Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
March 20, 2018

Cambridge Analytica And The Manipulation Of People

by Debs is Dead
lifted from a comment

MoA-ites correctly distrust every word emanating from the mealy mouthed Guardian because it has been used in a vicious campaign to advance the interests of Zionists to the point where the well being of Guardian readers has been relegated below the interests of apartheid Israel.

Nevertheless having a bit of a shufti at the loudly trumpeted Facebook-Cambridge Analytica expose is an essential act for anyone who wants to try to get a grip on how populations are being deliberately manipulated.

There is a relatively easy to digest video here where Christopher Wyllie, a computer scientist, outlines the birth of Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, the CEO and the method used to sell the development of the corporation to Steve Bannon, CA's first customer and Robert Mercer, the Wall Street financier who underwrote the cost of setting up the corporation.

I recommend spending the 13 minutes required to watch the video because Wyllie's summation of what they did and why is horrifying. Lines such as "If you want to change the way a person votes you have to change the culture the person lives within." and "to change a culture, first you have to smash the existing one then grab the pieces and mold it into the shape you want the culture to be".

A computer scientist at Cambridge University, Aleksandr Kogan had been given privileged access by Facebook to conduct 'academic research' he had access to the entire range of any Facebook user's account and that of all their Facebook friends. America was targeted first as that was what both Bannon and Mercer wanted - all set for the '16 beauty contest' aka 'the presidential election'. Over a period of three months back in 2014 CA conned around 200,000 Facebook users into installing their app, 200,000 provided enough connection through Facebook friends to gather the profiles including private messages, of more than 50 million American Facebook users.

Nix went into the British parliament and told the puppets that CA have no Facebook data. This is the angle of attack the silly Grauniard is using and one which they will come unstuck on because CA have moved far beyond that initial scrape in 2014 where they gathered everything about every Facebook user. That was the 'foundation' and it has been built upon by nudging users down hand crafted rabbit holes for the last 4 years. The data has been re-categorised and reshaped, so that finding any traces of Facebook in it will probably be impossible.

CA has teams of psychologists, web site builders and videographers tasked with creating content which the users whose profiles have been mined will find 'interesting'. Websites, Youtube videos and blogs were built to cater to each particular category of human the psychologists had identified.

Facebook doesn't even really matter any more as the 'clay' has been shifted into their own special grouping and CA propagandists are whispering in each mug's ear telling him/her exactly what will cause them to slightly alter their point of view about a product service, TV show or politician. Gently edging people onto a conveyor belt of predetermined values, encouraging them to only interact with other humans who share that outlook, the aim is to split social cohesion leaving the mug's reliant on their category's self reinforcing groupthink as the absolute truth. Iphone 57 users will only hang with people who agree Iphone 57 is the best.

Thomas Cook travel agency customers will plan their holidays with other Thomas Cook customers and supporters of the dem or rethug branch of the American empire party will no longer be discomfited by hearing alternative points of view.

That happened to 50 million American voters in 2016 and everyone is worrying about a couple of hundred grand spent long before the primaries on a handful of badly worded urges to buy some now defunct product which was responded to by only a handful of Americans?

Added: Channel 4 collaborated with the Guardian/Observer on the Cambridge Analytica story. Their report, ‘Data, Democracy and Dirty Tricks’ includes undercover video of Cambridge Analytica's sales pitch:


b here: In my opinion, Cambridge Analytica and its parent company, SCL do nothing else than the powers-that-be have done for ages. They only privatize and commercialize the tools that have been used all along. During the Cold War (and likely continuing today) the CIA ran up to 400 journalists and editors in "western" media. It promoted abstract art and 'progressive' counter culture, financed the publishing of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' and so on. The Pentagon rewrites movie scripts and helps financing many Hollywood blockbusters and TV series. They did not need Facebook to 'sell' the war on Iraq.

Yasha Levine's new book Surveillance Valley describes how the Internet grew out of the Pentagon's Vietnam War era counterinsurgency projects as a tool for surveillance and manipulation. It was privatized but all the big Internet companies, Google, Amazon, Facebook etc, are now Pentagon and CIA contractors who help to expand the original project. SCL and Cambridge Analytica are part of this.

But the real question is how well these new projects work. Yes, advertising can sell a product. 'News' can change opinions. But they can only do so to a certain degree or for a limited time. Eskimos do not need refrigerators. Counterinsurgency campaigns usually fail. The Internet companies claim that advertising on their channels works extraordinary well because they can categorize the 'eyeballs' they attract by the data their users 'voluntarily' supply. Cambridge Analytica claims it can efficiently manipulate whole nations on a similar base. These companies sell snake-oil. Their claims are made out of self-interest. I for one doubt them.

Posted by b on March 20, 2018 at 9:01 UTC | Permalink

next page »

The only, relatively safe way, to still communicate via media is snail mail.
Not sure for how much longer that will remain true...

