odor, which can be more noticable.
For instance, I've heard complaints that we Scandinavians tend to have a slight sour milk tinge to our BO, while immigrants from countries like India have a more "spicy" BO.
Deodorant sprays are just perfume which attempt to cover up the smell, but don't get rid of it. So you end up smelling of both deodorant and body odour.
Personally, I avoid the over-perfumed variants, I prefer something that just cuts down on odor, without adding too much of its own. There's a nice line of perfume-free soaps and such available here, under the brand name "Neutral".
I also don't poop in a hole in the ground.
You took at face value that BO is bad, but that's a cultural expectation, not something "natural" or inherit of humanity. Some other cultures probably don't find "body odor" to be objectionable.
I think focusing on the worst most deceitful and manipulative examples in history isn't a good way to evaluate the overall merits of something.
-OR-, you're an ad blocker who's been an ad blocker for a long time.
When you aren't exposed to that crap on a very regular basis, if you're like me for example who uses paid apps for nearly everything on my phone and an ad blocker on all but a very small number of websites I trust, seeing ads can actually be weird.
The only app I use that has them is a biking fitness app where the only way to get rid of the ads is packaged with a bunch of other features that aren't worth the $99.99 a year subscription fee, so I almost never see them except for this one app and it's genuinely weird when it happens.
I'm aware ads influence everyone in some form, I just don't think the influence is so strong to me that it's going to make me do anything majorly against my best interests.
> Some example: * You don't need to change toothbrush every 6 months, that's BS. Toothbrushes are plastic they are going to last hundreds of year more after we are all dead. * You don't need to put so much toothpaste on your toothbrush, it was Colgate ads that started showing people putting a fat and thick long toothpaste on toothbrushes to encourage more use/consuming of toothpaste. * The alkasetzer guys wanted to double sells, what did they do started showing commercials of people throwing 2 tablets instead of one. * Also shampoo and hairproducts, they started showing people putting a ton of shampoo in their hands and making bubbles in their head. Actually you don't need that much shampoo.
My issue with these examples are 1. these kinds of products are cheap and 2. using a bit more than you need isn't likely to have negative impacts, so therefore I'm not going to dedicate a lot of time into researching these things. For expensive and important products (e.g. laptop, phone, mortgage, anything to do with health) I'm going to treat ads as a very bias source and look for more objective sources.
I really just don't feel it's a big deal and I tend to avoid big brands. It's not time efficient to scrutinise every small purchase anyway when most of those kinds of products are roughly the same. I'm not going to get tricked into spending so much money on toothpaste, shampoo etc. that it will have an negative impact on my life.
Yes, I understand ads influence, but I think people go really over the top about it using terms like "brainwashing" and "unethical".
Probably dead from the fauna that healthily develops on the toothbrush after some time ;) But the toothbrush will survive indeed.
It's about creating cognizance of the fact that someone else is making money off your behavior. You can be scared of that if you want, but creating that fear is certainly not the aim.
I personally think things which increase people's general cognizance of the world around them are net goods. There's damned little enough of that as it is.
Telling someone they've been tricked and have been turned into a product is ominous sounding to me.
Are there some more benign terms to use to spin this? Or are the correct terms negatively loaded for a reason?
This is particularly important if you believe minors should not be able to enter contracts. By using 'free' services, they are selling something unknowingly, maybe something they can't get back. "additional terms or product requirements (including age requirements) may apply" is there for a reason; an attempt to avoid liability.
That's your choice, consciously or otherwise.
There's no trickery here. It's not like this is being hidden from people. It's just not widely recognized.
When a cop doesn't explicitly read you your Miranda rights because they want you to incriminate yourself by delaying access to counsel, they aren't lying per se. You are expected to know that cops can exploit you but you, naively, expect good faith behavior from them.
FD - see my profile.
This is why I have zero qualms about using ad blockers, blocking third-party cookies, white-listing first-party cookies, and, and, and... An industry with as demonstrably unclean hands as online advertising deserves to die.
Consider media (news or otherwise). If ads are how dollars are made then quality, and accuracy, is only important in so far as it serves as a vehicle for bringing in eyeballs. Consider 3 different examples of content. The first is expensive to make but high quality and people value it highly, they consider it extremely important. The second is inexpensive to make and low quality, people don't care about it much if at all. The third is also inexpensive and low quality but people generally dislike it.
The important thing to understand here is that ads incentivize the 2nd and 3rd types of content over the first. When people pay for their content directly they will pay more for higher quality and more important content (if they are able). When content is just a vehicle for advertising it's much easier to turn a profit on content that is easy to produce and yet has a mass appeal (clickbait, humor, tabloids). And, as we see, that's the sort of thing that becomes plentiful easily today. Stuff that takes a lot of work to get right struggles while stuff that is trivial and salacious blooms.
