Everything in life is a value exchange whether you see it or not. Would you start a moving company that moved people regardless of whether they paid or not? Of course you wouldn't. Information and functionality isn't free it takes time to compile and create, it takes money to deliver it to you.
I see alot of "The web was so much better comments" here and on the post that instigated this.
Do any of you actually remember the web in the mid-90s? I'm guessing most of you are younguns living in an idealism hidden in the haze of a hormonal youth.
Do you remember that it took less time to go to the library and find information there than search using the primitive internet indexes that were around at the time?
Do you remember the horrid experiences when you finally found the website you were looking for and half the information was missing and the other half was linked in at a page that was actually a picture of a construction worker digging, because it was under construction?
Do you remember server crashes? Our favorite sites being down for weeks rather than minutes? How about email that had latency in the range of hours or days?
Make no mistake, money makes things better. It allows people to invest in infrastructure and invest in people who are specialists in fields like user experience, data structure, and design. Money is why we can, for no more than the cost of your internet connection, interact with someone accross the world in hundreds of ways, instantly.
I will never block ads, and just because you can doesn't make it right. If I disagree with or dislike the method of advertising delivery I will simply not visit the site. Just because I don't like a site's implied contract doesn't make it right for me to steal from them. I don't like airport security, nor do I like the way we are treated once on an airplane any more, yet it doesn't make me feel like I have the right to barge onto a plane and fly for free.
Those of you blocking ads and complaining, grow up, realize that people need to be able to eat and that every business person is not a millionaire. Most business people are just like you, struggling to survive and trying to find a way to give their customers the things they want at the lowest price possilble, and when a site is ad supported that price is free, the least you can do is leave the ads in place.