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 20 2018 9:13 utc | 1

When I want to speak really privately with friends, I arrange open-air meetings, away from all electronic devices, where it's specifically agreed that no mobile phones will be brought along - even if 'switched off' (yeah, right!). That way at least you can still have some hope of not being snooped. Not that I'm into gun-running, drug-dealing or anything nasty like that. I just happen to like the old-fashioned idea of privacy, and not having some state/big-biz whore prying uninvited into my affairs.

Posted by: Rhisiart Gwilym | Mar 20 2018 9:28 utc | 2

Rhisiart Gwilym | Mar 20, 2018 5:28:43 AM | 2

My sentiments exactly.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 20 2018 9:42 utc | 3

May I suggest you also look at this:

Posted by: TFS | Mar 20 2018 10:13 utc | 4

in my opinion this doesn't matter.

this is what's matter;

"A top Goldman Sachs investment banker is set to become a deputy finance minister in Chancellor Angela Merkel's new coalition government."

Posted by: partisan | Mar 20 2018 10:41 utc | 5

"... to change a culture, first you have to smash the existing one then grab the pieces and mold it into the shape you want the culture to be ..."

Sounds very much like the infamous experiments conducted by Donald Ewen Cameron at McGill University in Montreal during the 1960s, in which he attempted to "cure" mental illnesses like depression or anxiety disorders by erasing people's memories and deconstructing their identities to a point where they would become clean slates to rebuild new, supposedly more stable identities. The methods used included electric shock therapy and drug-induced comas during which tape loops were played repeatedly. The long-term effects of these experiments were often horrific. The CIA took an interest in these experiments and they became part of the MK Ultra network of psychological manipulation experiments.

The experiments were ultimately a failure and many of Cameron's patients later sued the CIA for compensation in the 1980s.

And of course neoliberal economic "reform" involves liberal use of shock to distract people and reduce their opposition to the dismantling of currency and price controls and regulations, the immediate liberalisation of trade with the junking of tariffs, quotas and other trade barriers that protected industries and jobs, financial instability with periodic booms and busts, erosion of social welfare and greater economic inequality.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 20 2018 10:57 utc | 6

Canadian At Centre of FB Data Scandal Cut Teeth With Liberals

"It was a grossly unethical experiment because you are playing with an entire country, the psychology of an entire country without their consent or awareness...When he was 18 years old, the newspaper said he learned all about data while working for officials on former US President Barack Obama's campaign team, and later introduced one director to the Liberals..."

Posted by: John Gilberts | Mar 20 2018 11:12 utc | 7

"If you want to change the way a person votes you have to change the culture the person lives within." and "to change a culture, first you have to smash the existing one then grab the pieces and mold it into the shape you want the culture to be".
As b said, actually this what CIA & Co did to USSR and Eastern block in cold time and is still doing it to China, Iran, N. Korea, Syria, Russia, Venezuela and any country that CIA deems as unfriendly through MSM, NGOs, educations, arts, films,etc.

Just take a look at British government gives £289m over the next five years to invest in expanding the BBC World Service into countries such as North Korea, ME, Russia, etc. as part of its strategy designed to strengthen the UK’s “soft power” and "for a secure and prosperous United Kingdom, with global reach and global influence”.

Posted by: mali | Mar 20 2018 11:21 utc | 8

"... to change a culture, first you have to smash the existing one then grab the pieces and mold it into the shape you want the culture to be ..."

Edward Bernays...reworked!?

Posted by: partisan | Mar 20 2018 11:23 utc | 9

Does anybody know who offers this Levine-book as e-book but in epub-formate?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 20 2018 11:27 utc | 10

Cambridge Analytica claims it can efficiently manipulate whole nations on a similar base

although English is the language of Wall Street, Madison Avenue, and Hollywood, native English speakers comprise something like 5 or 6% of the world's population.

Americans are big on hubris, but when it comes to cultural baggage, they travel pretty light.

Posted by: john | Mar 20 2018 11:28 utc | 11

partisan @5

I think culture/social re-engineering is just equally dangerous as the financial infiltration by bankers from GS & Co.

Btw, French president Macron used to work for Rothschild & Cie Banque.

Posted by: mali | Mar 20 2018 11:30 utc | 12

of is about leadership either in political or financial sphere.

these days China and Russia affirmed its internal and int. course by extending the terms of its leaders for x number of years.

as for the US and the EU they continue with "revolving door" policy where bureaucrats a technocrats from GS, JPM, etc., are backbone of the system on both side of the ocean.

Posted by: partisan | Mar 20 2018 11:38 utc | 13

Posted by: john | Mar 20, 2018 7:28:44 AM | 11

It is like anything "developed in". Once the technology is out, anybody can use it. And all sides.

As long as the internet does not function "top down".

Posted by: somebody | Mar 20 2018 11:38 utc | 14

"When I want to speak really privately with friends, I arrange open-air meetings, away from all electronic devices, where it's specifically agreed that no mobile phones will be brought along "....