And that's only the tip of the iceberg.
Earnings release: https://investor.fb.com/investor-news/press-release-details/...
Q1 2017 income statement (excel spreadsheet): https://s21.q4cdn.com/399680738/files/doc_financials/2017/FB...
I think it is better, because you are a customer, you just don't pay with cash. Instead you pay with your privacy, and as normal users, we really don't have a good concept of what that is worth.
I find it callous to decry the poor decision-making of poor people, eg: someone buying a fashion accessory when they're struggling to pay rent, and then go on to defend advertisers in a cavalier buyer-beware kind of way.
People are rightfully concerned about the privacy invasion from precisely targeted ads. But they should decouple that concern from the benefits of more targeted ads which are more efficient, because that benefit is real. It does not just benefit businesses either (which are, after all, owned by people in the end), advertisement will increase consumer surplus in many cases as well.
I don't remember ever seeing an ad showing a new invention. That is actually not the purpose of advertising. You can't understand a new concept in the time lapse of an ad. In fact, you'll see that new inventions normally become popular via other means (targeting niches firsts via specialized magazines, conferences, etc.) and only use advertising when they already have an established business and market.
The fact is, most advertising is just about manipulating peoples feelings. The first kind is about brand aggrandizing, trying to change how people feel about a specific brand--this brand is "quality", "fresh", "young", "elite", whatever. The second one is about stimulating demand, normally trying to make people need things they did not need before: "you are fat! buy our cream!", "your life is boring! buy our holiday packages!", "you look ugly, buy our clothes!", "you could be healthier eating our pro-active meta-splendidous yogurt!", etc. In either case, the goal is to make you feel bad, incomplete, until you spend your money on more shit.
Personally, I would love to live in a world with almost zero advertising. I am from Spain and one of the things I love about Berlin, where I live, is the low amount of advertising in the streets compared to anywhere I lived before. That is changing slowly though. But I have seen pictures of DDR Berlin and there is literally no ads. Of course, sadly that package came with the STASI and other horrible things. That aside, I would love to be able to walk the streets without having to look at ads telling me to buy shit over pictures impossible women in lingerie, rich men in expensive cars, smiling youngsters partying together, families on vacation in the Bahamas, etc. I know people that consider such world dull, gray, etc. But for me, it would bring some kind of new zen to urban life.
Ironically now, thanks to the Internet, advertisers themselves (and security agencies) are tracking our lifes in ways the STASI could not even dream of. The grass is always greener on the other side, but if you try hard enough you can always get the worst of both worlds.
Still I sympathisize with your comment in a very positive sense.
If there were no ads, information about products would spread through specialist magazines or website, word of mouth, fairs, etc. Almost anything is better than an ad, which nowadays is just some abstract crap designed to feel one connected to the brand.
Take the latest Google phone ad: it consists basically 99% of people doing (arguably) interesting things. It barely tells one what the product is and why it's useful. That's what ads are nowadays, attempts at emotional manipulation.
As a counterpoint: if you consider that emotional manipulation, then there are many people (myself included) who enjoy being emotionally manipulated. I often consciously choose to "reward" ads that captured my attention in the first 3 seconds by not scrolling by or skipping them, and letting them get their full impression on me. Good on them for being interesting.
I rather like feeling connected to the brands I enjoy.
On the one hand, to answer your direct charge - I absolutely don't mind seeking out and accessing some ads (I've gone to some brands' website or YouTube channel - such as Old Spice -
just to watch their ads before, and I've sought out Superbowl ads to rewatch because they're funny).
On the other hand, as a dialectic note, I find your reasoning to be strange and fallacious (specifically, a fallacy of excluded middle or false dilemma). I don't see any reason why someone must be compelled to seek out things they enjoy instead of enjoying them passively. Phrased another way, it is possible to enjoy things as a passive exercise when they would become tedious or unenjoyable as an active exercise. You don't seem to acknowledge this possibility.
I wasn't doubting you. So do I.
I don't see any reason why someone must be compelled to seek out things they enjoy instead of enjoying them passively.
Let me guess, you're one of those guys listening to loud music on the bus that everybody despises?
In order for you to enjoy content without making any active effort, everyone else must be forced to watch it too. Imposing costs on everyone for a slight personal convenience is generally regarded as anti-social behavior.
Phrased another way, it is possible to enjoy things as a passive exercise when they would become tedious or unenjoyable as an active exercise. You don't seem to acknowledge this possibility.
