A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE – The Internet is not free

Surfing ahead of the yacht might be one way to outsmart advertising cookies.

It is an illusion that the Internet is free. Somebody has to pay for all the wires and routers and they have come up with a system used for years with television. They sell your eyeballs to the highest bidder.

The advantage for these companies of advertising on the Internet is that when you click the links it provides them with feedback. So they know what your interests are and can tailor their ads specifically for you.

When you are on a website that presents you with a number of different choices to click, something called cookies will keep a record of what you have chosen.

Then the next time you go online they are all set to put ads for products you might be interested in buying on the screen. For example, I bought a fountain pen from Ardy at Sticks and Stones by Jones in Greenwood last year. I went online to learn more about fountain pens and ink. The next thing I knew I was always seeing ads for fountain pens popping up when I was surfing the Internet.

So I decided to upgrade what the advertisers think my shopping patterns are. I have started shopping online for luxury cruising yachts.

***

I got some time off and made it down to Oregon to visit my mom and sister this week. So I am writing this while looking out the window on sunny skies and green grass.

In fact, the other day I saw some yard crews out mowing lawns and the city works crew was putting up hanging baskets of flowers. No blossoms get, but the fellow was standing on a ladder emptying a watering can into the basket, so I assume there were seeds in there.

***

I no longer have a television signal coming into my home. So visiting my family where the TV is on whenever my sister is awake is a bit of a culture shock.

The drug commercials are something else. They spend about 10 seconds showing you an actor in some sort of distress—a green blob monster trying to pull them away to the bathroom is typical. Then they introduce the name of the drug and the sun comes out and the commercial turns into a lifestyle ad.

If it weren’t for all of the side effects they then list, you’d not be able to know if you were watching a drug ad or one for a new car. Many of the side effects sound more serious than the original medical condition they’re supposed to cure. I am sure that one day soon the announcer will list all of the side effects and then say, “If you experience any of these side effects then just get in touch with us and we will sell you some more stuff for that too.”

***

My sister loves watching the competitive cooking shows too. There is one called Chopped where the chefs are given three ingredients that they must use to prepare a dish in less than 30 minutes.

The other day they were told to make something out of asparagus, raspberries and chicken livers. If I was one of the chefs on the show and was given those ingredients to use I would need only a couple of minutes to have a rasparagas-liver smoothie in front of the judges for their enjoyment

 

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