Apparently that is completely unnecessary.

Just give everyone a packet of Twisties (Cheese or Chicken, to each their own) to munch on before the "speaking" takes place, and then get them to drop their phone into the now-empty foil packet.

A quick wrap and a rubber-band and - Hey! Presto! - your meeting will immediately go dark to all those dudes in the black vans.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 20 2018 11:52 utc | 15

Cambridge Analytica probably wins the Nixon Prize for dirty games, but as b says, these tactics date back a long ways. The bio of the Bush crime family has many similar episodes, and Karl Rove learned these methods from the Nixon people.

Let’s not forget, however, that Clinton used very similar firms to do the same thing. Here’s the best side-by-side comparison:
Clinton had BlueLabs and Elan Kriegal:
“Kriegel’s team, comprising over 60 analysts and mathematicians, had an algorithm “…that determined…where almost every dollar of Clinton’s more than $60 million in television ads was spent during the primary.” Not only that; the data extracted from the algorithm and its predicted models determined every decision made during the campaign: from the precise selection of which voters to target through various forms of communication, whether it be emails, phone-banking, or canvassing, and the Facebook ads directed to subsets of the population through microtargeting.”

Trump had Brad Pascale and Cambridge Analytica doing the same thing:
“How did the firm get the job done? Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, heading up the campaign’s digital arm at the time, brought them in along with their digital expert Brad Parscale. . .Not only did they use their own databases but they also relied on data from publishers like Politico, as well as Facebook. . . The online ads the campaign used with bots on social media adjusted based on the way their targets responded to them. This proved to Cambridge Analytica’s strength in building richer psychological profiles, and the campaign subsequently arranged Trump’s agenda around it: from where he visited and to what type of speech he would give in specific areas.”

The real truth that Trump and Clinton supporters can’t handle is that they are two of a kind - narcissitic self-promoters driven by greed and personal ambition who view the general public as easily manipulated sheep just waiting to be fleeced. This is seen in their approach to political campaigns and in their persistent abuse of state power for personal gain. (Keep in mind that a central claim in the Cambridge Analytica story is that they illegally acquired Facebook’s data, which Facebook is being cagey about; how the Clinton team got the Facebook data is not being discussed as yet; they may have had much less, but we just don’t know).

For more on background from March 2016:
Notably, Cambridge Analytica was working for Ted Cruz during the Republican primary:
“Ted Cruz's focus on data through a relationship with U.S. political data newcomer Cambridge Analytica is a good example. Data analytics are an integral part of many media buys today, from direct mail and digital ads to -- increasingly -- television. Much of the hype around the $3.8 million Mr. Cruz's campaign has spent with the firm fails to recognize that it's not all for data-crunching; a portion of that has gone towards media placements.”

Posted by: nonsense factory | Mar 20 2018 12:08 utc | 16

@mali | Mar 20, 2018 7:30:14 AM | 12

“…To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Posted by: partisan | Mar 20 2018 12:09 utc | 17

Henceforth, the United States may have to determine how to cope with regional coalitions that seek to push America out of Eurasia, thereby threatening America’s status as a global power.”

“…To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.”

Zbigniew Brzezinski

Posted by: partisan | Mar 20 2018 12:11 utc | 18

It is easy for many of us to dismiss the CA methodology as confused and even a fail. For one thing I would guess that many of us, alert to the massive CIA investment in facebook when it was a start up have kept off the site as much as possible. This goes far beyond facebook which was only the source of the original scrape.
The profiles in use now will be completely different in format and content to what came out of 'scrape #1'.

Cambridge Analytica was founded in 2014, it is still in nascent form, still trialling and developing ideas. If we consider advertisement from 150 years ago, made when mass advertisng through big circulation newspapers was novel, we laugh at the lack of sophistication and the simple 'rules of marketing' which those early attempts breached.

Yet mass advertising through the media does work, corporations do not regard it as being all tax minimisation, because over the years there have been campaigns which have 'made' a corporation.

The same will be true of the shift from mass selling a relatively simple message to tens of millions of individuals, to crafting a series of contradictory, sometimes 'scary' messages to discrete groups of individuals selected using data mining then data filtering.

The major variation is that when a product was mass marketed and we all got the same message, most often that message would unify a the society it was targeted at. Sometimes we would agree that the message was wrong, bad or deceitful and others people would lap up and 'get behind'.
The new method depends on many people not communicating their message outside their selected cohort, in fact as we saw with breitbart, many of the messages promote the idea of division and depend upon the denigration of the members of other cohorts.

Now I'm still frankly amazed at the apple thing, when back in the noughties apple users were bound to a brand by loyalty which was akin to nationalist patriotism at its worst.
The apple marketing at that time was an experimental phase of this Cambridge Analytica style, poorly formed and not very well articulated, yet some apple and pc users were sending each other vile messages and just to demonstrate this was no accident the same thing happened between iphone and android users a couple of years later. All that over a piece of obsolescent tech built with slave/sweated labour, should tell us how socially destructive the CA methodology can become.