I didn't, because that's besides my point.
How does that enrich your life?
I don't know, that's kind of a heavy question for what feels like minutia to me. I don't really ask myself if every single thing I enjoy explicitly enriches my life.
The Google ad in the UK is basically "hey guys! Girls will be really impressed if you show them this phone!" It's really quite off-putting
Yeah, I don't understand what people who peddle this quote expect individuals/companies to do to get their product noticed if ads are unethical apparently. You're just meant to rely on word of mouth starting from nothing? I don't see what's wrong with telling people about your product to see if they're interested. Ads in specific newspapers, posters in a street, handing out leaflets in a certain area, ads during a specific TV show etc. are all forms of targeted marketing as well.
If I were you, I would try to educate myself before continuing to write here.
Among the many buzzwords of recent years is the "attention economy". It has already existed for quite a long time (newspapers selling ad space are actually selling their readers' eyeballs), but since a few years ago, ad companies have the technology to optimize for maximum attention.
The effects of attention economy can be witnessed in reports of people quitting Facebook temporarily as a kind of detox, or the general uncluttering movement (caused by sensory overload which is in turn caused by attention parasites like social networks, and our generally hectic lifestyle). In my opinion, the costs of the attention economy outweigh its benefits.
I don't think the solution here is to somehow stop people making products like Facebook though...if you're using Facebook to an unhealthy degree and letting it consume all your attention you should work on yourself in my opinion as you'll just find something else to fill that gap. Facebook has had a positive impact on my social life for example and I don't feel addicted to it.
Unless this is curbed by regulation, which I think is extremely unlikely for the next 10 years at least, you can safely assume, and should assume, that all ads are privacy invading.
Are there any other wildly profitable companies that sell ads?
I know to be extra skeptical of claims in ads and to do proper research before I buy things. Friends and family give recommendations all the time which I apply critical thinking skills to as well...I don't just blindly do things people suggest to me. Have you honestly ever felt you've been brainwashed by ads somehow?
You can apply critical thinking skills left, right, up, down and sideways, it won't matter if you're flooded with ads for Samsung. And if you somehow figure out that Samsung's products have a tendency to catch fire, Coca Cola will get you. And if you figure out that Coke is sugary crap, one of the other tens of thousands of products will get you.
Because you're probably not applying critical thinking skills to pick your toilet paper, detergent, dog food, toothbrushes, light bulbs and so on and you're not doing that non stop.
People that think they're immune to advertising are ironically the easiest to influence, like fish in a barrel.
Take a heavily advertised staple such as peanut butter for example. How I feel about a brand has zero influence on my selection. And no amount of advertising will change that because there is exactly one brand available in my area which has the combination of features that I want (no-stir, un-sweetened and lightly-salted), so that is the one I buy. I could give examples of other basics like hand soap, toothpaste and paper goods that I choose because competing products failed to meet my needs, not because I "feel good about the brand".
"People that think they're immune to advertising are ironically the easiest to influence". I would be interested to know on what you base this claim, and does it differentiate between mere "belief" that one is immune, and the conscious intent to recognize and reject the explicit and implicit messages in advertising.
In any case, you (by which I mean a general HN reader) are not paying anything to read the articles, so you are the product here too then? So the 'Show HN' are evil too. They can brainwash you to believe <xyz>.js is much better than <abc>.js, even when it's not.
Informing people that a product exists is not harmful but that's besides the point.
For a hyperbolic example, imagine you had a partner who wanted you to lose weight because you'd got fat and found you unattractive as a result. They choose speak kindly to you about how they feel to see whether they can change your behaviour, and own the possibility that you're not interested in what they have to say.
Is this <em>no different</em> to them using some subtly crafted speech (based on their in-depth knowledge of your insecurities, etc.) which creates some shame or self-doubt, whilst not making their real position or motive clear?
Or equally, one of your children's friends wants them to try a new legal high; in case (a) they describe how they find it and what it's like, and in case (b) they use some social pressure about how everyone's into it and it looks cool, etc.
Or you go to your doctor, and she offers you a new drug for your ailment; in the first case she describes the evidence base for it and any potential down-sides in statistical terms you can easily appreciate. In the second, she conjures an image of your ailment worsening progressively until you are a drag on your family and you die resented and alone; this is a possible but unlikely outcome if you leave the ailment untreated.
In all these examples the two paths are no different in terms of someone trying to influence someone into trying something out, but most people would find the first options preferable to the latter.
I think the point is not that all attempts to change someone's mind are manipulation and so completely morally equal, but that some kinds of manipulation are hurtful in themselves either because they are deceptive or because they hurt people.
