Damn it another trick ad


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    I just fell for an ad disguised as a Next Page link on a mobile site where navigating to the next page can only be accomished by swiping the screen with a finger. Well played, sir.


    ...And people wonder why adblockers are so popular.



  •  I want some numbers. How many people do buy something after clicking such a link? How many people buy anything after going through a scam link?

    Does it really pay off? Does anybody ever break even from putting up such an ad? Or is the one laughing last the ad network?

     

    ...And what did they try to sell to you?

     


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @OldCrow said:

    ...And what did they try to sell to you?

    Honestly, I don't know. I hit back before the page could finish loading, when I noticed the domain changed.



  • @OldCrow said:

    I want some numbers. How many people do buy something after clicking such a link? How many people buy anything after going through a scam link?

    Does it really pay off? Does anybody ever break even from putting up such an ad? Or is the one laughing last the ad network

     

    Who would ever reward someone for tricking them first? If trust in humanity is justified this kind of ad should not work out for the advertiser.

     



  • @spezialpfusch said:

    If trust in humanity is justified this kind of ad should not work out for the advertiser.
    True, but, as long as the cost of attempting something is very low and the chance of success is greater than zero, then some asshole will always try it.

     



  • @spezialpfusch said:

    Who would ever reward someone for tricking them first? If trust in humanity is justified this kind of ad should not work out for the advertiser.
    Then either there is something very fishy going on, or the laws of economics make your trust in humanity misplaced.

    From my own experience: my in-laws have more knowlegde of cabbages than of computers, but still they have one at home, and they manage to use it a bit. They let their grandchildren play on it. It had a virus scanner, a free one, installed by the friendy guy that sold them the computer and also installed a pirated version of Windows (although he charged them for it). Consequently, it was riddled with malware, search bars, url redirectors (yieldmanager, if I recall), the lot, and one or two viruses. And they just kept using it, and accepted the regular redirects as something unavoidable. I don't doubt they clicked on quite a few of the ads and shady websites. Fortunately, they don't have a credit card or electronic banking account.

    Consequently, someone got money out of it. I guess yieldmanager got most, just by pushing a zillion ads.

     



  • @TGV said:

    @spezialpfusch said:

    Who would ever reward someone for tricking them first? If trust in humanity is justified this kind of ad should not work out for the advertiser.
    Then either there is something very fishy going on, or the laws of economics make your trust in humanity misplaced.

    ...

    Consequently, someone got money out of it. I guess yieldmanager got most, just by pushing a zillion ads.

     

     So, there was no perceivable net gain? ...If that was supposed to be profitable for the advertiser, those ad servers would have to run on unicorn farts.

     

    On to the other topic mentioned...

    Why would someone ever trust in humanity?

     

     Edit: *profitable to the advertiser AND to the advert-space buyer

    Edit2: typos and removal of offensive content



  • @OldCrow said:

    removal of offensive content
    You trying to ruin this place?



  • @OldCrow said:

    @TGV said:
    @spezialpfusch said:
    Who would ever reward someone for tricking them first? If trust in humanity is justified this kind of ad should not work out for the advertiser.
    Then either there is something very fishy going on, or the laws of economics make your trust in humanity misplaced.

    Consequently, someone got money out of it. I guess yieldmanager got most, just by pushing a zillion ads.

    So, there was no perceivable net gain? ...If that was supposed to be profitable for the advertiser, those ad servers would have to run on unicorn farts.

    TRWTF is deciding that since you don't understand something, it must be false.


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @El_Heffe said:

    @OldCrow said:

    removal of offensive content
    You trying to ruin this place?


    Because of your efforts, we've removed -1 more items from the TDWTF Community.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @OldCrow said:
    @TGV said:
    @spezialpfusch said:
    Who would ever reward someone for tricking them first? If trust in humanity is justified this kind of ad should not work out for the advertiser.
    Then either there is something very fishy going on, or the laws of economics make your trust in humanity misplaced.

     

    Consequently, someone got money out of it. I guess yieldmanager got most, just by pushing a zillion ads.

