Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What is that NEXTgencode Advertising on My Site

So I saw this add on my site for NextGenCode. It was very cryptic so I went to their site.

They make their site seem like they are a Biotech company promoting genetic engineering as a tool in life enhancement. But looking at their articles and other material it became clear this was a spoof of some sort. The best part of their web site are the ads, like the one for Anhedonia and the one for Losing Blondes (about blondes going extinct in 200 years). I was guessing that this was some spoof put out by people to make fun of the synthetic biology field, but then I gave in a decided to google the company.

This is when I found the Wall Street Journal article that says they are a marketing ploy for a Michael Crighton novel. (I had not clicked on the link about a book stealing trade secrets form the company, but if you do, you get a story about Crighton's novel stealing their ideas). While some may find the slight of hand they are using here to be deceptive or malicious, I think it is pretty funny. It did not take long for me to figure out it was a spoof of some sort and it was kind of fun trying to figure it out.

Good to see that my site is being used for important advertising. Some day I will discuss the ads on my site for Intelligent Design proponents.

Here are some additional stories about Nextgencode
Of course, any blog about Crighton would be incomplete without mentioning his scientific "credibility" or the debate about it. He has clearly written some interesting science-related books over the years and in many of them the science is not completely absurd. But his anti-global warming book, State of Fear, made Crighton seem like an anti-science advocate. Personally, I never read the book so I cannot comment about the issue directly. But here are some stories about the book for people to look at.


  1. Ha! This is the first time I even knew that you had ads -- I normally use Firefox with the Adblock Plus extension, so I normally don't see them.

  2. I am experimetning with Google's adsense, mostly for the fun of it. My site has brought in at least $5 so far. I am not sure what to do with all the earnings but do plan to donate them at some point.

  3. So by using adblocker I'm stealing your beer money? I feel awful.

  4. Please. I am in Davis. It is Wine money. Beer is for people who do not have the best Viticulture and Enology department in the country. And 5$ out here buys a lot more wine than it does in the DC area.

  5. I guess I am a bit of an arse -- I do tend to pooh pooh things.

    I did like Prey.

    Is this nanotech with genes?

  6. Oh I generally agree with some pooh poohing and I thought I said that in the blog but I must have edited that out by accident when I was copying and pasting a couple of new links into the blog last night.

    I think it is entertaining certainly, and the first one I know of doing this in this particular area, but it is not that creative.

    But with Crichton's last book being pooh poohed by almost every scientist who wrote about it, I guess maybe we should go easy on him. I like many of his books and love what Jursassic Park did for getting the public into molecular biology, although I have found a few of them a little annoying (such as Travels which is a guess partly an autobiography). I will probably buy this one since it sounds like it fits my opinions and skepticism
    towards the growing trend in the biotech world that genetic engineering will save the world.