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November - A Full Year of Digital Brainwashing



November starts with my keyboard, having two F's. Since I destroyed more keys. Someone is working hard, I can tell. I released the balance of democracy video out. It took so long, but I like it. It gives an unusual perspective arguing that democracy works. Of course, I'm not too fond of some of the results, for example Brexit, but I can clearly see how it represents people. You see that the thing is going a bit crazy as I let GoPro Max to get in my head. I walk to work on day and got all sorts of useful footage.


WTF!


Then there was the elections video that I consider kind of a masterpiece. Again because of opinion. As you can see here the vaccine gets announced. A day to celebrate. Not only the context of COVID but also all the other diseases that mRNA vaccines are going to treat. At the same time New York was getting cold. At the same time, New York was getting cold and the shop owners started investing in super-advanced outdoor dining infrastructure. Why would they do that? It turns out that they knew what they were doing very well since about half a month later indoor dining got banned. And then we get to this Lego "Lost Connections" video. This video took endless hours to create. Some people love it and some hate it. I love the content. The videography is kind of terrible but you can see there's been so much effort in it.


It also made me appreciate so much all those early Lucas Films and Steven Spielberg movies. I was always watching them decades later and I was like, hmmm, what's the big deal about it? But seeing how much effort it takes to make anything with the limited technology available makes me so much appreciate what I watch now. I have to tell you that making videos makes me appreciate cinema so much more. Twenty Second with Facebook confirmations. I will get on that but let's move on for now. At about the same time we were shooting the Architectural Kata videos. But more on that in December. Some more videos and one wikipedia post on satisficing? What was I talking about? The fact is that in the 14th of November we rent a car and we're driving in some areas around Brooklyn. Looking at houses. We have never done that before but why not?


About a week later, we went to see the same one from the inside. It was satisficing. It checked all the boxes. It wasn't optimum. We haven't been looking for months. We didn't really know what we were doing. But we made an offer and took it off the market. Back to those Facebook Warnings. As you can clearly understand by now creating videos takes an unbelievable amount of time. We're talking days of full-time work. When you create a video, you would like people to see it, right? You might imagine that if I post it on YouTube or Facebook and it's good, it will go viral or something. Well, nothing could be further from the truth. The reality is that you get to spend 20 hours working on a video, post it, get three likes from your friend, two people bitch and one day later it's like nothing happened.


I know how the internet works and I know that this stage of struggle is temporary until you have something like a track record. But the fact is that at this stage, if you want to keep your video visible for more than a day or two you have to pay. You have to advertise. All these videos that I created this month and I guess everything I ever post, since I don't talk about cats and dogs, can be classified as social issues. My and everyone's videos are classified by basic algorithms that can't distinguish between what I say and the political campaign. As a result both Facebook and YouTube blocked me from advertising those videos. This means that I spent all that time and my friends didn't even really see them, which was very painful and sad. Because they're good ones. Facebook got me through a tedious process of proving my address.


They had me renew my driving license. Sent me a letter in my address. And then they showed me a quiz with irrelevant questions. After these, they made me go to a notary. At that point, several weeks later, they re-enabled me. Now, you have to understand that a) Facebook 100% knows exactly where I live and b) they could have told me to go directly to a notary which took just a few hours instead of doing all these show. They were trying to delay me until the elections were over. I don't care, but I guess other people would care. The fact is that this year you spent all your time online. You watched so many advertisements. It's beyond belief! They even put now two advertisements in the same slot on YouTube. It's ridiculous. Almost everything I bought in 2020 was because of advertisements. Hunting me from one website to the other.


As soon as I hinted I might belong to the well known junkie categories like musical instruments or videography my walls got full of shiny perfect irresistible advertisements of on-like courses and gear. Now you might say, didn't you say that buying stuff is good. Of course it's good. Of course it helped, but I tried hard to buy only as much as I did. More specifically I've put in my habit tracker days I bought nothing. I'm trying to have as many such days as possible within a week. I'm not talking about small things like water. I'm talking about online spending mainly. I'm also a big fan of Dan Ariely. The guy who wrote predictably irrational. I even bought his game. I saw it in an advertisement. In Facebook! So what I have done based on the ideas from his predictably irrational book was to delay decisions based on how expensive they were.


For days I was painting the things I'm going to buy and how they will connect to other things. Researching them, you know, killing time. Now I have no illusions that this was making me to do rational choices. Especially since the same products kept being advertised to me so much that I had to click stop showing me this ad because I bought it so that Facebook will show me something else. By this process though I slowed down my rate of buying. A lot like three times slower till the pandemic passes. Our brain can obsess only over one or two things at the time. But it's hard for me to obsess over my second camera while I don't have the first one. So slowing down the purchase of my first camera meant that I would buy the second camera even later. Slower spending. Till COVID is over. This way I was also enjoying buying more. You know. A little anticipation.


So this is something I bought for my little home studio here. And I actually decided to buy it and then waited for 15 days. And now I don't open it until this video series is over. So I can't wait this series to finish so I can open it and show it to you. And yeah, this shows how much commitment and discipline you have to build with small steps every day in order to not spend like crazy these times.


But I'm afraid that because I was doing online marketing a decade ago I'm likely way more aware about those things than most people. I'm afraid that more vulnerable people must have been devastated by overspending anxieties and addictions after a full year of digital brainwashing. I would expect mama Zuckerberg and mama Larry Page to pull their ears and say. Stop it! Last year all those people had alternatives. They could close their computers and go find their friends. This is not the year to make record profits. This is not the year to show more advertisements. Even though you can. Stop it! This year, just serve people. Maybe they did. It could have been much worse. That was November. Videos, houses and a full year of digital brainwashing.


Thanks for watching.


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