    So, there was no perceivable net gain? ...If that was supposed to be profitable for the advertiser, those ad servers would have to run on unicorn farts.

    TRWTF is deciding that since you don't understand something, it must be false.

     

    Perhaps I did not express myself properly.

    I'm amazed by the fact that the one-in-6-billion idiot who buys the bottle of fake viagra is enough to fund the serving of  all the ad-images.

    Of course, this presumes that those who make the campaigns do not make a loss. But one would think that the scam artists learn from their mistakes.

    ...And this in turn is based on the presumption that the scam artists are not also fresh victims of a different scam, which might be a false assumption, true.  But one should always err to the side of caution. Here, caution dictates that the opponent is intelligent, ruthless and flawless in their execution.

     Edit: and making a profit. Always presume that the scammer makes a profit.



  • @joe.edwards said:

    @El_Heffe said:

    @OldCrow said:

    removal of offensive content
    You trying to ruin this place?


    Because of your efforts, we've removed -1 more items from the TDWTF Community.

    Oh I LOVE when people hijack my thread for their own WTF instead of making their own fucking threads! I LOVE NOTHING MORE THAN THAT!!!


    This forum is the best, and you all are the best, and El_Heffe you're the best of the best.



  • @OldCrow said:

    I'm amazed by the fact that the one-in-6-billion idiot who buys the bottle of fake viagra is enough to fund the serving of  all the ad-images.

    I tech-literate groups it's prolly around 1 in 10s of thousands (maybe even a little better), but the vast majority of people don't fall into that category and have much higher rates.  In addition it's not the profit on the purchase that they need to make money:
         Scammer: "I'll need your CC info for this"
         Vic: "numbers"
         Scammer: saves numbers for reuse



  • @OldCrow said:

     I want some numbers. How many people do buy something after clicking such a link? How many people buy anything after going through a scam link?

    Does it really pay off? Does anybody ever break even from putting up such an ad? Or is the one laughing last the ad network?

     

    ...And what did they try to sell to you?

     


    Often it does not matter whether you buy or not. It's just getting that brand name out in front of you for a milisecond thats important.


    After all, how often do you see an ad on TV or in the paper, and go "Wow, I really have to go RIGHT NOW and buy that thing!" Never. But when you're at the store and you see that thing, you'll remember the ad (even if just subconsciously) and will be (slightly) influenced to buy it then.


    So it's not the online sale they're going after all the time, just the recognition. And if they happen to make a sale, OK.



  • @DrPepper said:

    @OldCrow said:

     I want some numbers. How many people do buy something after clicking such a link? How many people buy anything after going through a scam link?

    Does it really pay off? Does anybody ever break even from putting up such an ad? Or is the one laughing last the ad network?

     

    ...And what did they try to sell to you?

     


    Often it does not matter whether you buy or not. It's just getting that brand name out in front of you for a milisecond thats important.


    After all, how often do you see an ad on TV or in the paper, and go "Wow, I really have to go RIGHT NOW and buy that thing!" Never. But when you're at the store and you see that thing, you'll remember the ad (even if just subconsciously) and will be (slightly) influenced to buy it then.


    So it's not the online sale they're going after all the time, just the recognition. And if they happen to make a sale, OK.

    I SHOULD REALLY BUY SOME next page button.



  • @OldCrow said:

     I want some numbers. How many people do buy something after clicking such a link? How many people buy anything after going through a scam link?

    Does it really pay off? Does anybody ever break even from putting up such an ad? Or is the one laughing last the ad network?

     

    ...And what did they try to sell to you?

     

    Who says it's not pay per click? Where the site owner pays some scammer $X for Y visitors to his website. The scammer won't care they won't stay on the site, and the website owner might never know the methods the visitors get referred to the site.



  • @OldCrow said:

    (snip)

    I'm amazed by the fact that the one-in-6-billion idiot who buys the bottle of fake viagra is enough to fund the serving of  all the ad-images.

    Of course, this presumes that those who make the campaigns do not make a loss. But one would think that the scam artists learn from their mistakes.

