Essays, Analyses and Meditations

Back to my essays | Back to the Philosophy pages | Author


  • Google and Facebook, to name the most popular software platforms in 2011, are only superficially what they claim to be. They are actually advertising platforms. That's how they make money and pay the salaries of their employees; and that's what drives the evolution of their features.
  • Somebody somewhere somehow actually makes money out of your most ordinary online actions because they are hijacked to become sophisticated marketing actions to sell something somewhere somehow (very often to you, your family and your friends).
  • The reader of the future is not you, and not even a machine, but a whole invisible distributed apparatus of content processing that happens to be ultimately a commerce platform in which any content is a way to capture the attention of some consumers. The meaning of your actions and ultimately of your entire life will be systematically hijacked to advertise products.
  • Projecting forward, one can imagine what will become of artificial intelligence. If we ever figure out how to build intelligent machines, they will be hijacked to design better advertising platforms, and to create the very content that will maximize the effect of those advertising platforms. And if we ever discover the source of consciousness in the human brain, the theory will be hijacked to devise more effective advertising techniques, and to create more effective content to fuel those advertising platforms.
  • Instead of being the discipline of how to improve quality of life or how to increase individual knowledge, computer science is becoming the discipline of how to turn even the most innocent and intimate of acts into involuntary acts of product marketing.
  • This vast commercial apparatus is founded on monitoring and reacting to your actions online as you consult or create content. The next step will be artificial computer-generated content and actors (artificial webpages, artificial friends, artificial restaurants, artificial employers, artificial stores) for the purpose of controlling and directing everybody's online life towards buying products.
  • The next big thing is a software platform that will automatically create fake webpages on popular topics, fake Facebook friends with appealing lifestyles, fake postings on Craigslist, fake Wikipedia articles, and even fake email conversations for the only purpose of maximizing traffic towards the product that a corporation wants to sell.
  • You will be living in a virtual world created for the sole purpose of making you buy products.
  • Ultimately, the human brain is a complex network of nodes wired for the purpose of survival and reproduction. That's what the human brain, ultimately, "thinks". What does the Web think as a whole? The Web is a complex network of nodes wired for the purpose of selling products to consumers. That is, ultimately, what the Web "thinks": how to sell products to consumers.
  • Computer science is becoming the discipline of turning your life into somebody else's business opportunity.