even fools like new technology!

Hokay, so: I was just in the middle of posting a comment to gnugnu's last entry, but my internet decided to do what internet does best and mysteriously refreshed itself, thus deleting my comment. So I decided to post it as a blog entry instead, because it does in fact relate to the reading.

In some sense, I don't agree that recognizing you're the subject of an ad campaign makes you a huge fool-- couldn't it imply a better awareness of our surrounding "culture industry" to know that we are constantly bombarded with ads from all directions? "Banner blindness" is apparently a big obstacle for advertisers who have to constantly innovate in order to fool us unwittingly (and ironically enough actual website producers have to take care too as their users don't read their stuff if it's in the wrong spot). I'm constantly "navigating the web," ignoring bullseye games and stupid trivia questions, but if I'm ever actually fooled by the advertising I feel stupid. I'd much rather "generously let myself be fooled."

To allow this, however, calls for some seriously cool innovation, and I think that's what Manovich is getting at when he talks about the difference between "professional" and "user" technology in chapter 3:

As "professional" technology becomes accessible to amateurs, new media professionals create new standards, formats, and design expectations to maintain their status.

Here is an example of something that would be worth trying out (but not worth buying the phone over), even if it is an ad campaign: users with certain kinds of cellphones that are bluetooth enabled will be able to draw graffiti on these Bluetooth Citylights LCD screens located throughout major cities. Advertising, yes. But if I'm totally aware that I'm being enticed to create "user-generated art" that will nontheless contribute to corporate advertising, what's the harm in appreciating it purely as a good creative concept?

We seem to disagree only about what exactly it means to be "fooled" by an advertisement. I equate being fooled by an advertisement with believing its message, which to me is a necessary consequence of believing, if temporarily, in the world created by the ad.

I of course agree with you that we ought to recognize the fact that we're the subjects of ad campaigns. My hope is that, once we do recognize that, we will no longer allow ourselves to be fooled by them; that is, we will no longer allow ourselves to be taken in by the illusion that we will become happier people if we simply drink Sprite. What's scary to me about the idea of people "generously letting themselves be fooled" is that they HAVE recognized the fiction of the ad - that is, they are aware that it's an ad campaign and an illusion - and yet they STILL allow themselves to be taken in by it! They know, on some level, that they won't become happier through drinking Sprite, but they drink Sprite anyway! What, then, of my hope?