    ...And this in turn is based on the presumption that the scam artists are not also fresh victims of a different scam, which might be a false assumption, true.  But one should always err to the side of caution. Here, caution dictates that the opponent is intelligent, ruthless and flawless in their execution.

     Edit: and making a profit. Always presume that the scammer makes a profit.

     

    ISTR a write up from someone that located some inside info from a spammer some years back. The breakeven point was calculated to be something like 1 out of every 8 million spam messages needed to hit for the spammer to make a profit.

    I also knew a guy who thought he was going to get rich off of spamming (well, more along the lines of hosting spammer's servers) many years ago. From listening to him talk, I got the idea that most of the spammers don't make squat (for that matter, I think the guy I knew ended up living out of a van...). The shady guys that sell the mailing lists and the software, however, may have done alright.

     



  • @DrPepper said:

    After all, how often do you see an ad on TV or in the paper, and go "Wow, I really have to go RIGHT NOW and buy that thing!" Never. But when you're at the store and you see that thing, you'll remember the ad (even if just subconsciously) and will be (slightly) influenced to buy it then.

    I have personally managed to block enough advertising from my daily existence that I do remember the ones I see when I go shopping, and my instinctive reaction to recognising an advertised brand is "fuck you, not buying your shit."

    Instinctive reactions aside, I buy on satisfaction with previous products and customer service, or positive reports from friends; in cases where those influences are absent, I'll choose on specifications or country of origin or price or a coin flip.

    If presented with a choice between advertisements (e.g. when looking for stuff in the Yellow Pages) I'll generally go for the smallest advertisement first. I have no objection at all to you presenting your stuff for consideration. Trying to grab my attention away from other people doing the same thing, though, is gaming the system in my view. I don't react positively to being gamed - especially when I know full well that the costs associated with doing that are (a) large and (b) likely to be passed on to me.



  • @OldCrow said:

    I want some numbers. How many people do buy something after clicking such a link? How many people buy anything after going through a scam link?

    who cares?

    @OldCrow said:

    ...And what did they try to sell to you?

    who cares?

    @OldCrow said:

    Does it really pay off? Does anybody ever break even from putting up such an ad?

    possibly, if it was a PPC ad linking to a site containing shitload of CPI ads, it could be amusingly pointless, but at least mildly profitable almost-scam.



  • @OldCrow said:

     I want some numbers. How many people do buy something after clicking such a link? How many people buy anything after going through a scam link?

    Does it really pay off? Does anybody ever break even from putting up such an ad? Or is the one laughing last the ad network?

     

    There are definitely people (that I've observed using computers, in fact), who will assume that any web page they end up on must be the page they were trying to reach, and treat it accordingly (always amusing when combined those people's ideas of using a computer is to click things at random until something happens). This is why domain parking ad pages work (in that they actually produce profit for the parkers via means other than selling the domain), and presumably it's what's in play with this advert too.

    I think we all know at this point that underestimating human stupidity is a bad idea, but it's still interesting to see what new techniques idiots come up with for being idiots.

     


  • Winner of the 2016 Presidential Election

    @ais523 said:

    @OldCrow said:

     I want some numbers. How many people do buy something after clicking such a link? How many people buy anything after going through a scam link?

    Does it really pay off? Does anybody ever break even from putting up such an ad? Or is the one laughing last the ad network?

     

    There are definitely people (that I've observed using computers, in fact), who will assume that any web page they end up on must be the page they were trying to reach, and treat it accordingly (always amusing when combined those people's ideas of using a computer is to click things at random until something happens). This is why domain parking ad pages work (in that they actually produce profit for the parkers via means other than selling the domain), and presumably it's what's in play with this advert too.

    I think we all know at this point that underestimating human stupidity is a bad idea, but it's still interesting to see what new techniques idiots come up with for being idiots.

     


    I recall (but am failing to find sources for) an incident where some other website became the top result for a search for ${popular social network} and hundreds of users were bitching on it that they hated the "new design" (of the completely unrelated site they'd unknowingly reached).



