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Old 06-01-2020, 10:55   #91
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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Complaining about receiving inappropriate content is like returning from Vegas with an itchy groin rash asking everyone "hey, what do they have in the water in Vegas that gives itchy groin rashes?"

It's not quite like that (yet)... some browsers - eg FireFox - have a certain amount of anti-tracking defense turned on by default, which sometimes confounds the algorithms, and some advertisers just like using a sawed-off shotgun to hit whatever. Many ads are bang(good)-on , like those for a certain Chinese electronics site that I frequent, and some ads are so not me that it's ridiculous.


I suspect that complaints about internet advertising would actually go down if the chosen ads were as tuned to the individual as they claim they can do. I don't mind seeing boat-related or destination ads when I'm on CF, for example.
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Old 06-01-2020, 11:40   #92
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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It's not quite like that (yet)... some browsers - eg FireFox - have a certain amount of anti-tracking defense turned on by default, which sometimes confounds the algorithms, and some advertisers just like using a sawed-off shotgun to hit whatever. Many ads are bang(good)-on , like those for a certain Chinese electronics site that I frequent, and some ads are so not me that it's ridiculous.

"Sawed-off shotguns" . . . "bang-on" good?? In a thread titled "Gun Ads on CF"??? Have you turned the other cheek?!

I suspect that complaints about internet advertising would actually go down if the chosen ads were as tuned to the individual as they claim they can do. I don't mind seeing boat-related or destination ads when I'm on CF, for example.
You may be right but I thought it was the opposite. Namely complaints over privacy would go up (and maybe have?) as the ads get more tuned to individual preferences (and shopping habits). At least this is what I've been hearing (and reading here on CF) from a number of my friends who have gone to considerable lengths to eliminate what they feel is inappropriately intrusive. Personally, I don't mind whether they're tuned to me individually or not (but maybe I should), and find at least the boaty ones occasionally helpful. But I can certainly see why others don't appreciate them, and in the bigger picture even find them alarming. Privacy-wise that is.
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:17   #93
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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Not sure how....

I've said it before and I'll say it again. Your wealth of knowledge astounds me.

Et Tu Brute!?
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:35   #94
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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Originally Posted by Mike OReilly View Post
I'm a big fan of Snowden, and well versed in his talks and writing. He's done more to lift the veil of government surveillance of their citizenship (of the so-called "Five Eyes" nations) than anyone in generations. He should get the Nobel Peace Prize.
Our western liberal democracies are far from perfect, but your criticism seems a bit naive. As far as I can see, our “control” methods are markets flooded with
cheap goods, cheap food, cheap intoxicants, and cheap mass entertainment.
Contrast that with near total political and social control by security forces, re-education camps, and assassinations of political rivals and leaders of dissident movements.
Snowden and Manning were no heroes.
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Old 06-01-2020, 12:45   #95
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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You may be right but I thought it was the opposite. Namely complaints over privacy would go up (and maybe have?) as the ads get more tuned to individual preferences (and shopping habits). At least this is what I've been hearing (and reading here on CF) from a number of my friends who have gone to considerable lengths to eliminate what they feel is inappropriately intrusive. Personally, I don't mind whether they're tuned to me individually or not (but maybe I should), and find at least the boaty ones occasionally helpful. But I can certainly see why others don't appreciate them, and in the bigger picture even find them alarming. Privacy-wise that is.
For many privacy is sort of besides the point. When Timothy Leary encouraged people to turn on, tune in, drop out he was encouraging people to wake up to background cues, be sensitive to their consequences, and learn to detach from cues with negative personal consequences. And that was in a time/place in history where people were subjected to non-personalized paradigm cues...and relatively few of them...on any given day.

Nowadays many recognize, and don't like, the influence that search engine and advert algorithms have on determining the cues which they are presented with from which to draw inference to construct reality. And we're subjected to dozens if not hundreds of "tailored" paradigms that invariably must alter your thought process (like it or not). Importantly, it's not just my input into the browser that matters. The time of day, day of the week, other aggregate browsing activity (i.e. were/what the herd is grazing on at the moment, etc, etc, etc) that all contribute disturbing utility in determining what content/adverts to present the user (i.e. what the reality is). The folks who come up with this stuff tend to be bright with no other marketable skills...they're after money, not to compromise someone's privacy.

I personally don't consider myself immune to this. While I cannot remember ever clicking on an advertisement since the 1990s, I'm still subjected to ads that tells me what everyone else is doing/buying, and invariably this changes my view of self and the world.
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Old 06-01-2020, 13:00   #96
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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Our western liberal democracies are far from perfect, but your criticism seems a bit naive. As far as I can see, our “control” methods are markets flooded with
cheap goods, cheap food, cheap intoxicants, and cheap mass entertainment.
Contrast that with near total political and social control by security forces, re-education camps, and assassinations of political rivals and leaders of dissident movements.
Snowden and Manning were no heroes.
I presume that Mike meant that Snowden deserves recognition for standing up and stating that "all that negative stuff that we chide our foes on...well, we do it too." Sure the far West is doing the 'bread and circus' thing for the past several years, but Snowden's point is that there is not the "contrast" supposed here. Agreed that they are not ever going to receive a hero's welcome; people are too busy getting refills on diabetes medication and watching sports to offer any parade.

