Wednesday, June 18, 2014

An Obvious Realization

So, Habermas' concept of the public sphere -- that is, people who aren't in the government talk about government stuff and the ideas can be judged on merit -- I had been thinking recently about how Facebook apparently started out as a way to meet... ok let's be honest, stalk... women, and turned into a massive social advertising platform ("platform", I know, I know). Google too started as one thing (search for users) and became a massive social advertising platform (search on users). Just like I used to read about with television (at least the advertising supported model we rely on here in the US), you are the product, not the shows, those are just there to get you to watch so they can advertise at you, that is, sell you to advertisers. And that's what happened to the public sphere, it became corrupted by advertising. How's your belly fat, by the way? Did you know that moms in (your town) discovered one shocking secret that doctors don't want you to know? Or wait maybe the president changed laws in (your town) and you can get car insurance for $5. Lies, all lies. Not all advertising is terrible, but too much is.