  • @joe.edwards said:

    I recall (but am failing to find sources for) an incident where some other website became the top result for a search for ${popular social network} and hundreds of users were bitching on it that they hated the "new design" (of the completely unrelated site they'd unknowingly reached).
    Then there are the people who cannot grasp the concept of bookmarks, so every time they want to go to a website they type the name of the website into Google. But "Facebook login" didn't always return Facebook as the number one search result, so they ended up going to some other website and then complaining that they were unable to log into Facebook. Apparently it got so bad that Google actually "fixed" it so that a search for "Facebook login" always shows Facebook as the number one search result.



  • @flabdablet said:

    especially when I know full well that the costs associated with doing that are (a) large and (b) likely to be passed on to me.

    I am amused by some of Geico ads, but the amount of customer money them must spend on them...



  • @El_Heffe said:

    Then there are the people who cannot grasp the concept of bookmarks, so every time they want to go to a website they type the name of the website into Google.

    I have a few of those at the school.

    Google has recently started being a little more aggressive about forcing https: for searches, but I've blocked https://www.google.com for student accounts at school because encrypted connections stop me from using our proxy to inject &safe=active into the search URLs. So until I got that sorted, students couldn't use Google to search for stuff. Bing, Yahoo et al continued to work just fine.

    I got quite a few reports about students being "completely unable to access the Internet" from teachers who have been teaching a workflow that starts with typing a site name into the little box in the top right corner (default school browser is Firefox). Naturally, the idea of flipping that search box to some other provider is completely off these people's radar, as they simply don't know (a) that you can search for things, not just sites, in that box (b) what a search provider is (c) that a small black triangle generally denotes a drop-down menu (d) what a drop-down menu is.

    There are a lot of people like this; people unable or unwilling to grapple with any understanding of the underlying architecture of the systems they use. iOS and its everything-is-a-phone-brain-worms spiritual descendants have been a doomed attempt to pander to these people, at the cost of making everything dumber and more frustrating for the rest of us.

    If Blakeyrat were still around he'd be pointing at me and shouting "Priesthood! Priesthood!" about now, but I'm not motivated by a desire to perpetuate my technologist's privilege - hell, I'd be much happier if everybody could use their machinery effectively and without fuss. But the people who don't understand that searches happen through search providers are the same people who don't understand what an app is or that Facebook is not the Internet, and there is no helping those people. They are digital cannon fodder; the aphids farmed by our corporate ant overlords, the compliant batteries for the Matrix



  • @flabdablet said:

    Google has recently started being a little more aggressive about forcing https: for searches, but I've blocked https://www.google.com for student accounts at school because encrypted connections stop me from using our proxy to inject &safe=active into the search URLs. So until I got that sorted, students couldn't use Google to search for stuff.

    And somehow you think that it's the students and/or teachers that are stupid... For a while I was thinking that your clown outfit was just a costume but now that it is obvious that you are an incompetent buffoon who should not be allowed anywhere near a server I think it suits you perfectly.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

    @flabdablet said:

    I got quite a few reports about students being "completely unable to access the Internet" from teachers who have been teaching a workflow that starts with typing a site name into the little box in the top right corner (default school browser is Firefox).
    So why didn't you just change the default search provider for these digital cattle?



  • @flabdablet said:

    Google has recently started being a little more aggressive about forcing https: for searches, but I've blocked https://www.google.com for student accounts at school because encrypted connections stop me from using our proxy to inject &safe=active into the search URLs. So until I got that sorted, students couldn't use Google to search for stuff. Bing, Yahoo et al continued to work just fine.

    So your solution to people having the ability to look up porn on the internet is to block secure access to their google login? Wouldn't it be easier to just look over their shoulder occasionally and notice that they were looking up porn? Do you run a preschool or something?



  • @dkf said:

    So why didn't you just change the default search provider for these digital cattle?

    To avoid needing to deal with complaints about the new look of the search results page.