Of course CA are not the only ones doing this stuff, other equally unethical organisations are doing exactly the same.
While this approach which has been abetted by the citizen's united decision is encouraged, it will be impossible for the alternative movement amerikans have proposed here at MoA to be heard, much less voted for.
Not only does it mean that politics and money become even more dependent on each other; it also means that the cost of campaigns will increase dramatically, making the chance of 'other voices' succeeding even less likely,
It guarantees that the only option for change will have to come out of the barrel of a gun - something I have long believed sure, but so many more people reaching the same conclusion while also being persuaded that those who don't share a particular narrow view are enemies, traitors, non-humans will not bring about any change, it will solidify the status quo with a committed group of people supporting that status quo because of their well founded fear of violence should an outsider look as though he/she may win.

We will all be well and truly divided and ruled.

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 20 2018 12:14 utc | 19

As other noted Ted Cruz had used CA in the primaries and lost.
The Trump campaign did not find it valuable either (except for getting Mercier's money)
Trump campaign phased out use of Cambridge Analytica data before election

The proverbial sentence of a Marketing manager still rulze:
"Half of the millions I spend on advertising go to waste. The problem is that I do not know which half."

Posted by: b | Mar 20 2018 12:38 utc | 20

Posted by: Debsisdead | Mar 20, 2018 8:14:34 AM | 17

Oh well, human evolution will have leave the tribal mindset or we all will be extinct like dinosaurs.
Freud on happiness and aggression

It is clearly not easy for man to give up the satisfaction of this inclination to aggression. They do not feel comfortable without it. The advantage which a comparatively small cultural group offers of allowing this instinct an outlet in the form of hostility against intruders is not to be despised. It is always possible to bind together a considerable number of people in love, so long as there are other people left over to receive the manifestations of their aggressiveness. I once discussed the phenomenon that is precisely communities with adjoining territories, and related to each other in other ways as well, who are engaged in constant feuds and in ridiculing each other -- like the Spaniards and Portuguese, for instance, the North Germans and South Germans, the English and Scotch, and so on. I gave this phenomenon the name of "the narcissism of minor differences", a name which does not do much to explain it. We can now see that it is a convenient and relatively harmless satisfaction of the inclination to aggression, by means of which cohesion between the members of the community is made easier.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 20 2018 12:44 utc | 21

Don't fear using the web - use it mindfully.
Fear is ca's product - don't buy into it

Posted by: Dfnslblty | Mar 20 2018 13:01 utc | 22

somebody says:

Once the technology is out, anybody can use it

yeah, i got it, another tool...

i meant the administrative part, the strategic communication, the part where language is the primary denotation.

i guess i'm OT.

Posted by: john | Mar 20 2018 14:17 utc | 23

Yeah, Right says:

A quick wrap and a rubber-band and - Hey! Presto! - your meeting will immediately go dark to all those dudes in the black vans

doesn't 'Airplane Mode' do the same thing?

Posted by: john | Mar 20 2018 14:19 utc | 24

The CA thing may be snake oil in the medium to long term, but in the short term, it will get the shareholders a shedload of money from the likes of the CIA, GCHQ ...

First there was the Military Industrial Complex. It has been supplemented by the Intelligence (sic) Industrial Complex.

Posted by: Anonymous | Mar 20 2018 14:21 utc | 25

Social engineering will never be an exact science. Oddballs will always throw spanners in the works.

Look on the bright side. Maybe a few more people will be more careful with their personal information. Maybe kogan will lose his job and zuckerberg will be down a few million.

Posted by: Dh | Mar 20 2018 14:23 utc | 26

1. I agree there is little difference between social media abuse and press abuse.
2. The reason Trump won is more fundamental though. 35 years of median income being flat, while the rich got rapidly and very obviously much much richer (and lower taxed). No infrasturcture or health investment. BLM. It is a long list of failure by government towards most voters. (Failure to recognise this is why there is so much B/S still in the media.)
3. Traditional media or social media is just a catalyst. What happened was going to happen. That it took 35 years rather, and Trump still didn't get most votes, suggests it happened extremely slowly.
4. Trump knows the questions and which buttons to push. Next election will be about the policy answers. That is where we should be focused.

Posted by: michael d | Mar 20 2018 14:37 utc | 27

@17 deb


Now I'm still frankly amazed at the apple thing, when back in the noughties apple users were bound to a brand by loyalty which was akin to nationalist patriotism at its worst.

Thanks for the sleuthing and comment deb. I feel like the above comment misses the mark however. If anything the early Apple/Microsoft (IBM) contest more resembled simple partisan politics (which will all note the minute differences between their world views). There is no nationalist-like qualities in brand loyalties. It was typical Repub vs. Dem capitalism. Of course you can easily identify the corresponding brand to their worldview. Indeed, Jobs viewed the implementation of the Apple 2 and later the iMac into public schools as vital as I remember clearly the early GUI and the bright colors of the Apples.

