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Author Topic: EP396: Dead Merchandise  (Read 17736 times)

Kaa

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Reply #50 on: May 30, 2013, 03:07:50 PM
Since I'm both a software engineer and a writer, I probably have way too much fun trying to debug fictional software.  :)

Oh, good. I'm not the only one. :)

So I'd find it entirely plausible that the ENTIRE human race hasn't been ripped apart, that these communes can still have a chance to thrive at least. . .

Didn't we have a story a while back . . . I don't remember the name of it, the author, or which of the three podcasts it was even on, although I suspect this one . . . where there was a similar scenario? A woman living in the middle of nowhere trying to escape the relentless onslaught of ad . . . I think it was ad-robots or ad-clones in that case. And one of them had the form of her dead husband? And once one of them found her, they all figured out where she was and she started to get waves and waves of them coming to her. . .

Ring a bell with anyone?

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matweller

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Reply #51 on: May 30, 2013, 03:21:59 PM
Since I'm both a software engineer and a writer, I probably have way too much fun trying to debug fictional software.  :)

Oh, good. I'm not the only one. :)

So I'd find it entirely plausible that the ENTIRE human race hasn't been ripped apart, that these communes can still have a chance to thrive at least. . .

Didn't we have a story a while back . . . I don't remember the name of it, the author, or which of the three podcasts it was even on, although I suspect this one . . . where there was a similar scenario? A woman living in the middle of nowhere trying to escape the relentless onslaught of ad . . . I think it was ad-robots or ad-clones in that case. And one of them had the form of her dead husband? And once one of them found her, they all figured out where she was and she started to get waves and waves of them coming to her. . .

Ring a bell with anyone?

Keffy -- http://escapepod.org/2010/12/09/ep270-advertising-at-the-end-of-the-world/



TheArchivist

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Reply #52 on: May 31, 2013, 08:20:28 AM
Since I'm both a software engineer and a writer, I probably have way too much fun trying to debug fictional software.  :)

Oh, good. I'm not the only one. :)
No, me too  ;)  (though very much on the amateur end of the scale as a writer)



Unblinking

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Reply #53 on: May 31, 2013, 01:42:38 PM
Since I'm both a software engineer and a writer, I probably have way too much fun trying to debug fictional software.  :)

Oh, good. I'm not the only one. :)
No, me too  ;)  (though very much on the amateur end of the scale as a writer)

Very few writers are not amateur.



Dem

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Reply #54 on: May 31, 2013, 06:07:47 PM
Since I'm both a software engineer and a writer, I probably have way too much fun trying to debug fictional software.  :)

Oh, good. I'm not the only one. :)
No, me too  ;)  (though very much on the amateur end of the scale as a writer)

Very few writers are not amateur.

Oh god, there goes another delusion :)

Science is what you do when the funding panel thinks you know what you're doing. Fiction is the same only without the funding.


PrimerofinTheSequel

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Reply #55 on: June 05, 2013, 03:01:19 AM
some help me out, i think i missed something
the civilization in this story looked like it had already collapsed
so what was the protagonist trying to destroy?
wasn't everything already trashed?




Cutter McKay

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Reply #56 on: June 05, 2013, 03:45:56 AM
some help me out, i think i missed something
the civilization in this story looked like it had already collapsed
so what was the protagonist trying to destroy?
wasn't everything already trashed?

She destroyed what was essentially the central processing unit of the Ad-Faeries, basically killing them off for that particular mall-city. But each city has its own collation center, so, though she succeeded in destroying hers, there are hundreds to thousands more out there. She won the battle, but was still far from winning the war. And then her actions destroyed the very Ad-Faeries that drove her. Without them, she couldn't make a single decision on her own...

Point and match.

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TheArchivist

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Reply #57 on: June 05, 2013, 08:21:17 AM
the civilization in this story looked like it had already collapsed
so what was the protagonist trying to destroy?
The civilisation was definitely collapsed but the protagonist believed the ad-faeries were to blame and set out to destroy them. The implication is that she hoped, by eliminating the cause of civilisation's demise, to create an environment in which the civilisation could reassert itself, rebuild itself. Ultimately, though, her inability to function once they were gone shows that the collapse was more than skin deep. Although she won the battle, the war had been lost for a long time.



Unblinking

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Reply #58 on: June 05, 2013, 12:12:51 PM
the civilization in this story looked like it had already collapsed
so what was the protagonist trying to destroy?
The civilisation was definitely collapsed but the protagonist believed the ad-faeries were to blame and set out to destroy them. The implication is that she hoped, by eliminating the cause of civilisation's demise, to create an environment in which the civilisation could reassert itself, rebuild itself. Ultimately, though, her inability to function once they were gone shows that the collapse was more than skin deep. Although she won the battle, the war had been lost for a long time.

