a lot of people my age don't have TV because we realize the value proposition of "wait I pay for your service, and you STILL advertise to me?" is complete horseshit

@chjara I'm in Canada but yes you need to pay for channels

there are some public access channels but the large majority require subscription

@SuricrasiaOnline the few times in the last many years I've been with my grandparents or watching hotel tv or something and there's ads, I have a confused bafflement like "how do y'all even tolerate this."

@starkatt it's incomprehensible. the ads are always louder than the program too

@SuricrasiaOnline @starkatt whenever I visit my parents, they insist on keeping the TV running during dinner. for background noise

often they've got sports on, which means even more ads

@starkatt @SuricrasiaOnline EXTREMELY SAME. I put adblockers on everything I can easily do that to - I keep meaning to do my phone, too.

@lorxus @starkatt @SuricrasiaOnline Same. I already deal with enough abuses from capitalism, incessant harassment trying to get me to buy shit isn't one I'm willing to put up with.

@SuricrasiaOnline same thing basically with newspapers and magazines. :)
They would probably argue that it would cost double if not triple more without ads though.

@FiXato @SuricrasiaOnline

Back in the stone age, when I had a newspaper route, the subscription price basically covered the cost of getting the physical paper to the reader. The adverts were their primary source of income.

(10%-20%+ of the subscription price went to kids on bicycles.)

@SuricrasiaOnline At least back in the day, VHF & UHF channels were over the air free. Some still are, but everyone thinks they need cable.

@mdhughes there's some free digital ones over the air here in ontario. those also have ads iirc

@SuricrasiaOnline @mdhughes depends where you are. Near Toronto there are 30-50 channels - all major US and CA networks - with free HD content (paid for with non-targetted ads), but in other parts of the province there is often only the CBC or nothing.

@SuricrasiaOnline To recycle an old software quip:
TV is free only if your time has no value.

I've plenty of things I want to do. Television would only get in the way of that.

@dredmorbius @SuricrasiaOnline
The best long-form storytelling medium in history, and you think it's "in the way"?

I quit sitting around for cable & broadcast TV 20-ish years ago, but I still get a lot of the best entertainment (and sometimes useful information) from recordings of it.

Why not throw out all art, music, film, sculpture, poetry… You don't *need* any of that. Just a grey cubicle with a little potato farm, a stack of paper, and a box of Bics is enough for anyone, right?

@mdhughes Go read Newt Minnnow's "vast wasteland" and Ed Murrow's "Lights and Wires in a Box".

Follow with doses of Mander Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television and Postman's Amusing Ourself to Death. Epstein's News from Nowhere is dated but still valuable.

Adam Curtis, Chomsky, Herman, and McChesney are also highly recommended.


@dredmorbius I'm aware of the arguments by sour old people who never ate anything but gruel, watched paint dry for "fun", and said "Humbug!" a lot.

I've also enjoyed watching Twin Peaks, Babylon 5, Dexter, Justified, The Wire, and Bordertown more than just about any other entertainment. A life without those is prison.

@mdhughes All of which are available on DVD. Often from your public library for free.

Or other Pretty Badass streaming services. (Note that I don't bother.)

Yes, there's been some good drama made. Some good documentaries as well.

No need to subject yourself to surveillance-capitalism devices, broadcast schedules, advertising crap, broken-by-design DVRs, etc.

@mdhughes It might help to clarify that by "television" I'm referring to a synchronous / simultaneous mass-medium video distribution channel based on scheduled programming typically targeted at a specific geographic area.

It need not be terrestrial broadcast (though includes that). I'd include cable and satellite delivery which are similarly programmed and regionally-targeted.

Media streaming, DVDs, and even to an extent video-on-demand ... differ in significant ways.

My sense also is that radio differs significantly from television in effects, though it shares many elements. Video itself is a significant factor.

@dredmorbius Sure, I loathe time-based advertising as much as anyone. But I've had a VCR since 1976 or so, and even easier ways to get the content without the wrapping since.

"TV" is ambiguously both.

@SuricrasiaOnline Back In The Day[tm] subscription TV networks were ad-free, but of course it pays more _both_ sell access and eyeballs.

Which is why I'm wary of soundbites like "if you don't pay for a product, you are the product": Only because I pay for it doesn't mean that the service provider doesn't run a side-hustle.
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