Sunday, March 18, 2018

Greg Palast — 3 Dangers In The Blow-Up Over Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s Computer Gurus

First, this is not a "bad apple" story. The dark art of dynamic psychometric manipulation in politics was not pioneered by Cambridge Analytica for Trump, but by i360 Themis, the operation founded by the Koch brothers.…
The second danger is to forget that the GOP has been using computer power to wipe away voting rights of Black and Hispanic voters for years — by "caging," "Crosscheck," citizenship challenges based on last name (Garcia? Not American!?!) and more — a far more effective use of cyberpower than unconsciously manipulating your behavior through Facebook ads.
The third danger is to overplay the importance of cyberwar techniques in elections. Cambridge Analytica worked for Ted Cruz in the GOP primary AGAINST Trump — and what happened. That Hillary Clinton arrogantly defended NAFTA in Michigan, did not deign to visit Wisconsin once during the campaign, never visited or met with jobless auto workers at a closed plant in Ohio, as Trump did — this had more to do with her loss than computer geeks playing mad scientist in Britain.…
Greg Palast
3 Dangers In The Blow-Up Over Cambridge Analytica, Trump’s Computer Gurus

See also

Zero Hedge
Edward Snowden: Facebook Is A Surveillance Company Rebranded As "Social Media"
Tyler Durden 

9 comments:

Ryan Harris said...

Using control over media and internet to ban, purge, censor and silence the right from organizing and learning in the hopes that suppression will diminish support for the right enough to bring Dems back into power? This will backfire spectacularly within a couple years as alternative outlets form. In the UK they are even arresting and jailing people from the right for expressing opinions offensive to the left.

This ups-the-ante toward an uncivil resolution or outcome.

John said...

And what of the suspiciously un-American name of...Franko? Once you stir the nativist hornets' nest no one is safe.

Matt, change your name quick to Yuge or Terrific or Great or possibly even un-shithole.

John said...

"In the UK they are even arresting and jailing people from the right for expressing opinions offensive to the left."

Ryan, it's not that at all. It's simply a reflection of the fact that we do not in principle have the same level of freedom of speech that you do in the US.

It's unfortunate, but it hits the left in different bur far worse ways than the right. If you're on the right, you're deprived of a neo-Nazi every now and then. That's unacceptable in a free country. If someone wants to hear a neo-Nazi or whoever, let them. That's their right. And the audience has the right to freedom of congregation, so no government filming and dossiers made of the audience.

If you're on the real left, not the identity politics left, you've got it as bad as it gets: government spying, government infiltrators as agents provocateurs, a whole arsenal of McCarthyite and Nixonian tactics. That's the real scandal. An enforceable bill of rights is necessary, with rigorous, not lily-livered, freedom of speech as the first article, with life sentences for any officials or agents of the government found to have broken these rights.

Ryan Harris said...

Agree with most. Dislike labelling genuine dissent as "neo-nazi.". The opposition is very well organized and articulate -- they don't use hasty generalizations and inflammatory language like this. As soon as you resort to these tactics, invoking hitler, you lose the argument.

Opinion varies from lower rates of immigration. Skill preferential policy, preferential treatment by bilateral agreements... Lots of policy space that can be adjusted by reasonable people before getting to gas chambers. Ideologically, for the left, any restriction to is tantamount to allowing Holocaust, but to ordinary people they don't care for the purity of ideology but about their family, community and pace of social change. Stifling all conversation and even jailing reasonable people won't end well. Hugely important issues for society. Must be discussed openly and freely.

John said...

Ryan, simply giving actual examples of people who weren't allowed in to the country to give talks. Many were genuine neo-Nazis. Some were Americans on the hard Christian right. Some were Imams and Islamic "scholars". Some were Americans from the Nation of Islam. Fruitcakes all, but so damn what? If you're already a fruitcake, listening and watching this stuff on the internet, what difference does it make if a more sanitised version of the same fruitcake tones it down and tells it to you in an auditorium in person?

My opinion, for what it's worth, is that the state has no right to tell people what they can hear or see, obvious examples exempted like child pornography. If a British citizen wants to hear a neo-Nazi or someone on the fringes of the very hard Christian right or a Salafi Caliphate one-worlder, then let them.

What next, banning Scientology? Actually, that's on the agenda here. I'm the only person I know who doesn't want to ban it. Apparently it's a cult and a money scam and blah blah blah. So what if it is? So are casinos. Aren't all organised religion shakedown operations? This country is headed for trouble. Not only is it going to break up into it's constituent countries, what's left in England is going to become an intolerant hellhole where no one can hear, say, read or view anything that hasn't got state approval.

A few years ago, no one had heard of certain weird fringes of gender neutrality. Now it's everywhere: a baby isn't a boy or girl until it's old enough to make up it's own mind up, so all gender-biased names have to go and new ones created. I mean WTF? Don't refer to a woman as a "she". Don't refer to a man as a "he". It's almost enough to want to make you want to pack your bags and go somewhere "normal" (another explosive word) like...fuck me...where?!

Ryan Harris said...

I saw headlines about someone blocked this weekend but I didn't read it. Good point tho, blocked immigration entries stifle speech, another angle to the problem.

It's fun to think about because the people being blocked are actually arguing for expanding state power to block people. Hmm.

John said...

"It's fun to think about because the people being blocked are actually arguing for expanding state power to block people."

Hilarious, just hilarious! Who needs satire?

Matt Franko said...

They want to block the people from the shitholes who bring the shit with them... I don’t see any hypocrisy...

John said...

"They want to block the people from the shitholes who bring the shit with them... I don’t see any hypocrisy..."

A good proportion of those denied entry were Americans. Are you sure you want to classify the "indispensable" (liberal propaganda turned into their own by the mad right) nation as a shithole? Or are you trying to prove your supercharged Americanness in case they come for you, Matt?