  • @ais523 said:

    human stupidity
     

    I'm starting to have the desperate thought that maybe humans are becoming too stupid for the increasingly advanced systems we invent. Not that people are stupid, just that the stuff we make is becoming ever more complex and thus barring an ever greater portion of people from understanding that stuff.



  • @Ben L. said:

    So your solution to people having the ability to look up porn on the internet is to block secure access to their google login? Wouldn't it be easier to just look over their shoulder occasionally and notice that they were looking up porn? Do you run a preschool or something?

    Not a preschool; a primary school (near enough to K-6 in US terms). Right or wrong, if shoulder surfing were all we did in order to be seen to be trying to keep porn off our school screens, we'd have parents up in arms: content filtering is a vital component of the school's commitment to security theatre. In any case, since all our students are under 13 years of age, none of them technically qualify as legitimate Facebook or Google account holders so I'm not depriving them of anything they're actually entitled to.

    There's actually something of a tower of WTF here. The school network is part of a system-wide VPN and can't make direct outbound connections to hosts outside the VPN boundary on assorted ports including 80 and 443. Ports 1024 and up are completely unrestricted, so anybody with half a clue can easily tunnel out to a SOCKS proxy and work around this, but the only official way out to the Web is via the official offsite web proxy, which in turn talks to Zscaler. I suggest you follow that link and spend a few moments contemplating the magificence of their marketing before moving on.

    Zscaler is capable of filtering SSL-encrypted content by running MITM attacks against SSL connections coming from browsers where the Zscaler root cert's been installed. It's also supposed to be configurable not to do that for connections to a whitelist of sites, as I found out by mentioning the word "banking" to our upstream support guy. But I have always had misgivings about the whole MITM thing, and the fact that I have personally caught it trying to MITM a connection even though I have explicitly turned our Zscaler account's SSL filtering entirely off doesn't make me thrilled about the idea of pushing out that cert in order to turn it on.

    Zscaler's admin control panel is flash-based and insanely, grindingly, enragingly slow to use, and its user authentication mechanism is based not on anything sane and standard like HTTP digest authentication but on persistent cookies and flash cookies, which means there's no reasonable way to have multiple Zscaler users sharing a common classroom Windows account. Oh, and if it's working with a device where it can't set a flash cookie, because oh, I dunno, iOS? it just throws up its hands and fails to perform any kind of user auth at all.

    So when we got forcibly cut over last year from an ISP-provided web filter to Zscaler, I was glad that a couple of years beforehand I'd gone to the trouble to set up an onsite Squid proxy and do all our auth locally anyway. Apart from a very few teething glitches, and the fact that our Internet connection no longer fell over every time the upstream proxy got a bit busy, nobody really noticed the Zscaler cutover... except for the SSL issue.

    Because in order to provide filtering comparable to what Zscaler permits without actually turning on Zscaler SSL MITM, https: sites are now accessible only using staff credentials unless they're on my onsite proxy's whitelist. And because I am now expected to inject &safe=active into Google search URLs because that's something Zscaler is supposed to be able to do (and does manage to do, sometimes, even for https: Google searches) I can't put www.google.com or images.google.com on that whitelist, because without running MITM against an SSL connection there's no way to do that injection.

    The most recent "nobody can access the Internet" panic started a while ago, after I upgraded Firefox from 10ESR to 17ESR; turns out the search provider definitions that install with 17ESR use https: searches on Google (only). So I fixed that (thank you, sed) and all was well for a few weeks. Then "that same thing you fixed last week came back".

    It turned out to be a combination of things: if you type "google.com" into the address bar on a Firefox that has https://google.com in its history, and you haven't turned off browser.urlbar.autocomplete.enabled in about:config, Firefox will request https://google.com. And even if you stop Firefox doing that, Google now redirects searches via https anyway, unless you tell it you're a school and you don't want it to.

    And the way they suggest you do that is pure, unadulterated WTF. You're supposed to cause your own DNS server to make www.google.com a CNAME for nosslsearch.google.com. I've tried this from home, and it works: a request for http://www.google.com/search/q=whatever that actually arrives at nosslsearch.google.com's IP address does set cookies that suppress the https: redirection until you expire them. But how TF am I supposed to affect the DNS results that Zscaler sees? They haven't thought this through.

