The future of conversation

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… and everything else, maybe, from yesterday's SMBC:

The features intrinsic to "dating" make this particular outcome unlikely, and therefore funny. But it's surprising that educational institutions, which know a lot about their students, and have the opportunity to learn a lot more, haven't picked up more strongly on the whole targeted-advertising thing.

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10 Comments »

  1. Dan Lufkin said,

    March 13, 2014 @ 10:34 am

    Another aspect of the intrusion of computers into everyday life concerns me. I've noticed that we are typically daily subjected to several ad-hoc intelligence test at cashier's stations, banks, ATMs and vending machines, just to name a few instances. The observation that these tests are gradually becoming more and more challenging suggests that they are part of a deliberate IQ testing operation that is taking the Flynn effect into consideration.

    Within another few years, the organization(s) behind this operation will have identified a group of superior individuals who can be quietly sequestered to leave a population of amiable dunces who can be easily manipulated in their state of chronic confusion.

    One can only advocate deliberately flunking these tests on random occasions to conceal one's natural intelligence. This may give those behind one in the checkout line the impression that one is a borderline idiot, but that may well be the price of dignified survival.

  2. Adam B said,

    March 13, 2014 @ 10:36 am

    Yesterday: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/mar/12/ucas-sells-marketing-access-student-data-advertisers

    [(myl) And then there's this.

    There are potential issues with FERPA regulations, but I don't think that FERPA would forbid interactions where targeted "sponsorship" messages are passed along by the educational institution itself.]

  3. Steve said,

    March 13, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    For a moment I wondered if the "products I think you'd like" were things traditionally considered "intrinsic" to dating. But that doesn't really work, since, presumably, the dinner date itself would be the "commercial" for those "products."

    Or maybe this was a coy (if bizarrely corporate) way of suggesting a second date?

    [(myl) The aftercomic:

    ]

  4. CNH said,

    March 13, 2014 @ 5:01 pm

    "the organization(s) behind this operation will have identified a group of superior individuals who can be quietly sequestered to leave a population of amiable dunces who can be easily manipulated in their state of chronic confusion."
    You're thinking of telephone sanitisers, aren't you?

  5. Rubrick said,

    March 13, 2014 @ 7:03 pm

    If you like SMBC, you may also be interested in Dinosaur Comics!

  6. Michael Watts said,

    March 13, 2014 @ 9:31 pm

    On the subject of ad-hoc intelligence tests showing up unbidden in your daily life, if you use a Chinese ATM in its English mode, then when you're entering your PIN the options presented are "correct" and "OK". I have to stop and think about that, every single time. ("correct" here is intended to be the verb, not the adjective. It discards whatever you put in, while "OK" advances you to the next stage of using the ATM.)

  7. Adam Funk said,

    March 14, 2014 @ 4:48 am

    @Dan Lufkin
    One can only advocate deliberately flunking these tests on random occasions to conceal one's natural intelligence. This may give those behind one in the checkout line the impression that one is a borderline idiot, but that may well be the price of dignified survival.

    That reminds me of Souls in the Great Machine, in which people who are good at arithmetic are kidnapped to work in the Calculor.

  8. Narmitaj said,

    March 14, 2014 @ 3:04 pm

    The Canadian film Ghosts With Shit Jobs, set in 2040, has human spam a bit like the cartoon, though in that the effective spam did not announce her status explicitly, she just dropped in references to various products in suitable social situations (while monitored, so micro-payments could be made to her account in real time).

    This had to be done subtly to be effective, demonstrated to us during dinner while working on a mark when they were interrupted by a much more uncouth human spam spewer who made all sorts of raw and off-putting sales harangues. Our heroine spammer, irritated, took the miscreant into the toilets and beat her up.

  9. John Walden said,

    March 15, 2014 @ 4:16 am

    I envy those celebs who get comped cases of delicious Maker's Mark Whiskey or a stylish and safe Audi S5 Quattro or a P & O cruise in one of the company's well-appointed ships just for mentioning them in a context where these excellent products will be brought to the attention of the discerning.

  10. MikeA said,

    March 15, 2014 @ 4:11 pm

    ISTR one or two decades ago when the push among many secondary schools was for "Channel One". This was a deal where a corporation provided televisions and "educational content" _FREE_!!! to schools who agreed to make students watch commercials as part of their classes. Many school boards were Shocked! to hear that some parents took a dim view of this proposal (at least in northern California)

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