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177

Drawing a Line

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Taylor, A. (2014). Drawing a Line. In Taylor, A. The People's Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age. Fourth Estate, pp. 177-213

193

Marketers, understandably, have never wanted to underwrite an independent content industry, but in the wake of the quiz show scandal they had no choice. Because newspapers, television channels, and radio stations controlled access to audiences, advertisers were strong-armed into ponying up money that funded investigative journalism and educational programming. In the analog world, publishers and broadcasters bundled people into audiences, which they sold to advertisers. But in a digital world, advertisers can “buy the audience without the publication.” The sorts of people who read the New York Times, the Nation, or Cat Fancy can be reached outside of those channels, bought and sold elsewhere on the Web at a fraction of the price, with the revenue going into other pockets.

quoting from this 2012 Atlantic article: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/im-being-followed-how-google-151-and-104-other-companies-151-are-tracking-me-on-the-web/253758/

—p.193 by Astra Taylor 10 months ago

Marketers, understandably, have never wanted to underwrite an independent content industry, but in the wake of the quiz show scandal they had no choice. Because newspapers, television channels, and radio stations controlled access to audiences, advertisers were strong-armed into ponying up money that funded investigative journalism and educational programming. In the analog world, publishers and broadcasters bundled people into audiences, which they sold to advertisers. But in a digital world, advertisers can “buy the audience without the publication.” The sorts of people who read the New York Times, the Nation, or Cat Fancy can be reached outside of those channels, bought and sold elsewhere on the Web at a fraction of the price, with the revenue going into other pockets.

quoting from this 2012 Atlantic article: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/im-being-followed-how-google-151-and-104-other-companies-151-are-tracking-me-on-the-web/253758/

—p.193 by Astra Taylor 10 months ago
213

While it may look like we are getting something for nothing, advertising-financed culture is not free. We pay environmentally, we pay with our self-esteem, and we pay with our attention, privacy, and knowledge. But we also pay with our pocketbooks, and this is key. Advertising is, in essence, a private tax. Because promotional budgets are factored into the price we pay for goods, customers end up footing the bill. That means that, all together, we spend more than $700 billion a year on advertising, a tremendous waste of money on something that has virtually no social value and that most of us despise.

Advertising, after all, doesn’t feed or house us, or educate us, or enlighten us, or make our lives better or more beautiful. Instead, advertising makes our culture less spirited and fearless, more servile and uninspired. Surely all that money could be better spent producing something we actually care about.

—p.213 by Astra Taylor 10 months ago

While it may look like we are getting something for nothing, advertising-financed culture is not free. We pay environmentally, we pay with our self-esteem, and we pay with our attention, privacy, and knowledge. But we also pay with our pocketbooks, and this is key. Advertising is, in essence, a private tax. Because promotional budgets are factored into the price we pay for goods, customers end up footing the bill. That means that, all together, we spend more than $700 billion a year on advertising, a tremendous waste of money on something that has virtually no social value and that most of us despise.

Advertising, after all, doesn’t feed or house us, or educate us, or enlighten us, or make our lives better or more beautiful. Instead, advertising makes our culture less spirited and fearless, more servile and uninspired. Surely all that money could be better spent producing something we actually care about.

—p.213 by Astra Taylor 10 months ago