Who makes the decisions in your life?

Lately mariner has been writing about truth – aka reality – especially as it applies to an environment of disbursed information not relative to local reality. Another form of truth-stealing is mariner’s old favorite, the search engines – everything from Alexi to Google to Amazon to Facebook. Mariner often has lamented the warping of reality such that we don’t control our own reality – the engines tell us what to think and even who we are or supposed to be. Fortunately, there are some government people that are taking on this world of subliminal trickery. Below is the beginning of an article published by Protocol, a tech newsletter:


The FTC is going after dark patterns. That’s bad news for Amazon Prime.

Companies’ favorite tactics for locking in subscribers are under scrutiny by government enforcers, and it could spell trouble for tech giants like Amazon that have huge numbers of customers paying up every month.

Dark patterns are design decisions or settings that nudge — or, sometimes, shove — consumers toward actions that companies want, even if customers don’t. These can include pre-checked permission boxes, autoplay, hidden fees, unexpected shifts in pricing and time-consuming processes for canceling recurring payments. Subscriptions are a fertile ground for dark patterns, and as tech goes all in on recurring payments, the nudges are popping up everywhere, from video games, streaming and travel sites to ecommerce and even financial products.

Enforcers, especially at the FTC, are concerned about dark patterns generally — and specifically, that these tricks undermine consumers’ ability to make their own choices and may run afoul of legal prohibitions on unfair or deceptive practices. [See complete article at:]


One quick example the reader may recognize. When you fill out credit data and mailing information, how many times has the reader overlooked that insignificantly placed little box with a checkmark already in it that says, “Send me information on sales and account opportunities” and failed to remove the checkmark? How many unsolicited email entries does the reader have to delete because of this one unwanted manipulation?

By the way, if the reader wants a refresher about how the web manipulates their thoughts, watch

https://www.pbshawaii.org/hacking-your-mind/  and

https://watchdocumentaries.com/the-social-dilemma/  (also on Netflix)

Ancient Mariner

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