I think too that facebook is a waning phenomenon. Praise Jesus. The return of privacy/the return of the repressed.

Posted by: NemesisCalling | Mar 20 2018 14:49 utc | 28

Posted by: john | Mar 20, 2018 10:17:02 AM | 21

I know what you meant. But the simple fact that Cambridge Analytica is non state but had to look for private customers speaks volumes.

China is way, way ahead in surveillance. They have designed a way where you can prove you are socially adapted via the internet.

As long as people use social media (and payment systems) like lemmings this is going to proceed.

Most surveillance on people in Germany is done via a voucher system where every cashier asks you if you want to use it when you pay. They have a profile of all your movements and the products you buy if you use it (and most people do). People in Germany don't use credit cards very much but they use "Payback"
"Payback" is owned by American Express, and American Express data find their way to the NSA.
You'd be amazed to know what your consumption tells about you. More so if you are not using the card when the majority does.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 20 2018 14:51 utc | 29

But I am just trying to make some money to live

But I am just trying to make some money to live

But I am just trying to make some money to live

When you agree as a society to let your lifeblood(money) and economy mechanisms be owned privately with a ideology of God of Mammon then all of your social incentives will be focused accordingly

I continue to posit that eliminating that God of Mammon ideology from our social agreement is the one most positive thing we can do as a species. Will the process getting there be easy or the result immediately perfect....No, but it is the right thing to do. Our current social system promotes competition and denigrates or eliminates sharing and cooperation which, IMO, does a poor job of representing the potential of our species.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 20 2018 15:04 utc | 30

Cambridge Analytica was formed six years ago to participate in the election process in the United States. CA's parent organization Strategic Communication Laboratories, formed in 1993, is a private British behavioral research and strategic communication company. Now known as SCL it has been active primarily in the developing world where it has been used by the military and politicians to study and manipulate public opinion and political will. So what was being done to to others is now being done to us. . .here

Behavioral scientists have examined why and how people vote. One finding in behavioral science indicates that most of us are motivated by the desire to conform to the social norm—meaning we are more likely to do what most people are doing. It's all about "self-identity." And so on....scary stuff when it's combined with "strategic communications". . .here

Posted by: Don Bacon | Mar 20 2018 15:31 utc | 31

somebody says:

People in Germany don't use credit cards very much but they use "Payback"
"Payback" is owned by American Express, and American Express data find their way to the NSA

i suppose it sounds quaint, but here in central Italy i still use mostly cash, as do many others, but yeah, cards of one kind or another (and phones) are getting more and more popular.

i think privacy is something we can now be nostalgic about.

leave your devices at home and take a long walk alone deep into the forest,

it's a lot scarier than it used to be.

Posted by: john | Mar 20 2018 15:36 utc | 32

@ somebody | Mar 20, 2018 10:51:05 AM | 27

„You'd be amazed to know what your consumption tells about you. More so if you are not using the card when the majority does.“ ;-)
Tell us, please. What does it tell different from the fact that you are a sociopath?

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 20 2018 16:06 utc | 33

two tweets from julian assange yesterday that i hadn’t understood, being wholly unfamiliar with CA:

Posted by: wendy davis | Mar 20 2018 16:11 utc | 34

E. Bernays would be proud. Propaganda is propaganda, no matter the vehicle. Anyone who gets their political, or any necessary info through a rag like Facebook, is a moron.

Human convictions should be arrived at through many hours of personal observations, thought, an actual reality, not something scrolled on an I-phone.

Posted by: ben | Mar 20 2018 16:13 utc | 35

P. S.--Thanks Debs.

Posted by: ben | Mar 20 2018 16:14 utc | 36


"Of course CA are not the only ones doing this stuff, other equally unethical organisations are doing exactly the same. While this approach which has been abetted by the citizen's united decision is encouraged, it will be impossible for the alternative movement amerikans have proposed here at MoA to be heard, much less voted for."
Which alternative movement? The way I see it, As individuals we must secure our own future first. The selfishness that is propagated within from without must be turned upside down. We can change none but ourselves. Smashing negative self reinforcing meme such as 'I am only one person, what can I do?', this meme suggest that groups are needed to move beyond the structures of control in place. While this rings true, it’s also false. Groups of likeminded individuals who are not individually prepared for their own futures are doomed. Each of us must find the 'space' that still exists in modern societies for an individual to participate without participating. Skills, methods, hustles and pushbacks must be developed at an individual level, and from there will be utilized by larger groups. Another of the meme prime for smashing is 'thats the way it works', more like that's the way it doesn't work.
Skills….Jack of all trades learn shit just for the sake of it.
Methods….Social Capitol can be and will be at some point in every individual life more important that the farsical fiat we call currency now.
Hustles…..Grow flowers or herbs…these are always welcome and can earn off the books fiat.
Pushbacks… in cash. Some countries don’t have pennies. Pump your gas to $20.02.
These are just a few small things that will grow an individuals future. Use the selfishness propagated by the PTB against them. A selfish act can also be a selfless one. Once we as individuals are so batshit crazy happy, others will want some.
Sorry if this comes off as crazy or preachy, just the whole inaction nature of things is worrisome. The grey matter here at B’s site should be able to come of with all sorts of selfish selfless acts.
Just my OP, thanks for the outlet