A show HN post may be trying to manipulate you, but hopefully it is not using deceit or an emotional over-reach to do that.
All communications have an element of truth, bias and maybe manipulation (intentional or not). I don't see how an ad presenting a product in the best possible light (keeping in mind most countries have regulations about ads being misleading which I strongly agree with) is much worse than information encountered from other places. Obviously I'm against manipulative, inaccurate or deceitful ads though.
I mean are you trying to imply most ads are manipulative? Deceptive? Most ads I can think of recently are along the lines of "check out our new product/features" or "our product will save you time and money". I really just don't see what the big deal is.
Show HN posts will make claims about how they'll benefit you and try to charm you with branding. I specifically see trends of apps telling you that their app is "beautiful" for instance which I don't like... Anyway, I don't see anything wrong with people trying to sell their work to you or what you're suppose to do differently.
Will get you in what way? Is a soft drink purchase really that important?
> Because you're probably not applying critical thinking skills to pick your toilet paper, detergent, dog food, toothbrushes, light bulbs and so on and you're not doing that non stop.
I read customer reviews, industry reviews, nutrition information, cost per volume etc. for important purchases. Is it really a huge deal that you might buy one similarly priced soft drink over another because you're more aware of the brand? I'm not saying I'm completely immune to some amount of influence but good ads and brand awareness is not going to make me spend a lot more money than I would have done otherwise.
Please tell me how to ignore google search and google maps.
For example I did this search since I expected it to be heavily ad-based:
everything above the fold (visible in my browser) was an ad. I then scrolled down and got to the organic search results:
Those are not advertisements. There is nothing to ignore. Google is not paid to show me those, and they fight link-spammers every day to attempt to get the best organic results.
I find Google's search results ads to be exceedingly easy to ignore. I also find them useful and sometimes click them.
I thought it was interesting to see the history of this.
― Noam Chomsky, Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media (1988)
Off topic of course, but there is a deeper double meaning there -- that your your personality, preferences, hopes, dreams are shaped by the media you consume. Things like what you think success is, what you think happiness is, heroism, kindness, friendship etc many of those things were shaped by the movies you saw, books your read, games you played.
It's common to hear that "you are what you eat". That's true at the physical level of course. But this is also true that "you are the media you consume".
Now to the topic at hand. I think any totalitarian or brutal government regime would salivate getting access to the data people freely and voluntarily share with Google and Facebook. Imagine a combination of a Stalin's regime and Facebook as a partnership. Or Google working with the Stasi. It's hyperbolic to make that connection today, but with things like watching this happening: http://fortune.com/2017/05/24/mark-zuckerberg-disrupt-for-pr... we are getting just a bit closer to it. People are wondering why a tech guy like me doesn't have a Facebook account and that's one of the reasons.
No, not really, this is way too simplified and is factually incorrect. Lets take the example of a pig. If you eat a pig you don't become a pig. Certainly not overnight.
Here's a more factually correct analogy which does explain what happens:
Whatever you throw in your stomach (engine) gets burned and becomes fuel. If you regularly throw in too much fuel, the engine becomes overburdened and you become overweight (+ other obesitas related diseases).
That's a rather subtle but significant difference.
> But this is also true that "you are the media you consume".
The same is true here. Its not a A -> B process; the process is much more subtle, nuanced, and complex. E.g. here's also other aspects such as genes and personality which meddle w/the process.
With Google, you are the product - you pay $ and have your data harvested and used for advertising.
With Apple, you are the customer - you pay $$$ for a locked down, secure (they try?) system, that doesn't sell your data.
I grew up as an Apple hater (no particular reason), but now that privacy is becoming more of a concern, it seems that the Apple ecosystem offers a better product? Am I being naive about Apple?
Similar problems can be seen in management : thinking of human beings as resources. Human beings are not resources, their time spent advancing the company goals is
For the moral argument, I don't think it makes a difference which part of a human's mind is the product.
This is like saying: "He didn't run him over - only his legs!"
Or, less drastically: "The whole program isn't full of bugs, just the Foo, Bar, Baz and Main functions."
Also in the case of Google it serves a brief span of your attention to advertisers. They are not engaged in selling minds, wholesale or in part. I have enabled Google Search ads on all my machines for this reason. This distinction is worth making, since in some cases, it is an algorithmic matching between buyers and sellers. This helps consumers discover products and services they need and advertisers to discover demand they may otherwise be unable to tap
I always laugh at these. At least they are telling me.
I cannot recommend a better business book, bar none.
2017: “You are the training data.”
https://twitter.com/chrisalbon/status/857609299731791872 - 27 Apr 2017