Search is the killer application

This is where I think the SAFE client must provide total control over the end user interface to the end user. I think we need the net on mesh and wireless mess on the white noise guide or some form that gives ownership and control over the communication piece because there can’t be an incentive to sell people’s attention to 3rd parties
through enclosure and rent seeking. It is dishonest and it is a conflict of interest and when it gets down to media it means even where there is a subscription the sponsors own the medium and the readers or watchers or listeners are just getting pimped. It also means in aggregate that people’s attention and mindshare is being sold to arbitrary highest bidders which in turn means consolidated captured paid talking point media that does nothing but push propaganda and drown out candidates that might act in the public interest. It leads to prostitute politicians who spend all their time chasing after money by taking bribes to give back to the same media firms the damn sponsors used to pimp them in the first place and it has the rest of us paying to reinforce this system of censorship. Sponsor controller top down media has to end if we are to
kill off the stupid oligarchy, especially the useless fossil fuel oligarchy. So please no damn ads. If one needs product information use unsponsored honest intelligent search to find it and the buy based on informed decision making. No more theft of attention barrel scraping demand creation, no more modal ads which condition people to be interrupted.

What if ads are disabled by default with a link “support us and see ads” link? Or get paid to see ads even? Brave browser now does this and seems to be popular - although I’ve been trialling it with the pop-up ads activated and they are even more annoying than regular ads, and IMO it’s not worth the $$ given.

I’d be happy if PtD is enough, but my concern would be that if the competition uses ads and then uses funding from ads to drive traffic by some means - (e.g. paying users to view them), then those who aren’t competitive in being able to drive traffic will dry up over time.

I think the key to success here, as with anything, is just to be pragmatic.

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You can’t be pragmatic without understanding the bigger picture, and I think few of us can really comprehend the overall, long term impact of advertising. I do see many ways in which we’d be better off without almost all of it though, so my pragmatic is different from yours.

PtD etc is clearly an attempt, a first step, and we may well need time to improve or find other better alternatives, but I’m clear myself that advertising will be at the very back of the queue.

Advertising is IMO about to get far, far worse as machine learning is increasingly used to drive targeting, manipulation and addictive strategies.

I’ve long been concerned about this, but in the last few weeks I’ve read up a little on deep learning and optimisation strategies, and frankly, it is only just dawning in me how much these will soon be learning to modify human behaviour in order to drive their optimisation (e.g. towards profit). Ironically, it was while thinking about how to apply deep learning to search on SAFE that brought this home: I realised that such an algorithm could easily start to affect content produced and consumption rather than deliver the intended ‘best’ results because it is very hard to frame ‘best’ in a way that avoids this.

We’ve already seen how the suggestion algorithms of Facebook, YouTube, Amazon have begun to affect the people who are part of those systems - content producers and service users are part of this loop - and both have adapted their behaviours in response, in ways that are influenced by the algorithms to maximise attention and profit. It has also affected those who purchase advertising, which now includes those wishing to influence political factors, and I suspect is a tool being used to undermine traditional democratic process.

These effects will only get stronger as the technology improves and adoption widens, unless we put in place measures to change that (regulatory and technical) and provide effective alternatives.

I’m a bit stumped now wondering how in earth I could implement an evolutionary search on SAFE without creating an evil monster. It’s a hard problem IMO.

But recognising the need to avoid advertising wherever possible (including my own consumption) is a no brainer for me.


System wide “regulatory measures” wont be possible at all on SAFE, will they? What are some purely technical measures that could minimize “advertising”? I’m not disagreeing with you, but I’m not even sure how to define “advertising”.

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I’m not talking about advertising at that point in my reply, but algorithms in general. Regulation is certainly much less applicable to SAFE (so part of the ‘hardness’ of this problem). That’s a big part of the point here - creating good outcomes is I think going to be hard even for those of us who care about that. Many don’t, and I can only see advertising getting more harmful as these techniques develop.

I’m not offering solutions here, but challenging your the argument that the pragmatic approach is to include advertising. At the same time, I’m saying the best way to avoid advertising is to provide better alternatives, and that IMO it will prove pragmatic in the long run to do that, rather than roll over or even encourage ad based models.

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Slow down there, buddy. I think you confused my reply with somebody else’s.

I would still like to know how to define “advertising” and what some technical measures for minimizing said advertising could be.

EDIT: The discussion about advertisements seems to be a bit off topic, so I created this:

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Yes apologies, I hadn’t noticed my original reply was to Tyler!

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Let me take shot at this because I’ve thought about it for a while.

  1. More intelligent search- it leads to more informed choices which cuts the pay off for advertising

  2. Making sure ad companies can’t get verifiable data. One way interface design all control over end user interface staying with the end user, with secure defaults, opt in default culture (no falling for the support us with ads bs)

  3. Not allowing modal practices and processes, no modal ads, rejecting this in search, no site control over volume or the scroll bars, black listing, white listing lists as filters for sites (like call control does spam calls on phones) to block bad or unethical site ad hygiene.

  4. Good system will tell the end user if spyware adware analytic crap is running and flag it.

Sites that do this kind of stuff simply can’t be trusted. The key thing is to block the advertisers access to reliable verifiable analytics. And and to get people to understand they should not willingly prostitute their attention spans. The gold standard is when ad companies try to pay for access (having the site sell what doesn’t belong to them) but nothing is verifiable, they cannot verify anything. They can’ be sure a modal ad hasn’t been blocked, they can’ be sure it was ever shown and they have no data on where the users eyes were going. They might be able to see clicks, but they should not even be able to tell if a user was blocking. Good filters can even block modal ads in video or even provide sped up edited overlays like Tivo. But even seeing clicks in aggregate us exposing end user data to an avenue of risk so its bad site hygiene.

None of this would get in the way of direct buyer seller relationships and their voluntary exchange of information but culls the parasites out of the process. Its also a litmus test for the success of SAFE network because if you don’t have privacy (and this is a precondition for it) you don’t have security and you don’t have freedom.

Look how destructive even in a walled garden these sorts of conflicts of interest are.
Amazon allowed sponsorship to direct or skew their search responses in their store and to skew sales. Now that might seem reasonable because its a store after all and it would seem to be the most appropriate place for ads but in my opinion it seems to be incredibly short sighted and I tried through forums to warn them repeatedly but they didn’t listen. And if I am not mistaken it wasn’t long after they allowed the conflict of interest of sponsorship that their user ratings system started to become unreliable in recommending product quality. That cannot be a coincidence. Inferior offerings are able to be paid to get mindshare they don’t deserve which undermines Amazon’s whole system and that is just a walled garden example. Even inside Amazon across departments this bribe money from sponsors has to be messing up its incentives and priorities- Amazon was made off the power of its search and its f-ing it up exposing itself to a very serious vulnerability, its even denying itself invaluable data sets with this skewing behavior. SAFE can hit both Amazon and Google, it can put a real limit by way of proper counter example on their bad behavior.

IMO, pragmatism is “muddling through” without the big picture. The big picture is for god-level beings, not us slime-crawlers. Pragmatism isn’t truth or the best ideal way forward as such things are subjective. Pragmatism is doing what works for you in the now, and adapting (muddling though) as things change around you.

As for ads … I believe that giving people options is a good way to start. I personally like ads if they aren’t intrusive to my habits (not a fan of pop-ups), but generally ads on the sides of pages have in the past been occasionally educational and helpful.

But for those that don’t like them, well just have them off by default with a simple option to turn them on - some people will and that’s okay. That’s my view, crucify me for it if you want. :stuck_out_tongue:

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