There's no such thing as free lunch.

But that's not what we're told. Facebook is free. Youtube is free. Radio is free.

Of course, in truth, these things aren't free, they're free*.

*A cost which is obfuscated from your visibility and/or abstracted to a degree where you are not directly trading currency for it.

Whether this is good or bad is less interesting than asking, "is this avoidable?" The bedrock of media for as long as it's existed has been advertising (advertising was the purpose for the television, not the other way around).

Maybe advertising is the required cost distribution mechanism to get otherwise expensive technologies to the masses. But maybe it's not.
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