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I think that the democratizing effect of services that make money through advertising is vastly underestimated. There are a lot of people on the internet who can't afford to pay for Microsoft Office, or a set of encyclopedias, or courses like those which can be found on YouTube or blogs.

It's all well and good to say that you hate ads because you can afford to pay to remove them. Many can't, and we should think very carefully before we remove services they need.

The best content I’ve found in recent years has been either on sites that don’t contain advertisement (because they’re someone’s personal hobby blog, for example, or HN) or from videos where the person was supported directly by fans through Patreon.

Anecdotally, the advertisement-supported content is mostly garbage.

HN does have ads. They're job ads for YC companies, and they're the entries you see without an option to vote on. Ones like "Come eat – I mean build with the ZeroCater (YC W11) engineering team".

That's an example what ads should be. They are relevant, appropriate, they don't try to fool you or spy on you.

I believe your comment and Godel_unicode's are both correct, and I am pro-choice. Some people may prefer adverts over payment. I don't agree, but that is their choice. I can't stand to hear from NPR's underwriters any more, and will start singing songs loudly (I'm a bad singer to boot) when they come on. In other words, I am personally ad-adverse. My 80-something parents, however, don't even mute the channel, let alone change it, when watching TV and the advertising starts (it drives me nuts). Some people don't mind, and I think they have a right not to be denied content via advertising if that is an "offer on the table."

If one looks at the history of the HBO cable channel vs. broadcast channels (i.e. ABC, NBC, and CBS), and also Netflix, I think one can see there are similar dynamics at play.

The chaos of freedom is a beautiful thing, but using the government to enforce your version of utopia is scary.

Being pro-choice about advertising is like being pro-choice about influenza. Advertising is an infectious disease, it does not respect the choices of those who'd prefer to pay up front, and people underestimate its danger to young, old and weakened individuals.

You should check out Neil Degrasse Tyson on YouTube. Or virtually any podcast.

I listen to maybe a dozen podcasts. None have ads; most of them I support on Patreon.

It's unclear to me what that has to do with my point; the existence of high quality patreon-backed podcasts doesn't mean anything about the supply of quality advertising-supported podcasts. You should look into it, there are a lot of them.

I listen to ad-supported material, I just have muscle memory, and a visceral reaction to advertising where I will just advance VLC's playback by 1min via shortcut-key (assuming one uses a standard RSS reader and DLs the mp3 file locally).

I'm not sure I understand the point of saying you listen to non-ad-supported podcast, and not mentioning how they are supported or if it's pure hobbyist stuff you listen to.

Advertising comes in many forms (i.e. native content), and unless you link your .opml file, I can't ascertain the value of your statement. I do not recommend doing so, but young tech people think it's OK to put your real name on the internet (which is contrary to the ideas I was taught in the 90s; the use of pseudonyms has proven sound given our current circumstances).

Many podcasts are 100% advertorial content. The ad is the podcast.

But they can afford LibreOffice, Wikipedia, and Vimeo.

The current allocation of human productivity enablement is not the only one possible (and an "is" is not an "ought to be" as per Hume).

You need a computer to run LibreOffice. So no, in many cases, they can't afford it.

Vimeo requires the person creating the content to pay, yes? So if I want to do a series of videos on Kibana, or Active Directory, or astrophysics, I need to pay Vimeo in addition to the effort of creating my content.

Basically no one outside a philosophy lecture has ever suggested that the current state of anything is the only possible one, that's a meaningless strawman. Please avoid the condescending suggestion that others can't imagine things being different, it's as patronizing as it is pointless.

True, but in many cases you can still offer a service for free without ads. E.g. offer a free version with limited functionality, and then offer a paid version with features that are needed mainly by people who use your product for work. Even if ads weren't an option, it's still advantageous to get lots of people using your product, and I think companies will continue to find ways to do so.

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