Strowwngg? Or Maybe Criminal?

As the planet roasts, pickup trucks remain the engine of the automobile-industrial complex, which is itself the leading source of GHG emissions in the United States, as well as the lifeblood of corporate capitalism. How does this happen? As Leslie Savan says, “follow the flattery.” (And, meanwhile, note the sexism, homophobia, and thoughtless obstinacy on which it rests.)

Another museum piece for our grandchildren, on the off chance we leave them a livable world.

Gougers’ Paradise

The glories of leaving things to “the market” prove themselves from the very outset. Here’s a graph from today’s New York Times:

birth

And, of course, it gets even better! According to the Times:

The chasm in price is true even though new mothers in France and elsewhere often remain in the hospital for nearly a week to heal and learn to breast-feed, while American women tend to be discharged a day or two after birth, since insurers do not pay costs for anything that is not considered medically necessary.

Another Voice of the System

Just as Fred Taylor spoke corporate capitalism’s words about work and its control, so did Google CEO Eric Schmidt voice the system’s deepest truth about privacy in the face of marketing:

That was in December of 2009.

Dig the usefulness of the “war on terror” and its subcomponents to the marketing juggernaut. Why does the privacy of commoners not exist to Google and its customers? It’s absolutely because privacy is anathema to the basic conduct of big business in our age of two-way communications. Privacy would end the overclass’s ability to gather data on our off-the-job behavior via new media, and thereby refine and extend their sales efforts. But, thanks to the Patriot Act, Schmidt can get away without mentioning this elementary fact, and pretend he’s just a patriot doing his lawful duty.

And, as Gawker rightly remarked at the time of Schmidt’s Taylorian utterance, consider also the radical uni-directionality of the relationship in question. Privacy is nothing, a mere remnant of earlier times to be eroded and strangled as quickly as people will allow, to those looking out from the corporate boardroom. What happens in the boardroom and in the lives of the primary beneficiaries of the system? Try telling them they have no privacy rights, and that all their affairs are open to public scrutiny…

Let Them Eat Funnel

moneyfunnel Corporate marketers have a problem. Tracking people’s behaviors is easier and richer when the targets reveal themselves on their home computers than when they are using their “mobile devices.” There are, of course, plenty of dollars and labor being thrown at solving this problem, and a solution will undoubtedly be found.

All quite predictable and normal.

While brushing up on this topic, I did, however, find this lovely little passage from the “Results” page at the Tapad agency, which is one of the vendors groping toward making “mobile devices” equal to desktop appliances in their surveillance capacities.

Challenge
Drive new customers into the purchase funnel by delivering efficient app installations
Retarget both site visitors and app installers to progress users through the funnel ultimately generating sales

Solution
Leverage Tapad’s unique cross-platform audience targeting solutions to focus impression delivery on consumer profiles most likely to engage with campaign messaging.

More evidence that “consumers,” despite the supposed liberation inherent in that insult, are merely so many “profiles” to be reorganized for overclass benefit.

When I hear the word “consumer” — from anybody — I reach for my revolver.