Information economics

Have you noticed the changes in Google?   Google made it’s name, literally, by being clean, and reasonably unobtrusive in it’s advertisement itself as well as advertising third parties.   The equation has changed in the past few months.

First consider the demise of iGoogle.   If you’ve never seen it, iGoogle is simply a nicely designed step up from a icon strewn desktop, that had absolutely no advertising, not even teasers from Google.    Google encouraged a bunch of developers, some in Google and some out, to come up with what are called “widgets,”  little things that do stuff, like a nice clock or weather in cities around the world.   It had a Google search box as where your cursor went initially, which was perfect.

But the beauty of the iGoogle was of course its downfall:  The fact that it had no advertising, that it’s whole appeal was in not having advertising, meant that it wasn’t generating profit, perhaps even competing with Google products that Google could put advertising on.

And a  fundamental illogical aspect of capitalism strikes again:   Thou shalt profit by thy endeavors.   Thou must.   Thou cannot leave a penny on the sidewalk.   Thou cannot give away what you could otherwise sell.

So have you noticed that Google’s search page now pops up with enticements to check out other Google products?     Have you how much more of the page of an average search is cluttered with “Ads related to…” at the top?

We are being eaten alive by advertisements.

Since the internet is now a primary source of our information, we increasingly are having to pay for that information by having advertisements thrust before our eyes.    We are passive victims, innocent bystanders, in the paroxysms of an insane mechanism: the market.

Yes, I realize Marx only had it half-right:  He understood the oppression and insanity and cruelty of capitalism.   He understood, too, that were systems of human organization far worse than capitalism.    But he did not understand — and really, who it’s a lot to ask — how we could get beyond where we are now.  He had ideas; he had hope. We have seen that it is a rocky road to say the least.

To say the least Marx was far too optimistic.    I wonder if he foresaw that people would do many heinous things in his name.   But things haven’t worked out so well.  Capitalism’s crumbling seems continuous, yet it’s still the only show in town, the only circus on earth.

Still there’s gotta be a better way.







Such a situ


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