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Ad blocking
Years ago, when I actually bought physical paper magazines, I remember the routine of shaking a magazine in the newsagent, before buying it, to get rid of all of the advertising inserts. Pretty sure some newsagents provided a bin for that purpose. I suppose that was primitive, physical, ad blocking.

Now I can’t come to terms with buying something that will be disposed of when I’ve finished reading it. It is mad that we create so much printed material that will meet the recycling bin.

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Our recycling bins often have more in them than the actual rubbish bins - which I choose to view as a good thing as they're destined to be recycled rather than dumped in landfill or whatever. Some of it is inevitably all the unsolicited crap that goes straight form coming through the door into the recycle bin that sits beside the door we don't buy it, or ask for it but it comes through the door anyway.

Since I haven't read a newspaper in well over 35 years, I don't really have the problem of buying something that will be disposed of when I've read it.


I like paper magazines for some things, like cross-stitch magazines where I might want to cut out and keep some of the patterns. (I have a slight hoarding problem with those, but shh.)

The odd newspaper gets saved for masking craft projects (overspraying paint, cushioning glass for cutting, etc.). Try doing that with an iPad!

I am occasionally guilty of impulse-purchasing magazines in airports. I try to remember leave those on the plane for the next person to read and/or wonder about, although I don't know how often they just get thrown out by the cleaning crew. (This is a valuable service. I once ended up on a transatlantic flight with nothing to read but someone's leftover Stern (German popular culture) magazine, having read the airline's in-flight offering on the way out.)

To summarize:
1. I am not yet ready to let go of all my ephemera; and
2. Sometimes even a Yoko Ono interview in German will keep one sane.

The thing I find most egregious here in Japan is the copious amounts of advertising put out by printing firms for their services and dumped in ordinary people's mailboxes. We get fewer pieces now that we have a house and an individual mail box compared to before when we were in an apartment block with a single set of post boxes all in a row for something like 80 apartments - the economics of spam come into play given that for printing firms it's entirely possible that their biggest cost is the person doing the deliveries - the marginal depreciation in equipment is probably negligible and they only run them when they're not doing paying jobs so their overheads aren't a factor, just the consumables, which they buy at bulk discount rates.
I suspect this is more of a Tokyo/metropolitan issues than a Japan issue, but never having lived anywhere else in Japan I can't cmpare directly.

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