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While I'd totally love to have a real-world adblock, I fear a wide-scale deployment will only make things worse.

See, such ad-block device to be effective needs to be able to distinguish ads from legitimately important communication like traffic signs or warning labels. This in turn will make advertisers design their ads to be as indistinguishable from content as possible. In the end, we'll win nothing in terms of ad reduction, but we'll lose traffic signs and other important information.

I sometimes wonder if we shouldn't have stopped fighting ads a while ago just to keep them from improving. Fighting advertsers is like fighting a fast-mutating bacteria. Whatever partial solution we apply makes it only evolve to a more nasty and disgusting form to be fought next season. I worry that the end result will not be lack of ads - it will be lack of information you can trust.




Eh we should just kill it with regulation. Emotive advertising is simply a market distortion similar to monopolies or cartels.

It's a double cost to society too since not only are peoples buying decisions warped but the people creating adverts are doing negative work instead of producing more useful goods / services.


By your logic we should stop fighting diseases, i.e. killing bacteria, to prevent bacteria from evolving.


That does not follow by proper application of logic.

But to clarify:

- advertising isn't as harmful (yet) as infectious diseases

- if we want to get rid of it, the same rules apply as to fighting bacteria - you want to hit as hard as possible in as many places as possible, to not give any room for bacteria to mutate; proliferation of adblocks is like taking antibiotics and stopping treatment half-way - not effective enough to kill off everything, and forces bacteria to mutate into drug-resistant variety

Then there's also problem that ads mutate much faster than bacteria - because they're driven not by evolution, but by sentient adversaries.


Ads generate money through sales. Advertisers can lobby lawmakers to not make much restrictions on ads. Who you think can out lobby them? You and me? I think we have better things to spend our money than that. Adblock gives (almost) free and painless solution. I don't see how you think there's a better, easier and cheaper way of dealing with it.


I don't see any "better, easier and cheaper way" right now (which is why I use AdBlock myself). I'm just expressing my fear that current solutions may hurt us badly in the long run.




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