childeric: (Default)
[personal profile] childeric
Gmail 'targeted' ads are really anything but. They're a sort of reverse Royal Canadian Mounted Police: they almost never get their man. As a good No2ID member I should be being pleased, I suppose, at this utter abysmal failure of the burgeoning surveillance society, but mostly it makes me wonder exactly what it is that I've been saying in my emails that leads Google to imagine I'm in need of a product to prevent my urinating in the wetsuit I don't actually have. Apparently the device in question is a belt for warming the kidneys of surfers, so at least it's something fairly funky and youthful and it isn't just Google saying that the sort of nonsense I spout with such superlatively disinterested largesse in my emails is symptomatic of a more general micturatory weakness or anything. Still, I can't help but feel mildly aggrieved and as though I need to do something to prove somehow to the world in general that I Don't And Never Have Peed In My Wetsuit. Really, I don't. Or am I insisting on this too much now?

Talking of nefarious unknowns snooping on me, I was horrified, horrified yesterday to plumb the deplorable depths of my character and learn an awful truth about myself, namely that when I received a mailshot from Liberty in with my copy of this week's Private Eye, my first Pavlovian knee-jerk thought wasn't 'Ah yes, the splendid work that they have done in resisting the encroachments of an over-mighty state.' but actually turned out to be 'Cor, that Shami Chakrabarti is totally a bit of top-quality totty. It always brightens up whatever deathly dull item Channel Four News is going on about when they drag her on'. And that's my heavyweight, not-remotely-dumbed-down take on the threat to civil liberties, kids: my Politically Concerned super-ego has just packed up and gone home and it's id all the way down. Still, she really is a babe, isn't she? Intelligent, witty, committed and kinda foxy, too. Jon Snow always looks very pleased when she's on, and you can quite see why. You do wonder just how ahem liberal she might turn out to be, although maybe that's just me.

Anyway, enough of my goatish horridness: what this post is actually about is something that's only going to be remotely meaningful to about five people reading, namely Kalamazoo. From the programme sitting plumply on my desk I discover that my paper is consigned to a somewhat graveyard slot at 8.30 on Sunday morning somewhere completely unfashionable like Fetzer. Argh, the morning after the dance! I've scarcely made it to any Sunday 8.30s ever in all the time that I've been going to Kalamazoo, let alone actually been capable of coherent speech. I very much hope such audience as I have will be zombified too, or at the very least kind-hearted and forgiving. Anyway, I'm curious as to whom I should expect to see there, and when you're all on, so for that purpose there is a poll
[Poll #1368092]

Date: 2009-03-19 12:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Could be worse; when you mentioned getting a mailshot from Liberty, I was thinking Morris wallpaper.

Date: 2009-03-19 01:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
They should co-ordinate their campaigns: Our Curtains are Guaranteed to Prevent CC Surveillance! Although I'm not sure that the sort of person who shops at Libertys needs all that much protection from the establishment...

Date: 2009-03-19 02:20 pm (UTC)
ext_155698: clean girl (Default)
From: [identity profile]
I had the same immediate thought as Hester... you are such a Libertyesque chap, after all. (No, not Liberty X, Libertyesque.) I bet you have at least one Liberty handkerchief tucked away in a drawer somewhere...

I am constantly being spammed by Liberty and Fortnum and Mason. They send out the poshest spam on earth but sadly it is no more useful or life enhancing than being offered devices to avoid weeing one's wetsuit.

Date: 2009-03-19 12:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
my first Pavlovian knee-jerk thought... 'Cor, that Shami Chakrabarti is totally a bit of top-quality totty..''

I'm imagining Pavlov patiently offering you pictures of different newsreaders and feeding you when you drool.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That doesn't sound that bad a life, really. And people complain about the treatment of lab animals...

Date: 2009-03-19 03:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You'd start salivating at the sound of the bongs.

Date: 2009-03-19 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I haven't got my program yet (you'll have to ask Lisa about that one!), but did notice your panel, and unless there's something about Carolingian monasteries across from it, I was planning on dragging myself to your panel!

Date: 2009-03-19 02:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Hooray! Actually, our audience shouldn't be so bad, as it's quite an interesting and popular subject.

I'm sure I'll be along for your blogs session: I seem to know rather a lot of people who are involved!

Date: 2009-03-19 12:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've always been under the impression that one should pee in one's wetsuit because it's the quickest and easiest way to warm up. *shrug*.

I am mighty curious about which keywords prompted that advert, though! Beguiling...

Date: 2009-03-19 01:50 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've always been under the impression that one should pee in one's wetsuit because it's the quickest and easiest way to warm up.

Noooo -- bad move human. As any fule kno, transferring heat from inside your body to outside your body in the hopes of warming up is a very short term strategy.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Devon. That's what it must have been. We mentioned Devon. How disappointingly prosaic.

Date: 2009-03-19 01:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You may not have peed in your wetsuit but you have considered peeing out of your letterbox.

Date: 2009-03-19 01:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have, yes, but that was under special and somewhat constrained circumstances and not at all the sort of thing I normally do. I'm sure that Google can't have got wind of it unless their spies really are everywhere. To them, I'm sure I seem perfectly nice and respectable and not at all the sort for unorthodox urinary activity.

Date: 2009-03-19 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Goddamn, of course, the comment notifications! Whatever will Google think of me now?!

Date: 2009-03-19 09:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's assuming they haven't captured the event on streetmap already.

Date: 2009-03-19 01:15 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Maybe GMail mistook you for [ profile] steer? Or, to up the paranoia, had noted from the number of times he appears in your inbox and decided to share some of his targeted advertising, due to the possibility that you shared interests?

Good photo, by the way. [grin] \m/ Rawk!

