Friday, July 11, 2014

Amazon, NSA, and The Matrix; or, How I Invented Advertising

I saw a tweet earlier today that was something along the lines of “if a company/organization/government” knows what you’re going to buy/say/do before you do it, how is that differentiated from mind reading?”
This got me thinking that it’s one thing to know you want to buy something, but a whole different thing to know if you are going to buy it or not.  Maybe if Google and my bank partnered up, but that’s a whole new arena of scary.
But then I got thinking that instead of Amazon saying “here’s a shirt we think you’re interested in buying” saying “I know you aren't thinking about buying a shirt, but we want to sell you a shirt, so here’s an ad for a shirt and now you’re interested in buying said shirt.”
Then, just as I started to realize I’d reverse-invented the entire advertising industry, I remembered the scene in The Matrix when the Oracle tells Neo not to worry about knocking over the plate of cookies right before he does and then my head was doing somersaults through itself.