They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it

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If you want to learn how to be happy with “enough”, advertising is one of many obstacles to overcome on your journey. It’s like having a voice in the back of your head you’re not in control of. You may have “needs” that are not needs at all. How do you know that the desire for whatever consumer purchase you have in mind came from you and not from the mind of some advertising executive in NY? How many car commercials did you sit through during the last football game you watched? Human psychology (yes, yours too) is unfortunately easily manipulated. If it didn’t work, they wouldn’t do it.

The lowdown on the current state in the Amanda Knox story

Over the past few days, I have spent a lot of time watching interviews with Amanda Knox (and also some documentaries about Amanda Knox and the case about the implications regarding Meredith Kercher’s murder [in 2007 (Perugia, Italy) ]) — see e.g. “You see what you want to see” [ ]. I myself feel I have a strong connection to her experience, insofar as a long time ago I expressed my own opinion regarding what I now refer to as “irrational” media in a different way (see “Hope & Change: Flipping the F-word & Removing the Old-Fashioned R-word” [ ] — and in particular in a way that at times garnered very vehement opposition. People often said to me things like my expressions were uncivilized. The reactions I got kind of reminded me of the idea that one shouldn’t “shoot the messenger” who merely transmits upsetting news. I found it odd (and even to this day I still find it odd) that people would criticize me when it is certain media organziations (an in particular “monetization” techniques) which are actually violating assumptions about ethical (vs. unethical) behavior.

What has been fascinating me perhaps most of all is the way Amanda Knox herself seems to instrumentalize the misinformation and supposition leading to the false accusation and conviction by a wide array of authority figures and “fact finding” institutions worldwide in her own storytelling, in a manner that seems to perpetuate the propagation of the very myths she herself is plagued by — it is a little reminiscent of the so-called “Streisand effect“, by which drawing attention to something raises awareness of that very thing, rather the way simply letting it go might do more to reduce its significance.

At first, I was puzzled about why Amanda Knox’s story is receiving so much attention right now, not until 10-15 years after it had first become such a sensationalist media event. The answers I have come up with (so far) involve a number of reasons.

First and foremost, the whole notion of “fake news” has in the meantime become nothing short of a global pandemic. Secondly, a “mainstream” (Hollywood) movie was released just last year specifically using the “Amanda Knox saga” as core to the story’s brand image. Yet what I find most intriguing of all (I think) is that the interviews I watched basically show that many basic facts regarding Amanda Knox’s case to this day remain widely unknown … and the uncertainty regarding the case remains so widespread … that the misrepresentations depicted in the Hollywood movie may indeed have more impact on interpretations of Amanda Knox’s character than all of the media coverage Amanda Knox has received in the mainstream media heretofore — and from that perspective, I can easily understand why Amanda would be quite upset about this. But that is not all: the multiplication of reports and documentaries and interviews and all sorts of more and more content make this one story ever more complicated, with even the slightest variations and different angles, emphasis and quite simply different storytelling making the “actual”, “factually correct” or “real” story seem ever more elusive. I see some irony in this, insofar as Amanda Knox herself is quite obviously also utilizing her own central role in the story for her own financial gain.

In all of this, what I find most disappointing is that Amanda Knox seems to have abandoned her own voice at and instead seems to have sold out to the very manipulative irrational media complex which apparently destroyed her reputation in the first place [1]. She essentially adorns the Scarlet Letter in exchange for money. She plays the caged victim on display in the mainstream for cash in the pocket, instead of a liberated woman warning the masses not to drink irrational media poison for collective clearness of mind.

The problem is that the pervasiveness of technology and mass marketing is screwing up a lot of people’s expectations for themselves: the inundation of the exceptional makes people feel worse about themselves, makes them feel that they need to be more extreme, more radical, and more self assured to get noticed or even matter

On Kelsey’s recommendation (and also several others’ recommendations over the past few years), I’ve decided to crack open “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck” (by Mark Manson). I find it odd that this book has lately become so successful — particularly on the heels of Occupy Wall Street. Let me explain by contrasting two quotes taken from a short section of the book near the heading “The Tyranny of Exceptionalism”:

It’s strange that in an age when we are more connected than ever, entitlement seems to be at an alltime high. Something about recent technology seems to allow our insecurities to run amok like never before. The more freedom we’re given to express ourselves, the more we want to be free of having to deal with anyone who may disagree with us or upset us. The more exposed we are to opposing viewpoints, the more we seem to get upset that those other viewpoints exist. The easier and more problem-free our lives become, the more we seem to feel entitled for them to get even better.


Having the Internet, Google, Facebook, YouTube, and access to five hundred–plus channels of television is amazing. But our attention is limited. There’s no way we can process the tidal waves of information flowing past us constantly. Therefore, the only zeroes and ones that break through and catch our attention are the truly exceptional pieces of information—those in the 99.999th percentile.

I hope the contrast between these two quotes is clear enough — but let me underscore the ridiculous absurdity of the completely opposite arguments, separated by only a few lines of text.

First Mark Manson says we are more connected than ever. Then he follows this by maintaining that only the 0.001% matter. Either we are connected to each other or we are insulated from one another — which one is it?

That largely depends on your level (or perhaps “kind”) of literacy. If you believe in irrational media (based on brand names), you thereby allow such brands to function as gatekeepers, insulating you from the 99.999%. If you believe in rational media (based on natural language) then you will become more connected to other similarly literate people (note that literacy is not an “either / or” switch, but rather a choice to engage with people who use a similar language, a similar dialect, a similar jargon, a similar communication style, a similar manner of speech, a similar mode of expression, understanding, feeling, seeing, believing, and so on).

So-called “social media”, being based on brand names, fall into the irrational media category. The market-leading brands (mainly Google and Facebook) use quite simple algorithms — clearly Google search has one of the most widely respected brand names, and the Google search algorithm is a slightly adapted version of the “Go” “Goto” (see “GoTo is considered to have been an influential pioneer of paid search.” [!_Search_Marketing#GoTo_and_Overture ]) algorithm , acquired by Google about 20 years ago: higher bidders get higher rankings (Google has primarily adapted this by preventing users from being shocked by information they might find disagreeable, which Google carefully monitors via their meticulous user tracking throughout all the aspects of a user’s life which the company are able to collect data on). In this context, it remains unclear whether Google’s own media properties (which they appear to obscure under the “Alphabet” corporate body) get a “free ride” or at least reduced (and therfore non-competitive) rates.

As a young person very connected and reliant on the internet, I’ve kind of made peace with the fact that my data is taken and out there

Keywords: general , alexa , amazon , companies , data , facebook , google , info , internet , marketing , privacy , trust , webcam

There’s the argument that since we’re using Facebook and Gmail and stuff like that for free, our data is allowed to be collected (and used for marketing) as a trade-off, and while I guess that makes sense, it’s still kind of gross. Especially because that privacy doesn’t kick in once you do pay for an upgraded account or something. And with more and more companies just monopolizing everything like Amazon does for example, I think some have way too much info. If they get hacked, you could be screwed.