first I see this article on the pervasive…

first, I see this article on the pervasive effects of Walmart in the city and, a commentor had told the writer to not be so blatant about his own “biases”, and mocked at the fact that his google adsense (content-specific text advertising) was showing ADS of Walmart. Indeed, next to the article criticizing Walmart, google picked up the keyword “Walmart”, and you can see a discount ticket offer for Walmart, getting jobs at Walmart, Walmart Store finder, Clearance, and so forth.

then, I use gmail to send an email about our Freedom Movements class, and as I revise the email, this is the gmail ads that shows to the right:

Sponsored Links

Chaos Theory
The God Dimensions discusses the Chaos Theory and its connection

B’ham Civil Rights Museum
Info on the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. Alabama Tourism Bureau.

Beyond Tolerance
Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision for overcoming racism in America

more sponsored links »
Related Pages
Pastor cites importance of church in lives of blacks
Durham Herald Sun – 7 hours ago
BY PAUL BONNER : The Herald-Sun. DURHAM — Blacks’ quest for freedom …

A win for Robinson
Newsday – 5 hours ago
Before the Supreme Court desegregated public schools, before …

Identity Politics
History of the political activity and theorizing founded in the …

The CLR James Institute: William Gorman: WEB Du Bois and His Work
This is a remarkable document by William Gorman, whom C.L.R. James …

and I’m like, oh shit.







5 responses to “first I see this article on the pervasive…”

  1. HappyCow

    Heh, skaree google I guess… It sounds like the rumor (or maybe it’s a fact) that outside people/robots being able to search gmail inbox is true… (i shouldn’t be posting comments in the middle of the class… hope my VLSI prof isn’t too mad at me…)

    Sure, I can look up korean-american newspaper stuff and let you know what I find. Do you subscribe to “Korean American” magazine thingy by the way? I do, but I never read them. =P

    CERRITOS! REALLY? Where/why were you there? Wow, that’s really exciting!!! I was not in cerritos for most of the summer of 2001 though – had to attend this nerdy science camp for two months… =T But yeah! That’s exciting (and weird)! =D

  2. HappyCow

    Oh, well, the main reason why I wanted to leave a comment was because I wanted to say Walmart isn’t all that bad. =P They gave my Habitat for Humanity project $1000 to help us out with building a house in Florida. Now, I know that’s nothing compared to what Walmart has done to others, but I thought I should still give them a benefit of doubt? All corps are corrupted. (maybe that’s too strong of a statement…)

  3. RE: google and privacy
    no, you don’t need “robots” to search your mail. this is called targeted advertising. gmail will look for “keywords” inside your email content whenever you open your gmail, and it will match it with another database of keywords provided by advertisers who are paying google. so, if the keyword “drinking” is included in the text string of the email, google will display pepsi, coke, etc in the ads, heck I don’t know, whoever pays google most for the keyword “drinking”. if “horny” is in the textstring (so it’s some hot exchange between two young high school students), google will show you condom advertisiments. if “iraq” is in the textstring, google may show you the latest news (depending on whether they paid google or not, again)

    google calls this contextual advertising. more at

    what I found so astonishing, though, is that words like “freedom movements” “Cedric Robinson” and “George Frederickson” are keywords in google’s adsense system. second thing is, is the kind of sites that paid google to have their sites listed. it’s all sites trying to reap benefit by talking about race, not actually trying to contribute anything to current discussions on race and racism. get this: there are three sites about religion that just kind of prop in negroes as a token to talk about religion (and I need to be a bit specific on this. If you read the taglines, they say “religion is important for African-Americans”. Now get this: they never say “African-Americans are important to the church” (despite the large percentage of blacks who are christians in the U.S. and constitute an important income for the church), there’s a site from the AL state TOURISM bureau, a philosophy site from the superconservative Stanford. The only advertiser which I cannot locate yet is the C.L.R. James Institute, which claims to be affiliated with Cyril Lionel Robert James

    RE: VLSI.. hmm.. I didn’t know undergraduate engineering students played with semiconductors and stuff. this is a frightening world. I could tell you where I am writing this from, but that might get me into trouble.

    RE: Korean American Magazine. Yes, we have them at school. I just picked up a copy yesterday, though. Before, I was embarrassed of reading the magazine, although I read the Korean Quarterly (printed in Chicago), which has more text and less glossy pictures, and thus looks less cheap. the magazine Korean American is a tough thing to look at, though. Too many women in scanty clothes telling you to buy cigarettes and Reeboks.

    RE: Walmart. I know, like the Puebla guy whose high school in the reservations got this huge grant to build a soccer field, from Coke. Look, if I kill some dozen folks in a random third world country, and in the process make some dough (let’s say I killed some unionists and so the workers weren’t able to claim fair wages in an organized manner) – some $1,000,000 dollars in marginal surplus, I sure won’t mind giving some $5,000 to the Peace Corps so that they go to Colombia and clean up the mess (and get some job experience too + feel good about themselves, “helping the people down there” with the support of Coke), some $3,000 to Habitat for Humanity so that they help poor folks inside the United States and at the same time spread the word about how good our company is, and some $50,000 to an AIDS research company in which we have invested stocks, that’s not a bad deal. I wouldn’t think twice, I do it right away. You invest some money, hire some killers, earn $1,000,000, disburse $58,000, and leave $942,000 in profit for my stock shareholders. Additionally, people praise the company for its good intentions, the company brand is improved, and the market value of the pharmaceutical research company rises.

    The important thing though, is to make sure that those who receive benefits are people in positions of power/influence who have a voice (e.g. college students in the U.S., who can write on the internet, give a call to the local newspapers, etc) and those who are exploited are people in positions where they cannot speak, or if they can, their voices are so politicized that people will doubt their claims (e.g. middle school kids in Caracas, whose parents were killed by Walmart, but haven’t learned how to write because the school system is misdesigned. If they ever get to be heard, listeners question their credibility because their direct interests – your parents – are involved.). It’s very important to not mix up these two groups when you deal with people as a corporation. If they can speak and are heard, treat them well, give them small props. If they cannot speak/are not heard, make sure you squeeze some surplus from them, because it’s hard times in the world economy and productivity cannot be raised by additional structural adjustment, and outsourcing has its inherent physical limits. That’s really smart. Definitely recommended.

    RE: Cerritos. I was at my uncle’s trying to catch up some english before heading to college. I mostly bused around and watched movies. Got a library card at the Artesia library, I still keep it. I went to this korean/vietnamese church, but can’t remember the name.

  4. HappyCow

    Wow, what a response. =O

    I didn’t know Stanford was superconservative. =) I think that subtle difference between African American is important for church and church is important to African American is so critical. Hmmm… have you ever seen a video called “Colors of Fear”?

    I don’t subscribe to the Korean American magazine either. I attended Korean American Student Conference last year, and I got a complementary 1-year subscription from them. Never actually read them through even once, so I don’t know how many sketchy ads show up in that magazine…

    Walmart. I liked your “position to benefit AND voice out opinion” and “position to get hurt AND powerless to speak” group identification. =) I don’t know – I never heard anything bad about Walmart until we received $1000 from them – people started telling me all kinds of bad things Walmart has done. Sort of ironic, eh?

    Sort of tempted to take second-to-the-last paragraph and cite it on my xanga since, hehe, it’s such a good advice! =)

    I better put the stop to my near-40-hours non-sleeping marathon and crash.

  5. i want to see that video. have a good night’s rest.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *