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When ‘Mad Men’ Meets Augmented Reality

The first of Jamais Cascio’s new columns for Fast Company:

We’re in an arms race with advertisers (and spammers, their less-reputable cousins): As fast as we improve ad-blocking technology, they improve their ability to get past it. This will only get worse as the Web becomes something we carry with us as a constant presence. But what happens when you combine increasingly immersive digital tools and aggressive competition between advertisers and filters? Unintended, and potentially quite unsettling, consequences.

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  1. In “Anathem”, Neal Stephenson goes into one possible future extreme from this arms race: data available from the Internet takes on a fuzzy, unreliable quality. Even data that you would think could be verifiably sound ends up with a margin of error introduced to it.

    The eventuality is a set of spam programs that does nothing but tamper with known data, replicating and mutating it. The counterprograms do their best to clean it up through reliability analysis, but they aren’t perfect. What you end up with is a handful of contradictory datasets, each with a likelihood of being true.

  2. This is only a small fraction of the possibilities the new technology will give. Think about it, at the end you will have to pay for not perceiving paid (sponsored/influenced) reality.

    “This glimpse at what your world looks like with your eyes have been sponsored by Warren Ellis”. Just an example.

    Excuseme for my awful english.

  3. PhilWal PhilWal

    So what if I made myself pre-blocked on everyone’s eyes? Just wear 500 adverts, they’ll be blocked by most people, and I’m invisible!

  4. Lobes Lobes

    Have been to a few raves where they do a primitive version of this by handing out special glasses and flashing stuff on a screen behind the DJ. Makes shapes and patterns ‘pop’ above the stage. But incorporating cameras, LCD display, GPS and the internet can only make it better.

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