The rise of ad-blocking could herald the end of the free internet

…and if this starts to happen it would be a great driver to adoption of an internet with an alternative economic model: SAFENetwork!

The rise of ad-blocking could herald the end of the free internet


I really like Apple’s move (although I have no stakes in the game).

For a while Android worked well for Google with its built-in spying and ads, but now it’s time seems over. In fact the entire Google’s bullshit ads-centered strategy could be crumbling. Not that there won’t be any ads (there will, but fewer will be served by Google), but I’d be pleased to see Google lose a big chunk of their revenue to “the little guys” (not just on iOS, but also on Android and elsewhere).

In hindsight it’s strange that Apple only recently got the idea to allow people to block Google ads (so that Apple doesn’t have to).

The end of free Internet: actually it’s more like the end of ads-driven, privacy-invading crap.
Ads won’t disappear, user tracking won’t either, but it probably won’t be done as blatantly and intrusively as by Google & similar companies. You’ll visit a site, and there may be a non- targeted banner because they advertisers (or the site) won’t know who you are (on iOS they will know, but at least not Google).


Just happened to listen to a podcast on Planet Money, The Power of Free. Episode 386: The Power of Free : Planet Money : NPR

Very relevant to this. And bodes well for the SAFE model.

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Can you give us the gist, I don’t have time to listen to so many podcasts. Still catching up on yours! :smile:

And its funny that we don’t have a free internet now. How is it free when some of us have no choice but to further enrich Comcast which some of us very much hate and which is working hard to take our actual freedom with the money they foist away from us? So it might be easier to say that the “your money is working hard against you” internet might be crumbling. We need systems that allow us to only pay for what is actually of value to us and commensurate with the extent it is of value to us with payment proportion to our means and value calculation.

The NPR podcast is interesting because one interesting historic detail, but the rest seemed like a random mix of various examples that unfortunately seem very unstructured (or, at least there’s no attempt on the side of the interviewer to structure it - but perhaps that’s what’s expected from a “neutral” public employee).

(Please don’t interpret this to mean you shouldn’t have posted it - it’s just my thoughts on the content!)

Yeah. Definitely catch mine first!!

Basically, it covers two types of reactions generated by charging for something that was previously free.

  1. First example is airlines charging for checked bags. Used to be free (up to some limit, anyway). Now many airlines charge per bag every time. People grumble and maybe even try to avoid those airlines, but in the long run it is understandable as a charge so they get used to it.

  2. The other example they used as a really persistent example is the stigma that the American Red Cross still has with American vets due to a very short time back in world war two. The Americans joined the war in Europe and the Red Cross handed out free donuts and coffee to American servicemen. The War Department didn’t have a problem with this except that the other allys (Brits, Canadians, Aussies, etc.), who had been fighting for a long time already, were charged something by their respective service organizations for the same stuff. The American War Department told the Red Cross to charge something because it was creating some resentment with the allied troops. Red Cross fought it but finally buckled and charged a very low price (couple cents). The American Vets have still not forgotten.

The program goes on to try to establish what the difference is. Very interesting actually.

It seems to be a matter of whether the perception is that something SHOULD be free, as opposed to HAS BEEN free.

How I think that we play into this in an interesting way. The current model could probably get away with starting to charge for some things because it might be considered reasonable that they need revenue to deliver their services/products. But even so, they’ve got a challenge ahead in making the conversion, even without a better model showing up. But in many ways the knowledge of mankind SHOULD be freely available if not without cost to access (like having a computer and paying for access), and people sense this, I think.

The SAFE network model pays those who provide resources and charges (modestly but proportionally) those who consume them (PUTs). This allows tremendous free consumption of content, which consumption rewards those providing resource (and also content providers via N99 and the like).

The collision of these two models could generate some interesting fireworks. Not good for the existing structure in the long run.

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See mine to @happybeing. I think they did a good job of drawing the lines in a fuzzy area.

Thanks @fergish that’s really helpful. The psychology of free, and many other things is often counter intuitive and quite irrational, so having examples like that helps.


I didn’t want to mention any spoilers, but now that you summarized it, I’ll explain why I think the examples are too random:

  • The thing with checked bags: they mention how someone’s brother still resents it. So the conclusion that it’s OK didn’t see so universal (or maybe I misremembered?)
  • If they wanted to analyze the luggage fee thing, they should have mentioned how airline tickets probably got cheaper because the airlines could stop over-provisioning cargo space for passenger bags and could allocate more for commercial cargo (nice profits!).
  • If you charge for bags separately, the price of tickets goes down instantly and you get a better position in various “Sort ascending” displays of flights which became possible once computers/terminals became popular/affordable.

Economic insight was missing.

The second example: to my mind the main thing one can learn from it is that governments distort natural incentives for rational economic behavior. First, by paying people to wage wars, second, by fixing prices (including making non-free things them free in the first place).
Yeah, sure, that would seem too serious for a podcast (on a state network at that) that’s supposed to be entertaining, but at least someone could have mentioned it.

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Yeah. I didn’t think of it as an academic exploration, but it did point out some interesting aspects of how (and perhaps why) people look at the shift from free to paid.

Grist for the mill.