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 20 2018 16:21 utc | 37

Any analysis that tries to gauge the effectiveness of this sort of identification manufacturing effort -- e.g. your example Iphone users understand themselves as a distinct group with shared interests against other groups -- has to consider what makes people vulnerable, so fluid in their identifications. An important part of the answer is that group identifications that might provide an anchor point from which the steady tide of identification bids could be evaluated have been on the decline. Most important among these would be trade unions. And not just trade unions in general, but trade unions that offer a challenge to ruling class hegemony. Vulnerability to getting "nudged" into a value shift of any political significance stems from a corporatized political order that is "free" of the defining influence of such unions, leaving the parties "free" to nudge themselves to support issue packages that the electorate then gets nudged into supporting. Without insisting on attention to its social presuppostions, the CA/FB controversy can end up becoming an exercise in concealment, just another round of symptoms being confused with causes.

Posted by: anondooronron | Mar 20 2018 16:33 utc | 38

The first mistake that we make is to meet in forums owned by our enemies. All over Europe, North America and no doubt the Antipodes too, there are old, neglected buildings which, if look at closely, will be recognisable as Union Halls, Friendly Society meeting rooms, old chapels of dissenting sects like the Primitive Methodists or Baptist Chapels, of the sort in which, in mining communities, for example, the lay preacher doubled as the pit's checkweighman and, after hours the Secretary of the local Communist Party.
It was not long ago that working class communities organised themselves to insulate themselves from cultural domination by their enemies. Hence the various workers education leagues, the summer schools at which luminaries like Rosa Luxemburg or Gene Debs used to lecture their younger comrades. Every city in Germany, in 1910 had its own local socialist newspaper, promoting the interests of the people who read it. Every town in the UK had its cooperative retail store, supplied by co-operatve wholesale societies Then there were building societies offering cheap mortgages to members.
None of these institutions was perfect, some succunbed quickly to the sirens of the capitalist markets, some became clones of the institutions that they were set up to replace. Unions were taken over by gangsters or, worse, clients of the employers (see the recent Chrysler contract in Detroit). None of them could be sustained without the active democratic participation of the working people themselves- business unionism and vanguardism are two cheeks of the same authoritarian arse.
The point is that, in societies dominated by capitalists and aristocrats, where the state broke strikes by massacring communities and elections were corrupted by machines, gerrymandering, intimidation and thuggish mobs, working people, most of them making a living with enormous effort and crippling work in appalling conditions, in which leisure time was almost unknown, contrived to resist the lies of the ruling class, to learn solidarity and to build communities from which the bosses were excluded and their propaganda discounted.
There is nothing new about the techniques employed by CA. They remain pretty well the same as those that the Sheriff of Nottingham used to raise posses to hunt down Robin Hood. The big difference is that there is an attitude in our societies, carefully cultivated by the Generals and the officer class, that every unit of cannon fodder has only to look into his backpack to find a Marshal's Baton, or a millionaire's income or an opportunity to shoot the shit with George Clooney over a bottle of Tequila. And that is why nobody wants to be caught on the wrong side of a discussion of the antisemitic offensives launched by the people of Gaza or the open killings conducted by the Dreaded President of Russia in Cathedral Closes, or the extreme impracticality of paying living wages or the need to reward 'wealth creators' aka exploiters of working people.
Blogs like this are great; if grouped together into magazines they would be even more useful.
The reality is that, let the capitalists do as they please, there are few of them. Even with their intellectual whores they are a negligible part of the community. The only way that they can beat the people is by conning the people into believing that the interests of the sheep s coincide with those of the wolves. Because these mattes are, in essence, very simple: a class of greedy exploiters, who care nothing for anyone else or even for the very planet they live on, people consumed by suicidal greed lives off the labour and resources of the vast majority, whom it rules by a variety of tricks which in the end depend upon the exercise of violence.
And those ruled outnumber, and in every way-intellectually, physically, culturally- outweigh those who rule them. This is an anomaly and not all the algorithms or PR campaigns in history can change that.
As, not ten years ago, became evident to an entire generation, power is there, ready to be taken provided that people want it enough to put aside petty jealousies, vanity and the longing to be praised by the powerful.

Posted by: bevin | Mar 20 2018 16:37 utc | 39

@29 Sounds like a Tavistock Institute offshoot..

Posted by: Lozion | Mar 20 2018 16:51 utc | 40

Their parent company, SCL Group, is contracted with the US State Dept. as part of their "Global Engagement Centre" "anti-propaganda" campaign.

