I genuinely believe this is true. Mainly for Shirkian reasons that free information and culture is going to swamp paid information anyway, so there's no need to "support" any of it with adverts.
I also, perhaps more ideologically, believe that reclaiming our culture from the ad-support machine will not only make it better, but will actually have the side-benefit of destroying mass everything (mass-media, mass-consumption and therefore mass-production) and thereby take us forward to a fine-grained mosaic economy of millions of smaller, more varied and sustainable producers.
But all that is beside the point. An astute observer is likely to ask ... "hold on a minute, phil! You run your blogs on Google's Blogger service. You host Mind Traffic Control on Google Application Engine. You rely on Google for web-search. And for maps. And are a heavy Streetview user. All of which is paid with AdSense. What do you mean we can do without advertising?"
To which the answer is ... er ... yes indeed. I would, in fact, accept that the flip-side of my desire to remove advertising from the web and not pay for content, is that hosting should be paid for. And that people like me who are committed to blogging should pay more for it. And perhaps people should pay more for their internet connections too.
And, yes, this risks, of course, de-voicing the poor. But that is a more general question of economic justice. That also needs to be solved. But I believe that society would be better (and a damned sight more efficient) without a huge amount of energy being wasted on handicap signaling.
(BTW : yes, I know the counter-view.)
Anyway, without further ado, let me introduce my new poll :
In a world without advertising support, how much would you pay for a server for your blog / wiki / music / video / feeds etc?
PS : last poll seemed to come out 4 votes that Iraq was a disaster, to 2 that the West "got away" (morally, strategically) with it. Though note that Oli feels that the questions were phrased in such a way that he couldn't sign up to any of them.