Does Advertising Ruin Everything?

I can’t quite recall the context, but I’ll never forget the following line delivered by my father: “I understand that I got this for free, but somehow I feel ripped off!”

In his new book Tim Wu addresses the current omnipresence of advertising and charts out just how we got here. Here’s the opening paragraph to his interesting discussion with The Atlantic’s Derek Thompson:

“Harvesting was perhaps the original U.S. industrial activity. Economic growth relied on the reliable conversion of plants and animals into salable products, like cotton and beef. But the 21st century’s most successful industrialists, like Facebook and Google, harvest another commodity as abundant as wheat or crude oil. In the new industry, the fields are media and entertainment, the harvesters are advertisers, and the crop is attention.”

LINK: Does Advertising Ruin Everything?