U2 and Augmented Spam


Many recently discovered a near UN-delete-able version of U2’s latest album, to have been downloaded on to their mobile devices; Yahoo story here. The issues of the unwanted spam in the “purchased” section of nearly a billion iTunes users globally, is a rather frightening question of the future of spam & advertising. Now, if you are familiar with the Zeitgeist Movement, then you may already understand how most advertising for profit agencies would be obsolete in a future based on a Natural Law Resource Based Economic model. Thanks to modern inventions like the #hashtag & search engines, which already allow for compilations of data to be sorted in the twinkling of an eye & about nearly any subject one could hope to understand, maybe it’s about time we consider the relevance, of advertising all together? While the gaining of profit is still in the plans for U2 & it’s albums distributors, this marketing ploy seems to have backfired in winning the hearts and minds of the ever growing & rightfully louder group of people who believe in something as simple, as asking consent. However U2 & iTunes obviously must seem to think it’s easier to ask for forgiveness, then permission, ….. oh, that’s right, you gave them permission when you signed their agreement to download & access their service. With a click or lack there of, permissions were given some time ago, but that, is in the small print somewhere around the middle or bottom of you likely unread licensing agreement.

Now, not to hop on the slippery slope of fallacy, but let us project the ramifications of this into our near future, say a future where the Zeitgeist Movements ideals are not lived up too? While in my old age, it will be nice to have an app that can control the tiny(cell sized) robots that can dig out the McPlaque built up from the 20th century from ones arteries & augmented reality projections of art displayed into my brains sight centers as one actually looks at a empty space on a living room wall; one must also see, all around it, tiny spam-vertizments in it’s boarder. You can just turn them off, for a fee, but if not, the otherwise free services of our digital future may have some undesirable images pumped into our minds, with out our permission. Now that may be no different then today. One can hardly leave one’s home without seeing a sign or billboard some advertiser has paid for on the side of the roads we travel down. However, when augmented reality has the power to fill up every last area of “free space” in our view with an ad about the latest shoe, show, or service; we may wish we had read the licensing agreements better, after ever hearing about Blippar or Pepsi merging with Apple & U2 to force a concert into our minds eye view, while we’re trying to attend our grandchild’s recital. But don’t, worry you’ll be able to fade the shows opaqueness into the background, so it’ll only be the ghostly image & reduced sound pumped into your head, of a 90+ year old Bono screeching out his show over top of little Johnny’s play. This is the future of advertising & spam, if we do not address these concerns at the earliest stages of their technological implementation.

Personally, I’d rather go a different route, maybe instead we stop this vain-glorious desire of stardom, fame & fortune? Use our technologies to save a piece of graffiti or mural & then swipe it to the viewer, & let another artist wander by & use the canvas for something else unique. When done, all the masterpieces could then be rotated through, showing off how various people used the space. We could let technology raise our conscience to greater levels of creativity, like using augmented reality technology for jokes like imprinting “Bruce Wayne is Batman” shining on to a cloud, maybe a heart on the moon during a proposal, or we could see spam there, like the Nike Swoosh?

The choice, I leave to you?

The best way to predict your future is to create it’ – attributed to many.


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