[This essay is slowly being rewritten ... the topic is the relationship between targeted internet ads and big data machine learning of customer preferences and being slightly paranoid as you review the ads it selects for you ... which are so weird. Several countermeasures are proposed ... ]
You know and I know that the ads we see on Google are targeted for and at us. Billions and billions of cookies and multiply/add instructions have been dedicated to determining, through expert systems and big data, what to sell to the biped, typing mammal at the other end of the line.
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Here are two ideas to throw a wrench into their sales campaign:
The first suggestion uses good old American capitalism and micro economics. The Googles of the world are making money selling ads, the ad agencies are making money designing the ads, the companies themselves must be making money selling product, right ? So why not just put a 10th of a penny in my Paypal account for every discreet little ad, up to maybe a nickle in my Paypal account for an obnoxious full flash multimedia ad? Then, as the mafia supposedly says, I get to dip my beak in the well and everyone is happy because although worried about what the ads really mean, our advertising victim is at least getting paid for his trouble and can buy himself an antidepressant or a stiff drink with the profits.
The second idea is a little more passive aggressive. It would not be hard to generate internet marketing countermeasures that used their weapons against them. A program could be written that accessed the Internet and left cookies around that implied a profile that you wanted them to see. You could be an intellectual, or very interested in beach volleyball, or even an intellectual with a very serious interest in beach volleyball, or any of a number of other interests. Or we could be even more devious and do big data analysis of the latest marketing trends and make you either fit in, or deliberately hide your real interests by overwhelming them with fake accesses designed to hide your real marketing preferences in a mountain of carefully selected spurious data.
I hope that all Americans will unite against this conspiracy to waste our time with stupid ads that are supposedly based on our interests.