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Opting out

Is it even possible anymore?

This was going to be a piece about ad-blockers, and how you can use them practically to help protect yourself on the web. And you should do that - my favorites are uBlock Origin and Privacy Badager on the desktop, and Firefox Focus on mobile.

But in light of this week's news, it seems like ad tracking is the least of our worries. The news from CES shows the tech industry has no idea what actual people want (and doesn't care what horrors it creates).

It seems a baked in assumption of late-stage capitalism (there, I wrote that phrase) is that business is in itself virtuous and we should want all businesses to thrive and make new things for us to buy and we should bear the cost. We can't regulate Facebook because that might harm its revenue stream, even though what it does is literally bad for our democracy - as they admitted a year ago. We should accept ads on smart TVs we paid for, because how else will the TV company monentize the devices after we've paid for them? Etc, etc.

But I don't care about your revenue stream. Products and corporate actions have real world effects well beyond you individually getting rich. 2019 needs to be the year we, the people, get to weigh the pros and cons.