Humans have a bizarre tendency to derive this sense of meaning from utterly meaningless and inane things. Dennett calls it “deepity.” I love this word and the whole concept because, for some reason, these things drive me nuts.
If you’re not paying for it, you’re not the customer; you are the product being sold.
This is one of those really terrifying-sounding quotes I’m seeing pop up all over the place recently. Terrifying, that is, until you realize that it also applies to, say, television and radio. Oh noes!
It doesn’t offer any insight whatsoever into the additional privacy concerns raised by these technologies or business models, nor even tell you anything you didn’t already know: duh, of course they’re making their money by “selling you.” That’s what advertising IS, and has been for decades.
Now, it’s a pretty good rhetorical lead-in to actually bringing those things up, but in all instances I’ve seen it being used, it’s not. People use the quote as evidence. It’s common to see people just plop it down, and then use it to conclude that “Facebook is built upon deceiving its users!” or some such nonsense.
Which concerns me. When the logic starts getting that bad, it can easily be turned into painting anyone with privacy concerns as a loon.
In other news, I picked an awful time to start a blog, because the start of the semester has really eaten up my time for the past few weeks, and probably for a few more. Oh well.