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>The best minds of my generation are thinking about how to make people click ads. That sucks.

- Jeff Hammerbacher

Compared to the best mids of previous generations making things that would blast civilization back to stone age in matter of minutes, I'd say this is progress :-)

Except even the most destructive technologies have lead to incalculably valuable advancements for society. This is clearly a step back when we'd rather funnel our best minds into ads rather than things that could in a very real way help advance our civilization.

We're going to regret this sooner than later.

I hate ads too, but saying they are worse than nuclear weapons sounds just a bit too extreme... I mean, the information spreading helped by Google search was/is incalculably valuable for humanity.

Nuclear weapons did lead to nuclear energy, and that is a benefit. They also lead to the end of WW2 and to the peace we are living now ( the reason super powers don't fight each other is that attacking each other with nuclear weapons will mean the end of everything ).

I'm not sure what ads can give us...

It's difficult to argue with ideology amd frankly the shenanigans of the less ethical parts of the digital ads industry haven't helped, but if you get the chance or inclination to research advertising from the early days of invention of newspapers to the present day, you may find that it is largely advertising money that paid for democratising access to information, culture, communication and entertainment which was till fairly recently in the history of civilization the privilege of the rich. Not a few social revolutions have been enabled by wide access to information and communication by organisations whose bills arr paid by ad dollars.

Hooray for progress! Instead of destruction of the world we merely have a mental addictive prison for everyone!

Oh wait, we still have those nuclear weapons too!

Worse than that - buy shit they don’t need having been manipulated by big data. Google doesn’t sell clicks it sells expected customer value.

Google is absolutely selling clicks when an advertiser can perch their website on top of a search query for its competitor.

If I spend $1000 on ads and get zero sales I don’t care about number of clicks. Conversely depending on my market a single click could be worth $1000.

Quote should be modified to ‘Some of the best minds’

It should be modified to: lies that ad tech people tell themselves so they feel better about what they do for a living. If you work in a terrible field doing terrible things, you can at least pretend you're really smart so it's not a total loss.

Back in reality, very few of the best minds work in ad tech.

That fraudulent quote should be challenged every time it's posted, until it finally dies.

> are thinking about how to make people click ads and complaining about people using their minds on cryptocurrency

To make money, which is by all account a measure of usefulness in society.

Using the best mind to improve trade is a good thing. Sorry if its not popular around herr but its true.

The trouble with this argument is that you're not starting with a level playing field. Other things being equal, work that produces more value might generate greater expected returns, but clearly in the real world other things are far from equal. There are opportunities available to those who already have money that are not available to everyone else, and consequently everyone else has to pay a premium, usually to the benefit of those who already had money. See also: most of the financial services sector, the standard arguments on the ethics of taxation to fund public services, etc.

You think society is that worse now that it was before ?

Do I think society is worse than what, and in what way(s)?

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