I didn't get the impression she had any illusions about the effectiveness of her gesture in the world.  However, I think she figured that for society to come back these needed to be taken down.  She hoped that she wasn't the only one who had the drive to do such things, and hoped to take down some more before she died.  The latter appears to have been in vain, no indication yet of the truth of the former.



matweller

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Reply #59 on: June 05, 2013, 01:34:58 PM
It was rater like one country surrendering and then starting guerilla battles with the invading troops as they march back to their transports home. They already won. They took all the money. They impoverished the country. They killed your family. You've got nothing to live for. Might as well kill off as many of them as you can on the way out.



Gamercow

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Reply #60 on: June 20, 2013, 01:33:49 PM
There was a certain terrifying plausibility to this story, as others have said.  BUT, I think it was missing one thing:  A counter-product.  Advertising has this weird life cycle of adaptation and countermeasures, and counter-countermeasures, always escalating to gain the consumer dollar.  Usually the countermeasures are created by people who dislike that particular type of advertising, and eventually, that countermeasure either gets monetized itself, or rendered useless by further advances.  The advancement of online advertising has seen this cycle go through many more iterations, simply because mass advertising is so cheap to make on the internet, relatively speaking.  First there were spam email, then came side bars, then pop ups, pop unders, pop overs, intro videos, outro videos, pay walls, ad walls, etc. etc.  And all have been or soon will be avoided by various other plugins and gadgets and doodads. 

Personally, I run my adblockers open for most sites that I visit often and enjoy.  I know that many web sites rely on ad revenue, and unless they are truly atrocious, I let the ads do their thing on the periphery. If the article, web comic, blog post, or whatever I am looking at is especially pleasing to me, I'll even click on an ad to reward them further. 

My big gripe with tailored advertising is I wish I could tell places that I'm shopping for a gift, not for myself.  When I looked at basketballs on Amazon for my nephew, I was bombarded by basketball and basketball-related ads for weeks.

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matweller

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Reply #61 on: June 20, 2013, 01:42:04 PM
There was a certain terrifying plausibility to this story, as others have said.  BUT, I think it was missing one thing:  A counter-product.  Advertising has this weird life cycle of adaptation and countermeasures, and counter-countermeasures, always escalating to gain the consumer dollar.  Usually the countermeasures are created by people who dislike that particular type of advertising, and eventually, that countermeasure either gets monetized itself, or rendered useless by further advances.  The advancement of online advertising has seen this cycle go through many more iterations, simply because mass advertising is so cheap to make on the internet, relatively speaking.  First there were spam email, then came side bars, then pop ups, pop unders, pop overs, intro videos, outro videos, pay walls, ad walls, etc. etc.  And all have been or soon will be avoided by various other plugins and gadgets and doodads. 

Personally, I run my adblockers open for most sites that I visit often and enjoy.  I know that many web sites rely on ad revenue, and unless they are truly atrocious, I let the ads do their thing on the periphery. If the article, web comic, blog post, or whatever I am looking at is especially pleasing to me, I'll even click on an ad to reward them further. 

My big gripe with tailored advertising is I wish I could tell places that I'm shopping for a gift, not for myself.  When I looked at basketballs on Amazon for my nephew, I was bombarded by basketball and basketball-related ads for weeks.
Seriously -- you should pitch that to Steinmetz for a second short story. Could you imagine? Maybe as the apocalypse reaches it's height, a dying ad programer launches "ad fairies 2.0" or "SalesColossus" and right as Americans are on the brink of total annihilation, the whole thing pauses while the Fairies fight the colossus. The potential for the social commentary built into that could be awesome...



Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #62 on: June 20, 2013, 02:35:54 PM
My big gripe with tailored advertising is I wish I could tell places that I'm shopping for a gift, not for myself.  When I looked at basketballs on Amazon for my nephew, I was bombarded by basketball and basketball-related ads for weeks.

And this is why we use safety precautions when purchasing online.
Do NOT remained permanently signed in to any website.
Use a search engine that does not track your behavior (DuckDuckGo).
When making an actual purchase use a service like PayPal which keeps your purchases as anonymous as possible. You don't need to get email from the site you bought from, from your credit card company AND from anybody who advertised on any of those sites. This way you get emails from Paypal and PayPal only.

Cogito ergo surf - I think therefore I network

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zoanon

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Reply #63 on: July 06, 2013, 09:41:47 PM
"she crawled inside her oven and set it to clean"
this one is going to stay with me a while.



lisavilisa

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Reply #64 on: July 22, 2013, 02:44:11 PM
It's http://www.cosmeticsdesign-europe.com/Formulation-Science/Cosmetic-company-invests-in-emotion-reading-checkouts#.Ud8JJT7FSCA.

