business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

I remain blessedly, assiduously ignorant of why, exactly, the Kardashian family has gained any sort of celebrity. Don't know. Don't care. I don't even know their names, nor how many of them there are. (I think the family is all-women, but I'm not even sure of that.)

I do know - and do care - about the fact that somehow, this family captivates the media. I simply don't understand it. If I were a news director or magazine/newspaper editor, I would ban them from my coverage, requiring my reporters to have an actual and legitimate news hook when violating that dictum. How they lose weight after pregnancy would not qualify. (Of course, this probably is one explanation - there would be many - why I am neither an editor nor a news director.)

I do wish, as a consumer of news, that I could banish them from everything I read.

Now, go figure. There's an app for that.

App Advice reports that there is a new mobile application that does precisely that. Called the K Blocker, described as a "new app that provides a Kardashian-free browsing experience ... After installing this handy little app, you just hop over to your Safari settings and enable it as a Content Blocker. Then, enjoy browsing the Web and checking out your favorite entertainment sites without a Kardashian in sight. The app also claims to work with Caytlin Jenner and Kanye West for an extended elimination experience."


Now, the story makes clear that the app is not 100 percent effective, but "it is definitely worth a try for those who are really ready for a Kardashian-free life." The app costs 99 cents, and is only compatible with Mac software.

The existence of the K Blocker, I think, drives home a point we've been making here at MNB for close to 14 years ... that with every passing day, consumers increasingly are in charge of the shopping experience and the knowledge that informs those experiences. Retailers and manufacturers need to reorient their strategic thinking and tactics, understanding that the balance of power has shifted away from them.

There is part of me, I must confess, that is troubled by the ability to use an application as a kind of information colander that allows one to filter out the information you don't want to get. That's all well and good if the information we want to filter out has to do with a craven, celebrity-crazed culture. But it also could allow, for example, liberals to filter out all information from the conservative side of the aisle .... and conservatives to filter out data from the liberal side.

This happens anyway, just as people choose the media to which they choose to pay attention, but information blockers could make the situation more absolute ... the divisions in our country more stark ... and the inability to compromise or understand that the people with whom we disagree should not be demonized more entrenched.

And so, even at the same time as I celebrate the K Blocker app, the implications worry me. Yet another example of how a Kardashian-related story foreshadows the end of western Civilization.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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