Saturday, September 1, 2012

We've finally figured out the internet

We all know that I Love Lucy was originally used to sell cigarettes.  And we know that soap operas sold soap to housewives.

There has always been a debate about television and whether it only exists to sell us crap through commercials.  But like roads littered with billboards for lawyers and casinos, television is only moderately evil, delivering Downton Abbey sandwiched between promotional bumpers for ADM or the Ford Foundation or other mentions of corporate sponsorships.

I'm not aware of any spam in the days of the text-based web browser, but as soon as mouse clicking became the primary mode for moving through the internet, people found ways to make the journey pure agony.  And in the pre-teen years of the web, everyone agreed that pop-up ads were a major pain in the ass, so we found ways to blow the shit out of them.

But with the move to mobile internet access, we've finally learned what the internet wants from us: everything.  And we give it, gladly.  The internet wants to collect our data to sell us ads and it finally found a way that we can't block.

We have no control over our mobile devices.  There is no choice.  If we want an app, we need to understand that it will track us: it will log our GPS location, our cell tower location, our phone use, contacts, keystrokes, and the temperature of our testicles while the device rests in our pants pockets.

So if you want to use a smart phone or ereader or tablet, you should understand that you will be tracked.  And then don't care.  Because caring would mean that you won't be able to have that app that is so essential to making your life whole because having it would make your forfeit a significant amount of your privacy.  So against all common sense, you download the app.

So in finally figuring out the internet, it seems the internet has finally figured out us.

Me, I don't put any questionable apps on my phone.  I put them on my tablet which knows very little about me and can share all the secrets it wants.

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