"Cosmetic company invests in emotion-reading checkouts
The future is here: Russian cosmetics chain Ulybka Radugi chain is joining forces with marketing tech firm Synqera to release checkouts capable of recognizing customers’ faces and even detecting their emotional state.”
« Last Edit: July 22, 2013, 02:45:42 PM by lisavilisa »



Scattercat

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Reply #65 on: July 22, 2013, 09:57:23 PM
I came *this close* to instinctively deleting your comment, lisavilisa.  ;-)  Russian + cosmetics + long link text viscerally summons the sensation of SPAMBOT to my mind.

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matweller

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Reply #66 on: July 23, 2013, 01:45:16 PM
Yeah, we're already almost there, no doubt. There's no shortage of examples.

http://www.adweek.com/adfreak/are-mini-s-billboards-bit-too-personal-17812
And a lot of stores are currently testing systems to automatically deliver coupons to your phone when you're in the store.
And Apple stores are supposed to soon all be equipped with systems to automatically charge you for whatever you walk out of the store with, no checkout needed.

Even these things are/were a sign of things moving that way to a degree:



Kaa

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Reply #67 on: July 23, 2013, 02:28:33 PM
Even these things are/were a sign of things moving that way to a degree:
<image snipped>

At least those are opt-IN. You don't have to take one, and you can ignore their presence. If advertisers had their way . . . well, it would be a lot more like this story, I think.

Remember a few years back (2002) when then-TBS chairman Jamie Kellmer claimed that not watching commercials--as in, going to the bathroom or to the kitchen while they're on, or skipping over them during play-back on TiVo--is theft?

Last year, networks filed a lawsuit against DISH network for allowing their customers to skip commercials on delayed playback. If they could cram it into our brains, they would do it without hesitation, in my opinion.

I invent imaginary people and make them have conversations in my head. I also write.

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matweller

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Reply #68 on: July 23, 2013, 03:48:20 PM
Oh, I agree. I was just giving more examples of how the technology is already moving in that direction.

NOTE: at this point my comment turned into a political rant, and I apologize. I'm leaving it below, but offer this warning that you read at your own peril.

And anybody who thinks our elected officials won't pass laws to make a situation like like the one posed in this story a reality regardless of public opinion or public safety needs to look a little more closely at the world around them.

How many cities have put building new stadiums to a vote, had the public vote overwhelmingly against it and then built anyway? I know of three within the past 10 years (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minneapolis) and I don't even watch sports.

How many states allow natural gas fracking (usually on a tax-free to the company basis) despite there never being a documented case of that being done without poisoning the ground water and turning the surrounding area into a wasteland?

Did you know the US Congress passed a law allowing the RIAA to demand royalties on behalf of bands that aren't even signed with them? That means you can have a band, put a song online for free to promote your band, and if the RIAA feels like it, they can sue all of your fans for royalties that you won't even receive unless you sign your band up with the RIAA.

They cleared Comcast to buy NBC, despite the fact that such a situation has been illegal for almost as long as mass media has existed for very important and obvious reasons.

Too many instances to mention...



InfiniteMonkey

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Reply #69 on: July 24, 2013, 04:47:14 AM

How many cities have put building new stadiums to a vote, had the public vote overwhelmingly against it and then built anyway? I know of three within the past 10 years (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Minneapolis) and I don't even watch sports.


You can add Seattle to that. We voted against a stadium and wound up with two. With a possible third on the way....



lisavilisa

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Reply #70 on: July 25, 2013, 11:12:19 AM
I came *this close* to instinctively deleting your comment, lisavilisa.  ;-)  Russian + cosmetics + long link text viscerally summons the sensation of SPAMBOT to my mind.

Yeah, they wouldn't let me copy and paste the actual quote that was relevant. They just pinged me a message about copy right and told me to include the link and the quote. :/



Fenrix

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Reply #71 on: July 25, 2013, 11:49:01 AM
I came *this close* to instinctively deleting your comment, lisavilisa.  ;-)  Russian + cosmetics + long link text viscerally summons the sensation of SPAMBOT to my mind.

Yeah, they wouldn't let me copy and paste the actual quote that was relevant. They just pinged me a message about copy right and told me to include the link and the quote. :/

How dare you give them clickthroughs. That's so bizarre.

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lisavilisa

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Reply #72 on: July 26, 2013, 11:25:41 AM

How dare you give them clickthroughs. That's so bizarre.

I know, it's like they don't understand how going viral works...



hardware

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Reply #73 on: December 17, 2013, 02:13:30 PM
Good story, and yes, the ending was a huge part of what made it work. Not that I see this as a particular plausible scenario, more of a dark satire of where certain trends would take us if we interpolate them. But a lot of my favorite sci-fi works like that, so it's a good thing.



Unblinking

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Reply #74 on: July 08, 2014, 10:18:09 PM
Named this story #10 on my Best Podcast Fiction of All Time List:
http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2014/07/the-best-podcast-fiction-of-all-time-the-complete-list/