A rant with an optimistic end.
I've ranted about ads before, especially that sniveling, puss-filled little piece of blue shit that advertises free smileys and yells "HELLOOOOO?" at max volume whenever you happen to put your mouse somewhere nearby. Like, say, if you want to get from your tab bar to the page you want to look at.
Of course, technology of any kind is always perverted into scummy stains on the face of culture and humanity by the fourth worst kind of person on the planet: advertisers.
I'm a big fan of this nightmarish piece of crap. I especially like that the putrid blot parading as a human being isn't even sorry he's abusing it. "Well, I'm sorry you feel that advertising our shitty show INSIDE YOUR HEAD is bad. You'll get used to it." It's bad enough that the show itself is completely devoid of any value.
I especially like that the article, written to be carefully neutral, is a narrow strip between ads, with ads above and below as well.
I believe that there are a steadily growing number of people who react as I do. Let's call them "early adopters". We are so offended by intrusive ads that we actively blacklist any company that uses them. If I didn't have a spam filter to automatically kill ads from eBay and Amazon, I wouldn't use them. They spam your ass. Invasive advertising of a sort I can stand simply because I bounce the motherfuckers.
At the moment, we of the impermeable personal space are not a significant force: most of these invasive ads target hyperactive ten-year-olds and adults whose technical savvy can be charitably described as limited. The fact that the ads piss us off doesn't matter, because we weren't planning on downloading their smiley-encrusted malware or watching their vapid piece of crap anyway.
But I can't help but think about how geeks were when I was a kid. Nothing was marketed to geeks except personal computers. Everything else was marketed to the general public, because by and large the general public was where all the money was. Not only were geeks few in number, but individual geeks didn't have more than double the purchasing power of the general public.
Well, nowadays a lot more people are free to grow up geeky. I would say that the geek percentage of the population outnumbers (and overlaps) any given minority. Nowadays geekhood drives product design all across the board. Executives and sports fans buy Blackberries and iPhones. Everyone's a geek these days. Everyone's a technophile, to some extent.
You have to be, because if you can't use the geek tech, you can't compete.
I can't help but think that we're going to have the same switch in public opinion about ads. I think that in a generation, a significant chunk of the population is going to be advertised to using only rigorous opt-in and word of mouth. I think that, in many ways, the world will become a smaller, more personal place thanks to the power of technology.
I think this will happen because the ads are and will become more of a measurable negative influence. In order to live well, you will have to cut ads from your life.
You will have to, because if you can't block the ads, you won't be able to compete.
I'm not a doomsayer who believes that tomorrow will be blanketed in ads. I don't believe that the next generation of ad will be effectively memetic mind control. I think humanity will reject ads and, perhaps, centralized news.
I think our children will grow up on the cusp. Our children will see the final assault by the old, great "memes" of advertising, propaganda, and religion. And our children will win, because it is impossible for an idea to win if it is hated deeply enough.
Their children will grow up in a land where all the billboards are blank.
I think the world will feel much smaller. I don't think we'll have a unified global society. I don't think anyone really wants that. I think we'll have one better: global friendship.
Of course, by "we" I mean "them", unless you biologists stop lazing about and get crackin' on that youth serum. Chop chop.
Anyway, that's your dose of future for the day. :D
PS: Apparently, when I'm angry enough, I fall back to about four preclauses. Of course, I can't help but think in that way I especially like.