Why are ads so obviously stupid?

This video reminds me of when people try to get a real, correct answer to a question on social media, they will purposefully add a wrong answer. Or frame the question purposefully wrong. Because if you ask for help, you get snark and jokes. But if you are wrong, people rush to correct you.

Tiktok video explaining that ads are so obviously stupid to empower the viewer into thinking I am smarter than you. Making people feel smart and confident makes them want to buy. You’re being primed to purchase.

If you find yourself getting confident and feeling smart because of what someone has put in front of you seems idiotic, be really careful because that might have been done purposefully. So that when you feel smart, you feel confident and when you feel confident you will make a decision that most likely has been framed by them.

Andy HAvens, Author

If you try to educate people people want to talk to other people, do more research and think about it. But if you present a commercial and the entire time the viewer is saying “I knew that! I knew that! I knew that!” It makes the viewer confident.

And confident people buy.

So if you’re seeing an that you can’t believe how stupid it is, i may have been done to make you feel that way. So you buy what they’re selling.

Work and Loyalty

I am an Elder Millennial, born in 1981, and was raised by Baby Boomers. I was raised to value loyalty and putting in work for an employer and being rewarded for it. I learned the value of working my way up through an organization and proving myself to the company. I was taught my loyalty and hard work would be rewarded.

When I graduated high school in 2000, it was immediately off the college. College would give me the tools I needed to get a good job and to be able to provide for myself and my family. I would have a degree, the key to freedom and financial success. I went to college and dutifully got a Bachelors of Science (in Communications, specially Creative Advertising).

I was lucky and privileged enough to leave school without student load debt. Something the same degree today would absolutely not allow me to do. It’s not even worth comparing what an undergraduate degree costs to an in-state resident in Virginia anymore. (Hint: It’s tripled!)

I had that all-important slip of paper that would spell success as an adult. I graduated in 2004, the economy wasn’t great. (When has it ever been?)

Finding work in a creative field, like Advertising, was a pipe dream. So I fell into IT works. I took a job where I spent the next 12 months replacing computers with newer computers. I spent my days in a basement next to a steak house smelling grilled beef and loading Windows XP on to Dell computers for the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.

This was always going to be a temporary job, even with the slight prospect of being hired full-time. Eventually, this contract ended and I was back out on the market looking for more work. Little did I know I had chosen my career path not out of some carefully thought out plan.

I needed work, I was good with computers and enjoyed working on and with them. I needed to pay rent and buy gas and food.

That’s how I chose my career path. Not out of some well-thought-out plan or meetings with advisors or guidance counselors. I needed money to live and I had time and skill I could trade for money. That is all there was to it. Trade time and effort for money.

Real, Adult Jobs

As I got “real, adult jobs” I thought the name of my employers would mean… something. Little did I know that chosen career path in IT meant never really working for the company where I spent 40 hours per week. No, I worked for some other entity. Sometimes nameless and faceless, other times more real, but just still largely anonymous. I thought the names of places where I worked would carry weight. I was excited when I was working at/for Honeywell, GE Lighting and Industrial, Wachovia, and City of Richmond government and later the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Department of Labor (DOL), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and The Atlantic Media Company (home to The Atlantic magazine.) Despite meeting some very interesting people, the names on my resume never mattered for my next role.

Where I worked and who I worked for were two different question. I learned slowly that working for people who never saw you, and unless you did something bad enough to get yourself fired, were never going to know your work. It didn’t matter if you came in and won employee of the week 52 straight weeks, or if you showed up, did barely enough to get by, and do it all again tomorrow.

None of it mattered. Don’t even mention performance reviews or exit interviews. Those were largely tales I was told growing up. I was here one day and gone the next, no exit interviews. For performance, I was expected to. Whether I did or not… well, if I wanted to avoid getting chastised from afar, I should continue to perform. But there was no benefit for good performance, only avoiding poor performance.

The illusion I held in my head about loyalty and working to impress those above me no longer had a place in the world. It took me a long time to learn that lesson. It’s one I wish I had learned sooner.

Loyalty is Dead.

I changed jobs about every 3 years. That has been the amount of time where I feel like I’ve learned absolutely everything I could in a position that was never going to change. The nature of contract IT work is you’re hired to fulfill a certain task. Placed into a box to perform the same set of tasks over and over and over until the end of time. You can only reset a password, troubleshoot Microsoft Office, or remove malware or a virus from a computer so many times before you lose your mind.

So I changed jobs. That’s how I got my raises. I was never going to get one staying where I was. Even if I wanted to be loyal and work hard, there was no reason to continue to do so where I was. The only way to get ahead is to change jobs. Work somewhere else and ask for more money than the last time.