They have previously done work for NATO, the British MoD, and private contractors in Iran, Syria, and Libya.

See this article for the details.

Somehow I doubt the likes of the Guardian will be concerned by these contracts, despite SCL sharing personnel, and no doubt methods, with CA.

Posted by: Bob | Mar 20 2018 17:02 utc | 41

Does any FBook user recall getting messages from "friends" like:

"if you don't support Hillary over Trump, you are a racist, PLEASE UNFRIEND ME"

I got several of those messages at about the same time and actually tried to talk to people about where/when/how they came to this course of action. They, all five, claimed to have independently had the thought. So when I read:

"...encouraging them to only interact with other humans who share that outlook, the aim is to split social cohesion leaving...self reinforcing groupthink as the absolute truth..."

It really fit my experience with FBook. BTW, the people most effected by this divisive ruse were upper income, with privileged education and lives. People who, in all likelihood, never lived in a shitty neighborhood where you had to keep your wits about you.

Posted by: S Brennan | Mar 20 2018 17:48 utc | 42

What a brilliant essay! b did well in posting it. First class!

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Mar 20 2018 17:54 utc | 43

for the record: the CIA funded/set up the animated film version of animal farm. orwell had died and they used some creep named hunt (who was supposedly part of the watergate break-in team) to manipulate his widow into giving them the rights.

and of course the slimy mitts of the subhuman truman and dulles brothers were all over it. the publishing of the book itself was an arduous task given the climate at the time; odd to think of an author facing obstacles because he wasn't pro-communist.

as for b's take i have to agree. it takes "2 to tango" and if your "culture" can be obliterated by a bunch of "big data" dorks then it probably wasn't that grand to begin with. the tech guys live in a bubble and tend to GREATLY overestimate their actual power over the minds of us "mere mortals" because their entire life revolves around analytics and code and "unique visits". they'd all act like bezos if they had the power and status to do so but have to be content with overcompensating fantasies about Internet Mind Control.

Posted by: the | Mar 20 2018 17:54 utc | 44

If these manipulators managed to help Trump to snatch the imperial scepter from Jeb Bush, kudos to them. IMO, Trump was clearly the best candidate of all Republicans in the primaries. He was also way better than Killary. So, what is the problem with a little manipulation if it helps the best man to win? Against all those entrenched career politicians who got the system on their side? Just imagine the alternative: Bush #3 or that deranged bitch.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 20 2018 18:01 utc | 45

Now I wonder what Dr. Goebbles could have mad with these new technologies. He wehen you look at "Triumf des Willen" and realize how old it is it is amazing that they understood the visual media so well.
ah well, I am getting old.

Posted by: Den Lille Abe | Mar 20 2018 18:10 utc | 46

@Rhisiart Gwilym

Why do you think anyone wants to spy on you?

Posted by: Bottle | Mar 20 2018 18:14 utc | 47

V. Arnold (1) - Snail mail in the States is now sent to a central postal faculty to be scanned before delivery.

In rural areas like mine mail going to a location a few miles away first goes some 75 miles away to Richmond before being sent right back here locally.

Posted by: Bart Hansen | Mar 20 2018 18:15 utc | 48

the says:

...and if your "culture" can be obliterated by a bunch of "big data" dorks then it probably wasn't that grand to begin with

yeah, thanks, this is kinda what i was driving at at number 11.

Posted by: john | Mar 20 2018 18:38 utc | 49

Getting better
Julian Assange to Testify Before UK Parliament on Cambridge Analytica
by Adam Garrie

it's about the fifth paper of Adam Garrie on the subject of CA, we could call this saga The search Of Absolute Soft Power.
do I prefer open war ? I wonder

Posted by: Charles Michael | Mar 20 2018 18:49 utc | 50

I supplied and put up some microwave towers at RAF Chicksands(NSA)and GCHQ back in the 1980s.
My pub conversation with some of the other contractors on site were truly scary.
Ever since then my assumption was that everything was being monitored.
With the advent of cheap storage,its now all recorded for use as and when required.
Voluntarily giving out any private info is insane.
If its free,you are the product.

Posted by: Winston | Mar 20 2018 18:49 utc | 51

Winston 49
If everything is monitored, where are the pics of the perp who poisoned Skripals and the cop? Where are the fresh pictures of Skripals? No leaks to the press? WTF is going on?

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 20 2018 19:02 utc | 52

bevin #37

Couldn’t agree more! Don’t accept their premises. Trust the evidence of your own eyes and the eyes of your family, friends and neighbours. And find ways to cooperate with those whose interests coincide with your own.

Posted by: Cortes | Mar 20 2018 19:10 utc | 53

It's now 15 years later. They didn't have Facebook yet or CA. But they had similar creeps willing to lie about whatever as long as they were paid well.

How They Sold the Iraq War

The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn’t fit the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked.