    So I tried rewriting the URLs before handing them off to Zscaler: if a browser asked my proxy for http://www.google.com/blah, my proxy would ask the upstream one for http://nosslsearch.google.com/blah. Didn't work: the first thing http://nosslsearch.google.com/blah does is 302 to http://www.google.com/blah, so the browser just sees an infinite 302 loop.

    What does work, at least for the time being, is rewriting http://www.google.com/blah as http://216.239.32.20/blah. Don't ask me why that doesn't 302 as well, but it doesn't.



  • @dhromed said:

    @ais523 said:

    human stupidity
     

    I'm starting to have the desperate thought that maybe humans are becoming too stupid for the increasingly advanced systems we invent. Not that people are stupid, just that the stuff we make is becoming ever more complex and thus barring an ever greater portion of people from understanding that stuff.

    This is mainly an issue for developers, most of whom are now pretty much forced to work using a repertoire of magic incantations almost completely divorced from any understanding of the architecture of the systems their stuff is going to run on. Fuck knows how anybody can possibly acquire actual competence, when starting with none in 2013 - there's just too much to learn. Ben L, can you shed some light on this?

    From the civilian point of view, computers have always been inscrutable and mysterious and I don't think that's changing. The magic's getting somewhat more accessible, but the same people who failed to understand AOL are still failing to understand their iPhones.

    People are actually stupid, too; I offer you today's Australian election result as evidence of that.



  • @flabdablet said:

    People are actually stupid, too; I offer you today's Australian election result as evidence of that.

    No kidding. Who were all those chuckleheads still voting for Labor?



  • @flabdablet said:

    @dhromed said:

    @ais523 said:

    human stupidity
     

    I'm starting to have the desperate thought that maybe humans are becoming too stupid for the increasingly advanced systems we invent. Not that people are stupid, just that the stuff we make is becoming ever more complex and thus barring an ever greater portion of people from understanding that stuff.

    This is mainly an issue for developers, most of whom are now pretty much forced to work using a repertoire of magic incantations almost completely divorced from any understanding of the architecture of the systems their stuff is going to run on. Fuck knows how anybody can possibly acquire actual competence, when starting with none in 2013 - there's just too much to learn.

    Says the guy who is blocking access to GOOGLE in the proxy server someone mistakenly give him access to because he is too stupid and lazy to do his job properly.

    As for those "magic incantations": high-level programming languages are doing to software development what spreadsheets and word processing did to office work. There will always be abominations but from a general perspective it simply shortens the time-to-market and democratize things by allowing just about anyone to implement their idea quickly.

    If you think all software developer should be a C++ guru (or use butterflies) then you should move to India or whatever other place where people write device drivers or printer firmware, they will welcome your Vision gladly.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @flabdablet said:
    People are actually stupid, too; I offer you today's Australian election result as evidence of that.

    No kidding. Who were all those chuckleheads still voting for Labor?

    The ones that don't want Australia to be like most other countries. Goodbye fibre internet, we'll continue the DSL port lottery. Goodbye strong economy. Hello rich getting richer.



  • @Zemm said:

    Hello rich getting richer.

    Sounds good! Where do I sign?



  • @Ronald said:

    @Zemm said:
    Hello rich getting richer.

    Sounds good! Where do I sign?

    They say the less you know the more you earn, so I guess that make sense in your case!



  • @Zemm said:

    @Ronald said:
    @Zemm said:
    Hello rich getting richer.

    Sounds good! Where do I sign?

    They say the less you know the more you earn, so I guess that make sense in your case!

    People who "know technical things" are a dime a dozen. Pick any chinese factory and you'll find 10 or 20 people with a deeper technical expertise than anyone on this forum. Go to a fucking Best Buy and look at the people who reslot RAM or install McAfee in computers brought in by housewives and odds are that you'll find a serious contributor to a major open source project or a member of some l33t hacker group.