For a very comprehensive and thoughtful treatise on comparing/contrasting the thoughts of the good West vs the bad East, consider Marcuse's One Dimensional Man:

"...a wide-ranging critique of both contemporary capitalism and the Communist society of the Soviet Union, documenting the parallel rise of new forms of social repression in both these societies, as well as the decline of revolutionary potential in the West. He argues that "advanced industrial society" created false needs, which integrated individuals into the existing system of production and consumption via mass media, advertising, industrial management, and contemporary modes of thought...


...Marcuse argues that a small number of individuals are empowered to dictate our perceptions of freedom by providing us with opportunities to buy our happiness. In this state of "unfreedom", consumers act irrationally by working more than they are required to in order to fulfill actual basic needs, by ignoring the psychologically destructive effects, by ignoring the waste and environmental damage it causes, and by searching for social connection through material items"

[reference upthread comments on search engine/advert algorithms and/or who has the wealth nowadays in the West]
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Old 06-01-2020, 14:35   #97
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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Originally Posted by AndyEss View Post
Our western liberal democracies are far from perfect, but your criticism seems a bit naive. As far as I can see, our “control” methods are markets flooded with
cheap goods, cheap food, cheap intoxicants, and cheap mass entertainment.
Contrast that with near total political and social control by security forces, re-education camps, and assassinations of political rivals and leaders of dissident movements.
Snowden and Manning were no heroes.
This is just what 'they' want you to believe. We may not be as bad, or as far gone, as other places. That doesn't make our situations good. And the trajectory of constant surveillance, by both state and corporate actors, is climbing steeply.

What is naive is to believe these actors will benevolently act for the best interest of all. They will act to further their goals and ambitions; be it to extend further control and power over citizens, or to sell us more doodads.


Snowden is absolutely a hero. He had the courage to throw back the veil and show everyone what is really going on with our national surveillance states. Now it is up to us to decide what to do with this information. Sadly, most of us seem not to care ... which is how democracy dies.
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Old 06-01-2020, 14:38   #98
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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Originally Posted by Singularity View Post
I presume that Mike meant that Snowden deserves recognition for standing up and stating that "all that negative stuff that we chide our foes on...well, we do it too." Sure the far West is doing the 'bread and circus' thing for the past several years, but Snowden's point is that there is not the "contrast" supposed here. Agreed that they are not ever going to receive a hero's welcome; people are too busy getting refills on diabetes medication and watching sports to offer any parade.


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Old 06-01-2020, 15:34   #99
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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Would’ve had a real laugh if the OP had been complaining of porn ads Probably would be best to delete your browser history before the wife finds out lol
Are you saying that all those Ebay adds for babes with exposed boobs are due to something I searched for on the Internet? Oh Damn! (or, I wonder who's been using my computer?)

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I don't mean to sound crazy, but i have read and seen in my personal experience that your devices, mainly phones, can and do listen passively to your conversations. Meaning you talk about a new stove long enough, you'll see ads for it online.

https://www.vice.com/en_uk/article/w...s-not-paranoia
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Absolutely, also things your behavior implies even without you mentioning it.
Personally I doubt that Google, or Siri, or any other of the personal assistants are actually noting what you say other than, "OK Google" or monitoring your behavior. That would eventually be exposed and there would be a huge bruhaha.

I think that that IS paranoia, but there are a lot of conspiracy believers out there. Are they right?
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Old 06-01-2020, 16:03   #100
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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... I thought it was the opposite. Namely complaints over privacy would go up (and maybe have?) as the ads get more tuned to individual preferences (and shopping habits). At least this is what I've been hearing (and reading here on CF) from a number of my friends who have gone to considerable lengths to eliminate what they feel is inappropriately intrusive. Personally, I don't mind whether they're tuned to me individually or not (but maybe I should), and find at least the boaty ones occasionally helpful. But I can certainly see why others don't appreciate them, and in the bigger picture even find them alarming. Privacy-wise that is.
You're not wrong - many are bothered by the amount of accumulated info that's out there about each of us, that's behind the ad targeting. At the moment, there are still ways to block much of the ads and tracking. But if we're looking for a new boat battery, and suddenly we start seeing ads for them... is that a troubling breach of privacy, or useful information at the time you would most appreciate getting it?

I take solace that my online activities are mostly banal. I don't have any presence on social media (aside from CF ). I'm a faceless dweeb who likes electronics and sailboats. I'm fairly resistant to most advertising. As long as I don't go googling for plastic expl0s1v3s or how to modify an AR-15 for full 4ut0, they're gonna leave me alone.
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Old 06-01-2020, 16:07   #101
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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I think that that IS paranoia, but there are a lot of conspiracy believers out there. Are they right?
Seriously consider going down the compressed sensing math rabbit hole some time. If still sane, then watch some videos on what a quantum computer can do. Punchline: it takes remarkably little information from an individual to make very high reliability predictions. We are way beyond needing a large volume from an individual to effectively pigeon-hole him. Little mobile phone activity here, a little buying activity information there, a little browsing information, open-source age/education information...tells a lot.

