One advantage of being, well, a man of a certain age, is that one has a sense of the trajectory of recent history.
My first serious job was as an assistant at a suburban branch of Our Price records. At the time, even the most corporate of record shop chains were temples of cool. And this is where I began a career in music that carried across some 12 years. Happy days.
A little logo began appearing on the backs of album covers (CD's took another few years to land) around 1980. "Home Taping Is Killing Music (And It's Illegal)" it said.
This was absurd. The sheer time and effort involved in lovingly compiling cassettes of mixtapes - analogue playlists, early social profiles, if you like - made it an infrequent endeavour undertaken only by the rabid fan or lovestruck swain.
There was no evidence - nor is there today - that anyone suffered more than the noble curator themselves in the practice of this dark art.
But this "sledgehammer to crack a nut" response to what was largely an imagined offence, was also a sign that, after decades of delightful decadence, the music industry was falling under the influence of its new masters ... the lawyers. It had swung decisively from being a giant creative cottage industry to being a machine for - increasingly aggressive - copyright protection.
From open innovation, we could say in today's terms, to closed and hostile patenting.
Ironically, as the music business picks itself up after 20 years of battering by a ruthless information economy, those same dedicated curators would be pursued and lionised by not only the music business, but by the stars themselves. There's nothing more enticing, in these flaky times, than a passionate and influential tastemaker.
And then there was Napster. The love-in bubble burst, and all the majors began trying to sue consumers for piracy. This was as we now know a comprehensive commercial and PR disaster for Big Music.
But what was less easy to take - especially as a former insider of the business - was the whining, hand-wringing and finger-pointing that accompanied all this highly vexatious litigation. This was "Home Taping Is Killing Music" for the big screen. And it was craven nonsense, a tacky costume change from a cackling Scrooge to a cowering Uriah Heep.
"But look at what you're doing!" "You're hitting your favourite artists where it hurts!" "We can't continue to sign great talent if you continue to cripple the business like this."
This was utter nonsense. And it was embarrassing too.
At the time, and indeed up until 2005, which disc sales peaked and began their steep decline, manufactured music and video too were riding the CD wave all the way to the bank. And the record companies were squeezing buyers for every dollar they could. CD prices were almost criminally high - this was far worse in the UK than the US, by the way.
Many, many suits were also fought by the artists who could afford it, to achieve a fairer share of the royalties that were being hoovered up by the labels.
Alongside this two-sided daylight robbery, not just the artistes (as is their right) but the record companies themselves, flushed with their apparently endless CD rights windfall, rode around in limos, flew first class, and continued to party like it was 1999.
There were of course exceptions. Many are still happily in business today, by the way. Martin Mills of Beggars Banquet doesn't do limos, continues to thrive through good and bad times, and partners with many of our most beloved and enduring talents. And, by the way, they love him.
And who can forget Geoff Travis's 80's dream of a socialist record company collective. That was - and still is - the glorious Rough Trade. Today, probably the best record shops in the world.
Coming back to today, the current flood of concern and dispute about the now-ubiquitous adblocking is showing signs of echoing music's crisis. "Adblocking Is Killing Content!" Or along those sort of lines.
The discourse here is nearly all about lost commercial and consumer value. I recall several years ago - I do hope to his eternal shame - a senior CNN executive seriously and loudly claiming at a high-profile industry event that ad-skipping (a la Tivo et al) is copyright theft.
But this type of "theft" began, if not before, then certainly with the TV remote. The ability of the technology-empowered media consumer (or audience, or indeed citizen) to switch off what they don't wish to see is part and parcel of the modern world.
The debate about relative value will not, in the end, get us anywhere. To suggest that the solution to adblocking is, well, better ads is to miss the point. While not in any fashion denying the power and value of great creative work, it's sadly the wrong tool for the job. To remind music consumers that by illegal file sharing they are - immediately or eventually - thereby missing out on "great content" is also not a valid argument.
And let's not even begin to dream that this is another chapter of the better targeting motif.
Some years ago I was advising a group of the major movie studios' home entertainment divisions on the impacts and implications of digital. What become starkly clear was this ... If only piracy was the most serious problem they had to face. In fact the worst threat to these giants of entertainment was not high profile issues such as the Netflix effect and the increasing truncation of the hallowed release window.
It was, and still is, Facebook, a media environment where consumers could happily mess about sharing their own stories and lives, with nary a movie, an album or, more importantly, a rights exploitation opportunity, in sight. Social media is surely, if nothing else, a savage drain on monetisable attention.
The lens of value will continue to be placed over the adblocking conundrum. But alongside that, if we fail to take into account the radical shift in media power to the audience that digital media has conferred on every stakeholder at the table, we're missing the biggest point of all.
The file sharing revolution was not, in fact, about fair value. It was, we could say, about unfair power.
Let's not forget one of the biggest scandals to hit a major media conglomerate in recent years, the Sony root-kit fiasco. The company, as you may recall, was caught covertly installing spyware on any user's PC, using audio and video CD's as vehicles. That speaks of a business model forced into playing dirty in order to regain a power that had already been lost.
Adblocking, no matter how distasteful the players and the practices may currently be, will not go away. In order to find viable commercial solutions, we need to dig deeper, to uncover and accept the real drivers of this unfortunate, but entirely predictable and inevitable, cultural shift.
With a glance back again at the Napster uproar, perhaps we might say that adblocking is the darker instrumental flipside of the unfettered consumer targeting we've been focusing on so hard.
Are consumers, now, targeting brands?