“If you want to know what’s really going on in a society or ideology, follow the money. If money is flowing to advertising instead of to musicians, journalists, and artists, then a society is more concerned with manipulation than with truth or beauty. If content is worthless, then people will start to become empty-headed and content-less. The combination of hive mind and advertising has resulted in a new kind of social contract. The basic idea of this contract is that authors, journalists, musicians and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. Reciprocity takes the form of self-promotion. Culture is to become precisely nothing but advertising.”
– Jaron Lanier, You Are Not a Gadget: A Manifesto
… and yes, I’m aware of the potential irony/hypocrisy of posting this on a blog. I encourage you to go out and buy the whole book, at a real bookstore, like I did.