    I used to know all kinds of stuff but nowadays I mostly get paid to build one-pager Powerpoints that say "move everything to the cloud". Once in a while I'll amaze myself remembering that there is a magic button in Excel that converts a pivot table to MDX-driven formulas, allowing me to write dazzling what-if spreadsheets for people who get golf jokes like putting your wrist together and saying "what time". Instead of lunch-and-learn or technical conferences, I bring clients to $45-a-beer gentlemen's clubs where I have a running bill and impress them because every time the manager comes by our booth and says that "everything is on the house, your money is no good here" (believe me this does not come cheap).

    So even if I was pretty good in my early years, over time I lost track of things and when I talk about "little endians" I usually mean the people in Bangalore or Mumbai that are getting the outsourcing deal. Which means that yes, you are probably right that I know "less" - so drape yourself in the cloth of Technical Knowledge while I drape myself in the cloth of Brioni's and let's call this win-win.



  • @Zemm said:

    Hello rich getting richer.

    If even the rich can't get richer, then your system sucks, and you're all getting poorer.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @Zemm said:
    Hello rich getting richer.

    If even the rich can't get richer, then your system sucks, and you're all getting poorer.

    We can't all be Rupert Murdoch or Gina Rhinehart.



  • @Zemm said:

    Gina Rhinehart.

    Wow the guy who is tapping that really deserves his billions.





    I can't help but think about that scene in The Bridge (US version) where Johnny Castle's brother has to perform oral sex on the fat bitch.




  • @boomzilla said:

    @Zemm said:
    Hello rich getting richer.

    If even the rich can't get richer, then your system sucks, and you're all getting poorer.

    If only the rich can get richer, then your system sucks and most of you are getting screwed.



  • @Zemm said:

    We can't all be Rupert Murdoch or Gina Rhinehart.

    I cannot think of a worse way to spend my time than being either of those people.



  • @flabdablet said:

    @boomzilla said:
    @Zemm said:
    Hello rich getting richer.

    If even the rich can't get richer, then your system sucks, and you're all getting poorer.

    If only the rich can get richer, then your system sucks and most of you are getting screwed.

    That's true, and it's generally more true of those countries with a left wing approach to the economy. Of which the ALP is a relatively benign example.



  • @boomzilla said:

    @flabdablet said:
    If only the rich can get richer, then your system sucks and most of you are getting screwed.

    That's true, and it's generally more true of those countries with a left wing approach to the economy.

    We have a choice at this point. We could start playing talking-past-each-other tennis again, or we could agree on some terms and have a fact-based exploration of these issues, or we could just drop the whole thing. What do you favour?



  • @flabdablet said:

    @boomzilla said:
    @flabdablet said:
    If only the rich can get richer, then your system sucks and most of you are getting screwed.

    That's true, and it's generally more true of those countries with a left wing approach to the economy.

    We have a choice at this point. We could start playing talking-past-each-other tennis again, or we could agree on some terms and have a fact-based exploration of these issues, or we could just drop the whole thing. What do you favour?

    I'm always fact based, even if mixed with snark. By "left wing approach to the economy," I meant a preference for having some government entity making more decisions, planning things, possibly even directly owning things. And to be clear, by "things," I mean non-public goods.

    This sort of arrangement tends to concentrate more an more power among fewer people and institutions. Of course, institutions (and people) act in their interest. As power becomes more concentrated, there are fewer competing interests, and those who are not privy to the power have reduced chances to act in their own interest. Private institutions fail often, and therefore they continually try to be less bad, and the less bad tend to survive. Government institutions, on the other hand, tend to get more powerful when they do not succeed. Instead of a virtuous cycle, you end up with a vicious cycle.

    In the case of Australia, the ALP is obviously not the Bolsheviks or even Woodrow Wilson. And certainly the Liberals (like most "right wing" parties are really Labor-lite) have plenty of left wing tendencies. But a step away from the darkness is still a step away.



