Will the GDPR spell the end of targeted advertising (and, by association, the commercial surveillance industry)? Eeeh… look. I’m dubious, but… one can only hope, I suppose.
My name is Alis and I approve of this message.
Seriously, though, “make useless stuff” indeed. I currently own something like sixteen domains,1 most of which I registered for single purpose side projects back in the early ’00s. Most of them are no longer online, but I keep the domain names registered… out of nostalgia, I guess? Or the vague sense of paranoia that I’ve used them to sign up to something somewhere and if I let them expire (or worse, let someone re-register them) I’m going to miss out on some Super Important Email one day.
Anyway, point being, having like ten million domains wasn’t unusual, Back In The Day. Because you’d get one domain, but your webhost would allow unlimited addons, so every time you had some random idea for a subject-specific blog or TV show shrine or whatever you’d just… register a new domain and make a new site. Nowadays I guess people do similar things with Tumblr sideblogs or whatever but… I dunno. Call me old fashioned, but it’s just not the same, y’know? And shitty-but-fun frontend design really is a lost art…
- Which is three short of the total number of domains I’ve ever owned. My First Domain, from circa 2000, was co-owned, and I bequeathed it to solo ownership when I moved out. My First Solo Domain I let expire in, like, 2003 or whatever. One domain I let expire out of spite when our World of Warcraft guild went bad circa 2007. And everything else, I’ve kept. ^
I won’t lie; I’ve always kind of wondered1 about the idea of buying followers for someone else’s social media account as a weapon against their reputation.
- Like, in the abstract. ‘Cause, like. Wondering about this sort of stuff is literally my day job. ^
The trick about the best science fiction is that the only “science” that matters in it is, in the long run, of the social variety. And as it is in fiction, so it is life, and so it is with the fate of Really Real World “future country”, Japan, and what it can teach the rest of us about surviving the post-techboom future.
Jaron Lanier is a nerd of the fast-dying “dreadlocked hippie” variety. Formerly a VR pioneer, he now works for Microsoft and, in his spare time, gives interviews about the current state of tech.
Pretty much this entire interview is quotable, particularly where Lanier starts talking about Facebook and monetization, and the idea of nationalized social media. So just, yanno. Go read it.
More on the data broker business, including some frankly quite terrifying infographics.
The point here is that, a) pretty much all businesses are complicit in this practice, and b) it’s impossible to opt-out on an individual level. This stuff needs to be regulated. There’s no other way of dealing with it.