Date: 2009-03-19 01:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Excuse me -- I'm sensible enough to know that peeing in my wetsuit is a very dumb solution to the problem of being too cold. Transferring heat from inside your body to outside your body in order to be warmer is short termism in the extreme. Scuba divers are too bright and we only pee in our wetsuits from laziness not for warmth.

Date: 2009-03-19 01:48 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Heh - I hadn't hazarded a guess as to why you would pee into your wetsuit ... [grin]

Date: 2009-03-19 01:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
But the advert mentioned was for a kidney warming device.

Never pee in your wetsuit to keep warm.

Advice for life there.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, it's pretty good, isn't it? I seem to recall that at the time they were playing 'Back in Black' or something off that album anyway.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm going to hazzard a guess that it was mails from Steer (possibly LJ update messages?) talking about scuba diving that made it appear.

Bear in mind that the advertisers almost certainly choose the keywords they want to associate with, and if I were selling an anit-pee in your wetsuit device I'd probably do a keyword search for 'scuba' and associated phrases.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, if it had been a conversation with Steer that would have been fair enough, but actually I was talking to Fiona. I think it must be that she mentioned Devon somewhere in the thread; at least, that's the only convincing link that I can find.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Does Google only match based on the current conversation? I was under the impression it kept an index of everything you've talked about, hence I was thinking that if you had previously had steer flavoured scube messages it may be linking to you now?

As I read my GMail via Pop, I never get to have all this entertainment!

Date: 2009-03-19 02:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Ah, it probably does. I think it is quite targeted on the current conversation, as I've seen the ads really change on a given thread according to ways in which discussion has gone. But yes, it probably does have some overall ideas of what I am accustomed to talking about.

Date: 2009-03-19 01:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You need Richard there for a really special dance.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I like watching [ profile] steer dance. He always does that head-rolling-back mad chortle thing when he's really enjoying it, which is just great. But I don't think he'd be persuaded to a conference full of medievalists just on the strength that they might play one or two NIN songs at the dance.

Date: 2009-03-19 01:34 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
My goodness boy, you need to sit in a pool of your own urine in a wetsuit to punish yourself for that thought!

Maybe they've got you muddled with [ profile] steer and [ profile] minusbat with the wetsuited sex doll?

Date: 2009-03-19 01:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Stella has never peed in my wetsuit.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've just had a remarkably scary image go through my head. Shudders...:o

Date: 2009-03-19 02:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Aw, never mind. It doesn't mean she doesn't love you, just that she's not prepared to move to that stage yet. Maybe you could work up to it.

Date: 2009-03-19 05:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
There is an ommission on that sentence which is concerning me...

Date: 2009-03-19 08:59 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Oh don't worry, I'm pretty sure she's not peed in anyone's wetsuit.

Date: 2009-03-19 01:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
That's a fairly normal reaction to Shami Chakrabarti, I believe. Hot campaigning lawyer chicks rule. Insert joke about 'briefs' and 'bars' here.

Date: 2009-03-19 02:02 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yes, she's yummy. *fanboy*

Date: 2009-03-19 02:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I should add a ;) to my answer to the second question, though. You're famous! Or famous to the select group that attend these conferences. Famous, at any rate...

Date: 2009-03-19 03:26 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think I understood maybe every third sentence of this post... Possibly. But it all seems dreadfully important.

Date: 2009-03-19 03:36 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
The summary version goes something like this:

I'm somewhat lecherous but I object to people assuming that I pee in wetsuits. Also, I'm going to America in May, where I shall probably dance like a lunatic amongst a lot of bemused academics.

Date: 2009-03-19 04:56 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Honestly, I think peeing in your wetsuit is GREAT FUN. One summer I had a job where one of the things we had to do was don wetsuits and paddle about in lakes and rivers all over Southern British Columbia, looking for freshwater mussels. Our wetsuits were none too easy to take on and off, especially when you were freezing cold and had a full bladder. One day two of us were tired of holding it and both peed in our wetsuits. We giggled like crazy about it, and then felt pleasantly warm.

Date: 2009-03-19 05:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I feel like such an inhibited prude now! I had no idea that peeing in your wetsuit was so routine, but that's very much the conclusion from what several people have said. Next thing I'll be getting envious and wanting a slice of that action for myself. ;)

Date: 2009-03-19 05:22 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I know plenty of people who swear that one is supposed to pee in one's wetsuit, because the liquid is not just warm when excreted, but also it stays pretty warm and helps the wetsuit do its job better.

Date: 2009-03-19 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
You don't even have a wetsuit!

Date: 2009-03-19 06:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Exactly! Makes it all the more unfair that they jumped to conclusions like that!

Date: 2009-03-19 07:24 pm (UTC)
ext_267: Photo of DougS, who has a round face with thinning hair and a short beard (Default)
From: [identity profile]
Totally agree with you on the Shami Chakrabarti issue.

Date: 2009-03-19 10:39 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Unrelated to the wetsuit peeing issue, but I don't quite get the whole "I don't want targetted ads" thing. I mean, I would far rather have an ad for something I might care about, than for something utterly random. Unless it's amusing, like peeing in your wetsuit.

Date: 2009-03-19 11:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Is it so much the concept of targeted ads to which people are objecting and not more the massive data collection and storage which Google et al are doing in order to target them?

Date: 2009-03-20 12:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Perhaps. I used to object, but now I figure, if that means I get loads of cool free stuff (see: just about every free, ad-funded, web service), I can live with it.

Date: 2009-03-20 12:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
8.30 on Sunday morning

Oh no!! Bad luck :( I've done that slot before and I wondered if I'd pissed off a member of the organising committee or not, or if my session organiser had...


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