I'm talking about HTTP cookies, the bits of information which companies collect when we're online and then trade with each other. The ones which some people think are part of the way that we will fall under the Total Control of capitalists, or possible even of The Machines Themselves.
And maybe they're right. After all, what do I know about information technology. But the thing is, cookies can also lead to me being informed about really cool expensive watches because companies think I might be a billionaire. For example: yesterday, I posted this picture on Facebook:
That's a wristwatch. The thing is, it's a wristwatch which costs several hundred thousand dollars. So today, I saw ads for other watches which cost even more. Including even some brand-new, retail available pocket watches. Like this one,
made by Audemars Piguet, the company I mentioned a few post back, in the post that started out being about LeBron James and then veered off into another post about watches. Audemars Piguet make the Royal Oak, possibly the world's heaviest production-model wristwatch, won by LeBron on the cover of Sports Illustrated and by Jeremy Piven on "Entourage." The pocket watch in the picture there is the Audemars Piguet 25701, which comes in a variety of styles and materials and seems to cost from a little under $800,000 to over $900,000. The one in the picture has a rose-gold case. I'm assuming that it weighs even more than the heaviest of all Audemars Piguet Royal Oak wristwatches.
But I have to assume. Because the Internet is made by people very much unlike me. If it were made by people like me, and catered to the interests of people like me, I would have easy access to information about the exact weight of every conceivable sort of watch, and I would have found out about extremely-expensive brand-new production-model retail-available pocket watches without accidentally having advertisements for them put onto the Internet pages I visit because yesterday I posted a picture of Hublot MP-05 LaFerrari on Facebook. The MP-05 is the watch in the first photo in this post. It's a manual hand-wind wristwatch. Its face is intentionally made to resemble the engine of a Ferrari. When it's wound up all the way it will run for 50 days, the longest of any watch of which I know. If the Internet catered specifically to my interests, I would know for sure whether or not there is a watch somewhere which runs for longer than 50 days after being wound once. But it's not. And so I just have to guess about some things. And I apologize for that.
And I also have to guess whether more pocket watches in the $1000-to-$1,000,000 price range are being made and offered for sale than a few years ago, or whether I'm simply aware of a few more than I used to be. Partly as a result of dogged online searching, and partly completely by accident because of things like posting that picture on Facebook yesterday. I'm really whacky about pocket watches. Wristwatches are nice, sure, but I like pocket watches a lot more. And only mechanical watches interest me: the kind you wind up by hand, or, slightly less interesting, those watches which are known as automatic or self-winding: they have innards (called movements) which are similar to those in the watches you must wind by hand, but the automatic or self-winding watches are also wound by being moved around as someone wears them on their wrists. The ones with the quartz batteries, they don't interest me much at all, and if I'm looking at a watch or a picture of a watch or a watch on TV, and I realize that it runs by quartz battery, I'm always very disappointed. Why? I don't know why. I think that almost any rational reasons why anyone would be interested in any sort disappeared years ago, when things like smartphones and clocks on microwaves and car dashboards and what have you became ubiquitous.
Why the $1000-to-$1,000,000 price range? Not because I can afford a $1000 watch. I can't. But because the Watch Snob wrote that you have to spend at least $1000 to get a really good watch, unless you get a pocket watch which is 100 years old or so, and take it to a good watch repair person. How would one find a competent watch repair person? I don't know. Maybe I will stumble across that information someday too.
So: in this case, cookies did exactly what they were intended to do: gave information to someone, me, about things he is interested in, ridiculously-expensive brand-new pocket watches. Now, if cookies could go one step further, and help that person, me, obtain enough money to actually buy the things in question -- now that would really be something. That would really be a miracle of information technology.