I went looking to compare and despair at the cost of college and when I graduated Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004. According to page 11 of July 2004 State Council of Higher Education for Virginia’s report on Tuition and Fees at Virginia’s State-Supported Colleges & Universities, tuition and mandatory fees in 2004, the year I graduated, were $5,138. According to page 12 of the 2021-2022 version of the this same report, that same cost is now $15,028. This cost is for Full-Time In-State Undergraduate Tuition and All Mandatory Fees.

When I graduated in 2004, I was barely making enough money to live. I don’t think with the costs of the same education is now three times more valuable today to command that price tag. This doesn’t count finding a place to live, food, and expenses of living, all of which have also risen substantially.

The AAA’s survey of gas prices hit a new record of $1.753 a gallon on Tuesday

Gas prices hit another record high – Mar. 30, 2004

Record gas prices of $1.75… As of this writing, they’re hovering right around $3.00 a gallon in Maryland.

People are graduating college today with mountains of debt before they even start out in the world. They’re entering world having paid three times what it cost my for the same four-year degree.

What advice would I give someone entering the working world today?

I don’t know if I would have any advice worth listening to. I don’t have kids. I am married and we have two incomes. Just as I learned the lessons of working in a world that no longer existed, the world I entered work in no longer exists. The cost of college today is astronomical compared to when I graduated for the same degree.

Be a problem solver

It drives me nuts when people at work, who should know better, report problems without an ounce of troubleshooting, or even basic questioning.

What did you try? Anything at all?

Is the server down? Likely not… did you make an attempt to ping it?

You have access to The Cloud.

I’m not asking you to pour over log files but if you’re not able to access the domain name and you can login to the cloud where this server lives… can you connect to it through the console on the web page?

What about error messages? Do you see anything that might lead you to a solution?

“EC2 can’t…” is a pretty good starting point. I don’t need you to understand what it can’t do or why it can’t do it. But some times the answer is in the error message.

If your error message says “Server cant do Thing because of Reason then ask then report that and let the people who can make the Server do the Thing work on it. Because they may be aware of the Reason.

But reporting an error and then floundering is unacceptable for someone in a technical role.

Using Twitter after all the good apps were killed off

I only post to Twitter now using Tweetdeck on a computer. Killing Tweetbot means I no longer look at it on any mobile device (phone/iPad). I took the Twitter Lists I already follow and added them to Readwise’s Reader and read them like I would any other RSS feed.

The value of Twitter (for me) has been the ability to create lists of people for interests I have (Destiny 2 video game, Capitals Hockey, local news accounts). I have a timeline of some accounts but in some ways those aren’t the most important people I follow.

I’ve never used apps that show timelines out of order. I’ve long said that would be the end of Twitter for me if I had to suffer through ads and recommended junk. Twitter is skating very close to that sun. But I’ve been here since 2006 and that’s a weird point of pride.

Tweetdeck, despite being owned by Twitter, has largely been forgotten. It never got the algorithmic timelines, ads, polling, or really any new features in years. Each time I was prompted to reload it because a new version was available I held my breath to see if this was the end of my enjoyment of it. But it’s allowed me to largely ignore everything that drove me from other platforms.

If I have to fight with the timeline to see what Twitter wants me to see, I’m gone.

If my timeline becomes riddled with ads, and ads for absolute garbage, as I’ve seen others share, I’m gone.

Killing off third party Twitter apps, not for the first time, stopped my Twitter usage from mobile devices in a single day. I won’t use the official apps because it forces a non-chronological timeline and tries to recommend people or tweets to follow to drive engagement.

I am as engaged as I want to be and pulling a Facebook and trying to drive outrage will drive me completely off the platform. Twitter is not anything I need in life. But it’s something I’ve grown fond of, despite all of its issues. But when Twitter starts actively being a pain to use, it gets relegated to RSS since the communities I follow are still largely on Twitter because that’s where everyone is.

Maintain your systems or become front page news

The outage on Wednesday morning affected the agency’s antiquated Notice to Air Missions system, known as NOTAM. The 30-year-old system provides advance warnings to pilots and flight crews about hazards such as inclement weather and runway closures.

A Contractor With A Corrupt Software File Brought U.S. Air Travel To A Halt, Per Reports

“The outage on Wednesday morning affected the agency’s antiquated…”

Maintaining IT systems isn’t sexy. It’s not exciting work that’s going to get you promoted or a huge raise. It’s thankless work to keep your business moving.

To make sure that everyday the systems you rely on continue to function. It’s rarely a job you will get noticed for…

Until something goes wrong. Then it’s all your fault.

Systems need to be updated. They need to be modernized and brought into the present. This is going to continue happening. Southwest. FFA. Who will be the next to fall because of decades of neglected maintenance to core systems?