This is pretty amazing — "Google killed 2.3 billion ‘bad ads’ in 2018, down 28% from 2017". I'm thinking the sheer number and complexity involves to make detection, and to take action against these 2.3 billion bad Ads. This is an absolute tech challenge, not to mention the principle that drives such intention, and the willingness to put down something like this to cleanse oneself.

    I know Google has always had the Don't be evil motto, which I found quite impressive when first heard of it. This is hard. I mean, this is an ambiguous term — what is evil? who be the judge? and what should you do about it? Google's number revenue is still its Ads, and yet this 2.3B bad ads are not just noises, but toxics that will pollute the market, and thus killing its cash source. So you could argue that Google has every incentive to take this action.

    But this faces the exact same question raised — who determines good or bad? and if we take it into the free-market argument, wouldn't the free market force distill these bad guys because they will not get enough business, and will then be phased out? Apparently, the Internet, or the Google's Ad market, is telling us otherwise → the free market force is not sufficient to self regulate its own health ← it simply can not keep up with the number of bad guys who are equally creative and smart, and have stronger motivation to game the system for advantage. The only defense is an arms race — that by putting a clear policy upfront as requirement to participate in this market, and an efficient police force to monitor and rule out violations.

    We used to scold these 城管 because they have absolute power over under-powered street peddlers, and as Acton said, "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutly", this is inevitable. However, it is unclear either alternative is a better picture. We are assuming street peddlers are morally sounder than these 城管 due to their weakness. Of course, this is not true — an averaged distribution of demographics is more likely to be true than false among these population, or any group, if no other data to back it up. Further, even if this is true, it says nothing about the shift of such high moral standard once they are granted w/ more power! As a matter of fact, history has proven too many times that what corrupts a person is exact the transition from a low position to a high position.

    So, what other options? Police force? I hate this idea, but this logic seems to be the conclusion we are drawing ← if you can't discipline yourself, then an external force must be introduced. Call it police, or whatever you want, but that doesn't change the nature of this force, nor why it was introduced at first place.

    Then, what about this force now being granted with absolute power? Isn't it the 城管 we just mentioned? or an authoritarian regime? I mean, it can take many forms, but ingredient maintains. I don't think I will like that at all. I don't think this is even the debate of democracy vs. non-democracy. This is a paradox of how to main order.

    We all agree we want to maintain order. I just argued that we can't self-discipline sufficiently to avoid a police force. I'm worried police force gains absolute power. Then what? A police of a police? then another layer on top? and on and on and on.

    I really should read Alice in Wonderland. Now everywhere I turn, every topic I write, seems to be an analogy of an endless rabbit hole. Maybe it's my analytical thinking is the problem — just too dumb to figure it out, but too smart to be content with ignorance.

    It's the dilemma of me — caught in between, not alive, not dead.

    — by Feng Xia


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