I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving, hysterical, trying to get people to click online ads.
Business Week has an important article about how the current tech bubble, manic for everything related to social media, holds some real risks.
The business model which underlies nearly every billion-dollar-valued social media site is advertising. This article details the role of “research scientists” whose job it is to refine ads to take advantage of the human psyche. The greatest economic value these “businesses” will provide will be a behavioral change in people, such that we will lean closer into our laptops and click on the ad for new, squishier bathroom tissues.
The only value here is in behavior control. The only promise such a business makes is to be able to mesmerize people further into the moribund economic system which is disintegrating and reforming every day.
Here is a partial list of what will create real economic value, so you can recognize it when and if it ever gets more press that FaceTwit:
- Cleaning up coal, which will be the dominant energy source of the 21st century
- Dealing with peak oil, through efficiency or new fuel substitutions
- Redesigning cities to deal with the above two points
- Providing healthcare at a radically lower cost so the Baby Boom generation does not bankrupt every industrialized country
- Fixing the world’s broken economic system of fiat currencies and sovereign debt disasters
- Taking apart the suburbs
- Educating people for the next set of jobs without making them student loan slaves
- Getting vegetables to people in poor neighborhoods so they don’t get major chronic diseases at 20