I'd say if there is a need to be paranoid, it's not that external forces are spying on you, going to let everyone know you have hemorrhoids or something. It's that your free will choices are being handed to you like never before. When you live in a era of surplus, having ~80% of the population in debt, living paycheck to paycheck, voting for tax breaks on the rich, I'd submit that something screwy is going on. I'd say that the remaining ~20% are woke, not paranoid.
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Old 06-01-2020, 16:08   #102
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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Originally Posted by Lake-Effect View Post
You're not wrong - many are bothered by the amount of accumulated info that's out there about each of us, that's behind the ad targeting. At the moment, there are still ways to block much of the ads and tracking. But if we're looking for a new boat battery, and suddenly we start seeing ads for them... is that a troubling breach of privacy, or useful information at the time you would most appreciate getting it?
It can be both. For me, it certainly is.

A lot of our privacy is bought with convenience these days. Sometimes the trade is worth it for me, sometimes it is not. The point of pushing back on all this is that it should be up to us to decide, not some faceless, unaccountable, and unassailable power like government or large corporations.
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Old 06-01-2020, 16:10   #103
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Re: gun ads on CF??

Yes so paranoid, everyone said years before Snowden blew his whistle. . .

Not just voice recording (transcribed by humans not just AI recognition) but realtime geolocation tracking data, even staying in one place, motion detection, time usage patterns. Emails, texts, calendar, to-do's, browsing history, purchasing data.

And it isn't "secret", you just aren't paying attention, you agree to it all when you sign up.

All cross-referenced with the other databases out there, license plate readers, town tax / voting records, DMV, credit reporting etc etc

Available to anyone neatly packaged with $20-50 to spend.
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Old 06-01-2020, 16:28   #104
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Re: gun ads on CF??

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I'm fairly resistant to most advertising. As long as I don't go googling for plastic expl0s1v3s or how to modify an AR-15 for full 4ut0, they're gonna leave me alone.
Your last sentence must explain why I'm always gettin' inundated with those gunny ads. (And in case the NSA is picking this up I am definitely only kidding).

I'd say my most effective resistance to advertising is owning a fairly large and rather old sailboat that requires periodic infusions of boat bucks to properly maintain. It's pretty good resistance to most of the ads, even the boaty-related ones. I'm frankly more vulnerable to some of the CF threads which chat up equipment which I never knew I "needed." I usually still don't, but occasionally find myself "wanting." Is that anchor I was so convinced was adequate only a few years ago, and has thus far never let me down, really large enough? And how about the electronics threads as far as essential needs temptation goes? It's like walking into a candy store. Having an aversion to being in debt also helps, but apparently that is not a trait most Americans share.
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Old 07-01-2020, 00:03   #105
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Re: gun ads on CF??

Since we don't know what Google is using to direct or choose ads for particular consumers, most of the why and how discussions are at best academic.

Many if not most advertisements actually cause me literal visceral discomfort (haha, they make me sick to my stomach), a learned response, so there is at least some data that show that the situation is not hopeless. This conditioned response has apparently been acquired by exposure to the ads seen in public and at friend's houses; another promising sign. It is interesting that the effect is much worse if the sound accompanies the ads; if video only, most are either non-descript, mildly amusing or just peculiar.

I don't get many directed ads, don't have cable, satellite or a TV, use ad-blockers, use my telephone for calls and pictures only and buy as little as possible on-line. I still see some ads, mostly peripherally, on-line, and some of those (the non-peripheral ones) do seem directed.

The real problem will be (if they haven't already started) when Google (and others) starts using AI in conjunction with machine and/or deep learning to predict, manipulate and influence large sections of the public.

Madison Avenue has long been aware of how language can be used to manipulate feelings: it's expertise has only gotten better and has infected parts of society that have until now been somewhat insulated from such sophisticated techniques, perhaps the most dangerous being politics.

As usual with most fairly advanced technologies, their application is a multi-edged sword, with pros and cons exacerbated by the conflation of 'needs' and 'desires'.

Already, 'advances' in AI/machine/deep learning have seemingly outstripped peoples ability to understand their results: machines can make accurate predictions based on data that seem unrelated or incomplete to us incompetent humans. The most recent that I can remember is the ability to predict/diagnose Alzheimers via retinal scans, but there are several other instances that escape my protoplasmic, hence fallible memory, at this time.

The scariest part of all this nonsense is what happens if and when all these forces (un or poorly regulated government, corporate capitalism and science) are combined into a 'manipulation engine' that tries to direct policy based on its own predictions.

So far, Google's AI performance seems, in my case, to be pretty lame, but I'm just using the 'recommendation' function of youtube as a metric.

Of course, that may be a function of them having limited data to make recommendations from, since I neither like nor subscribe to any particular video or channel (though there are apparently many more inputs Google takes into account).

If you can get through the new age/revival presentation style, this video provides some starting points for investigation into the subject.

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