Reading some, thinking less

I’m going through some old drafts and whatever seems worth posting I’ll just edit for clarity and post – I’m deleting the too rambly stuff. The post below if from 2017 as far as I can tell…

David Greabers essay On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs is a good read, and now he has a book out on the same topic. Going back to the anti-globalisation movement of twenty years hence, one strand of the movement was the anti-commercialisation of public space in the form of advertising, and coming from that I still find advertising to be one of the most wasteful activities a professional creative could engage in. It’s a zero-sum game (you’re competing for consumer resources) and the amount of brain-time it takes from those creating it and us being exposed to it is staggering. Much of Internet today is ad-driven, as are traditional media, but if you view the cost of advertising as a regressive tax on consumers, we’re still the ones paying for it. (of course, on a global scale that tax is shifted onto western markets, so might be construed as being strategically progressive – it would be intersting to see those numbers)

I’m going through all the open tabs on my phone and dumping some relevant articles here for myself and posterity. Let’s see if the Article 13 passes within the EU and if I’ll get a bill for linking them. The Cracked Labs article in particular is extensive and worth a read if you want to get a sense the scale of pervasive surveillance online. If GDPR did nothing else, it gave a sense of how much of traffic is one form of tracking or other.

As Internet has become ubiquituous in my life, I’m becoming more and more resentful of it. I’m not sure it it’s just cause I missed the gravy train and am not one of the people pushing cyber-blockchain-mccuffins for millions of moneys, or if I’m just bitter that the net isn’t the online playground I remember from aeons yore – nostalgia is a powerful drug, and I miss having my own shacks and corners online, and I miss the feeling that if I wanted to I could probbaly read up on how all of it works in a couple of days.

The Gibsonian view of cyberspace as an all-encompassing anarchic network of free agents has become reality, except that most of those agents are acting on behalf of old/new money and what room there is for actualisation of human potential has cameras and microphones mounted on the wall.

Canadian researchers have even successfully calculated emotional states such as confidence, nervousness, sadness, and tiredness by analyzing typing patterns on a computer keyboard.

Cracked Labs: Wolfie Cristl: Corporate Surveillance in Everyday Life

What Ganon does is pick suppliers he’ll never know to ship products he’ll never touch. All his effort goes into creating ads to capture prospective customers, and then optimizing a digital environment that encourages them to buy whatever piece of crap he’s put in front of them.

The Atlantic: Alexis Madrigal: The Strange Brands in Your Instagram Feed