df fd


Why I Work on Ads

again, I mostly agree with you. however a few thing I want to submit for consideration:

-unrelated but I am mildly miffed at the comparison of me to a child with the seeming implication of lack of knowledge, power and agency [also did you just called me weak will lol?]. Although this may not be the intended effect.

-If I make take my point to the extreme, say on one side of the spectrum we have what you describe "win-win" situation on the other imagine a chip in your brain that stimulates your pleasure centre when you think of buying the product. I am sure we agree that there is no need to regulate the good end of the spectrum and there is an urgent need to fight against the bad end. now obviously we need to draw the line somewhere, and everyone would be affected differently and predisposed to draw the line differently. And I found the current state of advertising in general way over my line, I am glad to hear your experience is different. But to quote banksy:

People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you're not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you.


Fuck that. Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It's yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head.

You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don't owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don't even start asking for theirs.

this beg the question: am I entitled to live my life free of ads if I wanted to? I am not talking about space where I consent to see ads to walking into like youtube. I am asking: am I entitled to walk outside and see no banner ads, watch movies with no product placement. 


Anyway, my crux is that ads have at least 2 parts to them, "good" information and "bad" social manipulation. and we may disagree on whether the current ratio of them in ads is worthy of banning or not [inherently subjective I believe]. But surely we agree that if we can turbocharge the good part and minimize the bad part we should try to do that. we may disagree on how to do that though. I am partial to some kind of tax for preference. 

Why I Work on Ads

while I agree with most of what you said and in an ideal world ad should work in a win-win manner as you described, I have cut out as many ads from my life as possible since they are significantly net harmful in my experience.

the problem that I found, and you don't seem to address, is that ads are not just a simple showing of "I have the stuff you may want". It is usually an attempt of manipulation using primarily superstimulus or social engineer to maximize profit for the advertisers. e.g. for a car ad they show happy people living exciting lives which have no relation to the car but make you associate the buying of the car with non-existence social fulfillment.

It would be ok if advertisers' incentives are aligned with ours. But usually, they are not perfectly aligned if not horribly misaligned. And I assume that companies that use "honest" ads would fail to compete against "superstimulus" ads. So the majority of ads would be the equivalence of attempted mind control which rational agent should avoid even at the price of not knowing that there are things you may want to buy.

df fd's Shortform

this is a web novel that explore a similar premise:


df fd's Shortform

For all the flak that Qanon is getting for their beliefs and their allegedly atrocious epistemic hygiene, one must admire them for at least one thing. They are a people who act.

They are willing to risk their saving, their reputation, or even their life because they think it is the right thing to do. 

Granted, we found what they believe in hilarious. But how many of us actually act on our beliefs. We are besieged by doubt and false humility. Confused and lost. We stood paralyzed by indecision. 

And so with help from our unlikely friends, we are reminded that it's not enough to be right. You must act or you might as well not believe in anything.

How to reliably signal internal experience?

forgive me if I misunderstand you.

but from my point of view there can only be 3 stands on looking at behavior.

encourage [or push for] 

discourage [or push against]

do not touch and stay away.

How to reliably signal internal experience?

for a simplified story say I am currently spending 4 hours every day consuming mindless entertainment just to make myself feel good enough to go to work.

my friends believe that it's too much and/or not typical. So I converted one hour into productive time [exercise, study, etc] which results in heartburn.

I want to be able to communicate my internal experience so my friends can suggest an alternative way I can convert that hour without hurting myself.

How to reliably signal internal experience?

huhm, I didn't realize I was asking multiples question at once, thank for clarifying, that was helpful.

your answer seems to give me something, I am not sure what. I would have to meditate on it.

I'll try out what you suggest though I am a bit foggy on the detail. Will see how it turn out.

How to reliably signal internal experience?

ooohhhh yes, this makes something clicked for me. I have not considered it in relation to simple acquaintances.

How to reliably signal internal experience?

uhm take the rational norm in lesswrong. But imagine for some reason people have a limit on how rational they can get, so they behave irrationally sometimes when they hit their limit. From the outside, you can't tell whether a person is behaving irrationally because they hit their limit or for other reasons. If you do nothing your community is getting more irrational, if you push all people to be more rational you risk hurting people at their limit.

replace rationality with whatever group norm that is beneficial to enforce, and that is pretty close to why I want to find a way to reliably signal limit.

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