Eat Moog’s Food

The title is likely unknown to all but the most congruent. It refers to an idea expressed by Edward Elmer Smith, Ph. D., in “First Lensman” that all intelligent (?) species that have civilization have advertising. He didn’t say so but I have the impression he considered advertising the rust of civilization. That made civilization a pseudo-physical thing and that, and civilization, was key to Smith’s story telling.

One of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force. who also reads Smith but is more mindful of the Skylark vector, claims, with some good empirical analysis, that

“Every Advertisement is a Lie.”

This is clearly improvable since it requires an infinite sample but so far the finite sample standard deviation is zero. That is, no advertisement examined has not contained a factual inaccuracy.

The reason I offer this is that last week another colleague, Force Spring Constant, made much at discussion of a bit of grrr brrr of the death of the internet. The cause of the grr brr was the recent inclusion in the Apple OS of code to permit the blocking of internet advertisements. The thesis was that most internet information propagators are funded by capitalists who pay to have their advertisements on internet sites and documents and the negation of these advertisements would abolish the financiality of the internet.

At the time I poo-pooed the idea, not as irrelevant, but antediluvian. This was patently one of those publicity grabs practiced by the Apple community where they take some topic that is quite dated in the context of the not-Apple universe and ressurect it as if it is new because it is now being considered by Appleites. This is somewhat akin to information only being validated once it has been examined by academics; all others are irrelevant in their examinations.

And such it is. The AdBlock (trademark used as generic) matter is quite old in internet terms. I believe the debate over the financiality was conducted in the Mozilla arena several years ago, five at least. (I am too lazy to go look up dates but I know I have had ad-blocking add-ins for at least that long.) The general consensus was that ads on the internet were a nuisance and nuisances may be swatted, if not squashed. Consider the sales of mosquito repellent.

In my case the decision was a bit more deliberate. I learned to code in a time when compilers were included with the mainframe. When a new compiler came out you got it automatically if you were up to date on your hardware payments. So software is inherently free. That was reinforced in an academic environment where you had access to lots of folks NERD code. It wasn’t until the PC came along that SW had a price and by that time the outlook was instilled in habit and Nature. Hence the Amerikan attitude to SW piracy. Hence folks who write SW to make money are evil and deluded.

When I got to the internet, which was in its not quite early days – I started out with Netscape and an Earthlink account (the latter being the primary source of recognizing evil capitalists on the internet.) So the sense of the environment was that information is free. No price. And to this day I consider paywalls to be evil and I avoid them. Except for really important things like refreed NERD journals and in that regard I am used to paying subscription.

So advertisements on the internet are either nuisance or irrelevant. The rare exception is when I want to purchase something and I see an advertisement for that very thing. The probability of this is vanishingly small, better than observing a proton decay, but still so small as to be irrelevant to any consideration. So disposing of advertisements on the internet is a public health (mental, in this case) activity, rather like spraying for mosquito’s prevents malaria and other nasty diseases. Notable also that neither mosquito nor advertiser are liable for their damage and hence have no claim to humane or civilized consideration. Except maybe to a Jain? And then there is the question of whether capitalists are actually living.

And if the web site goes away? So what? The internet today is much larger but less well populated than in those days. It is clearly an evolving environment. And not suffering very much except at the hands of capitalists. My observation has been that the web sites that I return to have not gone away. That means my blocking ads has not done them in. So ads really are a nuisance and not the financial mainstay of the internet.

Despite what cracked Appleite journalists claim. One more datum of their whackedness.