Carl Bialik from WSJ writes "'Sure, the Internet has revolutionized the spread of information and all that high-minded stuff, but its combination of reach and anonymity also makes it the greatest enabler of guilty pleasures ever invented,' Jason Fry writes in the Wall Street Journal. 'Indulgence is just a click away, and nobody needs to know, except you and some server somewhere.' For example: Fry, a rock snob, has a double secret life as a pop-music fan (secret no more, of course). From the article: 'If your secret love of "Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy)" has caused it to creep into your iTunes list of 25 most-played songs, a simple right-click will let you reset the play count. If you want to hear Fall Out Boy, but would rather do so in secret, you can command Last.fm to ignore that the song was played — or delete it from your charts if you forget. Viewed from the standpoint of cool logic, this behavior is at least mildly insane. But who needs things that remind us of who we really are, as opposed to how we want others to see us — or how we'd like to see ourselves?'"
Advertising is a valuable economic factor because it is the cheapest
way of selling goods, particularly if the goods are worthless.
-- Sinclair Lewis