Nielsen and the Wasteland

I received another online opinion survey the other day and clicked it into that bottomless pit of cyber-trash.  Unsolicited surveys remind me not to join social networks or give out my e-mail address. I went cold turkey on opinion surveys after a brief encounter with the Nielsen folks, the electronic snoopers who presume to survey television viewing habits.  I was told that my family was part of a "select" group, suggesting that it was an honor to be chosen; that a gift was forthcoming; and that the data from my embedded device would influence the folks who select advertising and content for television programming.  After a brief chat with the cold caller, I surmised that Nielsen families might be the real culprit for the banalities that pass for content -- news and entertainment -- on the American airwaves. A little annoyed by the introductory pandering, I allowed as how a Nielsen box in my house might be an "honor" in the same sense that a court-ordered ankle...(Read Full Article)