I was in Starbucks yesterday being mildly annoyed at someone putting a small coffee--excuse me, tall coffee--on a credit card, thereby bringing the line to a halt, and I realized how much more annoyed I am at that TV campaign for Visa which shows some retail business or other running like clockwork and being brought to a halt by someone using cash instead of a Visa card. What bullshit! It's an insidious way to get us all to accept that true is false and false is true. It's hard enough to know what truth is under ideal conditions, without advertisers and PR people and politicians trying to convince us that the truth is not true. Actually, the really treacherous effect this is all having is nurturing the notion that nothing anybody says is true, that we're all spinning things to our own advantage, to the point where, say, evolution and intelligent design are merely opposing opinions. Or, like, when the overwhelming majority of scientists say global warming is a reality, they're portrayed as manipulating facts in support of some hidden agenda (meaning -- shudder -- liberalism, world government, esperanto, the whole house of cards). Now there's a variant of the new field of "word of mouth" advertising where you're paid to talk up a product among your friends. If that doesn't disturb you, then it's too late for you--you've already become one of the pod people.