  •  All of that stuff you describe happens anyway. You just pick whether your overlord is a government or a megacorporation. Or rather, you don't get to pick.



  • @dhromed said:

    All of that stuff you describe happens anyway. You just pick whether your overlord is a government or a megacorporation. Or rather, you don't get to pick.

    The megacorporation isn't really a problem if it isn't colluding with government.



  • @boomzilla said:

    The megacorporation isn't really a problem if it isn't colluding with government.

    That's a huge claim, and it overlooks the increasingly common case of megacorporations big enough that they can actually dictate terms to the governments of the countries they operate in. Coercion based on raw economic clout looks more damaging than collusion to me.

    Would it be fair to say that most of the objections you have to the behaviour of governments are consequences of the fact that it's governments who hold the monopoly on legally sanctioned violence?



  • @flabdablet said:

    @boomzilla said:
    The megacorporation isn't really a problem if it isn't colluding with government.

    That's a huge claim, and it overlooks the increasingly common case of megacorporations big enough that they can actually dictate terms to the governments of the countries they operate in. Coercion based on raw economic clout looks more damaging than collusion to me.

    You have a very strange way of saying, "You're right." If the government weren't so excited to get in bed with industry, then industry would focus on its job instead of lobbying the government for favors. And if the government doesn't have the power to grant favors to begin with, it's not a problem. It seems to me that there must be active vigilance against this sort of thing, as it naturally creeps into the system as governmental institutions (like any other) constantly look to increase their power and influence.

    @flabdablet said:

    Would it be fair to say that most of the objections you have to the behaviour of governments are consequences of the fact that it's governments who hold the monopoly on legally sanctioned violence?

    Sort of. That obviously is part of how they get away with it. But my objections are more of two categories: empirical and philosophical. Empirically, so much of what governments do makes things worse (even and especially when they're nominally trying to make things better). Philosophically, you shouldn't abuse your monopoly on violence. This applies to a lot of things, but certainly includes things like freedom of speech.



  • @boomzilla said:

    If the government weren't so excited to get in bed with industry, then industry would focus on its job instead of lobbying the government for favors. And if the government doesn't have the power to grant favors to begin with, it's not a problem.

    What if the job the industry feels like doing involves ripping out forests where people live, or damming up and/or polluting waterways they rely on for drinking and farming? I really don't understand this rosy-hued vision of corporate benificence.

    It seems to me that abuse of power flows naturally from acquisition of power, which flows naturally from command over resources. I see nothing inherent in private enterprise that acts to dampen the tendency to acquire and abuse power; quite the opposite, in fact, because large corporations answer to the interest of a relatively small group of shareholders who are often quite under-informed about what the corp they nominally control is actually up to.

    Governments, on the other hand, are accountable to the citizenry at large. Public opinion limits what they can get away with doing, and when they're working well they can actually do an extremely good job of running stuff in the public interest. The most instantly obvious example I can think of is the performance of the Victorian State Electricity Commission, as was, compared to that of its privatised successors: electricity prices have soared in real dollar terms, network maintenance has suffered badly, and demand management is basically not something that even happens any more since the conservative Kennett government sold off the SEC. The privatised Melbourne public transport system also currently receives more in taxpayer subsidies than it used to cost the State Government to run the old Melbourne and Metropolitan Tramways Board and the Victorian Railways (getting that cost off the books, by the way, was the main justification for corporatising those and selling them off). Victorians are also paying through the nose to use roads financed by public/private partnerships - these have become really popular in Australia, the official line always being that "the private sector assumes the cost of the risk" - but the simple fact is that we always end up paying them what they want to stop them threatening to put down their toys and go home, because this is vital infrastructure. Never mind that financing it via PPP is inherently about twice as expensive as simply having the government go into debt for it even allowing for the knock-on effects on the state's credit rating, and causes a net outflow of taxpayer funds into the pockets of offshore investors. I could go on.

    But in any case, I don't know that it's terribly useful to argue about whether government or private enterprise is inherently less efficient and/or more evil in the absence of collusion, because once entities reach a certain size there is always going to be collusion.


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