Posted by: b | Mar 20 2018 19:13 utc | 54

A few thoughts:

1. That video of the CA guys offering up their ability to get Ukrainian and Sri Lankan prostitutes to act as honeypots for blackmail is a laugh riot. Basically was like these guys read this story ( and thought "we're white, we're smart, why can't we do that?"

2. No one has been able to prove the results CA generated are any more insightful/sinister than existing microtargeting efforts performed by corporations daily to sell detergent or autos through Facebook or Google. So any algorithm adjustments to prevent CA's or anyone else's political ads on Facebook will also affect, for example, Proctor & Gamble's efforts to sell us Tide. Does anyone really think Facebook will mess that up to prevent another Trump?

3. Liberals' response to this story seem only to be focused on preventing the selling of another Trump, and not on why people bought what Trump was selling in the first place. The willful ignorance is staggering.

4. If everything CA did/does is being replicated by every competent corporate marketing org, where are the stories about why Hillary was so BAD at this? Corporate marketers were her core constituency, and they were wrecked on their efforts here.

Posted by: Helios | Mar 20 2018 19:22 utc | 55

thanks debs and b for all of this...

does this mean the ''russia stole the election meme'' will lessen any? i doubt it very much...

@39 bevin.. thanks for your comments.. i quote you here " The only way that they can beat the people is by conning the people into believing that the interests of the sheep s coincide with those of the wolves. "

true that...

Posted by: james | Mar 20 2018 20:07 utc | 56

A nihilistic techno-feudal society doomed to failure. What Christopher Wylie divulges is only the tip of the iceberg. The US election theft by reactionary forces was piloted by Brad Parscale's Project Alamo team in San Antonio. While these quants think they're changing the world with immaterial weapons, the russians and chinese are rebuilding and applying sound principles of physical economy. I put my money on eurasian prometheans applying their creative fire to increase man's physical productive power. We saw the first signs of their mastery during Vladimir Putin's march 1st speech...

Posted by: Augustin L | Mar 20 2018 20:08 utc | 57

I guess the other thing they can do is make sure you don't have contrary threads running through your Facebook thread. Now I seem to only get gardening posts, ban fox hunting posts and the tamer versions of alternative news. Very rarely do I get posts from RT, The Duran, Fort Russ etc.

Posted by: Win | Mar 20 2018 21:00 utc | 58

One of my friends is so paranoid that his activities are significant and worth examination, that he's manic about what he says on the phone, and leaving behind incriminating paper trails, and so forth. However, knowing a bit about this individual, there is very little so far as I can tell that would be of any interest. On the other hand, he believes, as I am convinced a great many americans are, that he is an "important person." The institution that employs him gives him praises and prizes to support his (in)significance. But when I'm out in America, and I see that when authorities are trying to track down just one instance of criminality how hopelessly futile most of their efforts are, I am confirmed that just about all of us are of no interest, and of minimal importance. I guess it's important that we think we are though. I would however avoid facebook, and the law, personally, but that's just me.

Posted by: Geoff | Mar 20 2018 21:25 utc | 59

@ b who wrote:
But the real question is how well these new projects work. Yes, advertising can sell a product. 'News' can change opinions. But they can only do so to a certain degree or for a limited time. Eskimos do not need refrigerators. Counterinsurgency campaigns usually fail.

If they can only do so to a certain degree or for a limited time then why are we stuck with private finance folks running our world and have been for centuries?

I posit that humanity will only survive if it is forward thinking and not stuck in a "cultural rut" like private finance puts us in. It hobbles humanity in so many ways as it represents a religion that control incentives and retard human growth of the many for the few.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 20 2018 21:26 utc | 60

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 20, 2018 12:06:40 PM | 33

It means that you are not sheep. Sometimes it is safer to be a sheep.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 20 2018 21:36 utc | 61

add to 33

Like people using Tor.

In its announcement, the spy agency presents a strong hypothesis. According to the BND, „Tor is predominantly used to conceal activities, where users are not convinced of the legality of their actions. The number of Tor users who aim at preserving anonymity out of mere privacy considerations is relatively small.“ The BND bases this statement on „several pieces of intelligence“, but does not underpin it with any facts.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 20 2018 21:43 utc | 62

@24 "doesn't 'Airplane Mode' do the same thing?"

No, that just stops the phone from transmitting.
It doesn't prevent the phone from receiving.

As an example: when a phone is in "Airplane Mode" it still knows that it has moved from *there* to *here*, which is useful information if someone wants to locate your clandestine meeting place.

But in a foil bag the phone goes dark: you go to a park, pop it in the bag before going to.... wherever.... then return to that same park.

Remove it from the Twisties packet and - as far as you phone is concerned - you've been sitting on that park bench all that time.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 20 2018 21:50 utc | 63

@ YR 63

Or just leave it, lol.

Posted by: foo | Mar 20 2018 21:56 utc | 64

i know this is small beer in the scheme of things, and now realize i should have indicated what was in the original tweets i'd posted, but:

Facebook scandal widens: Obama campaign's Carol Davidsen admits Democrats sucked out "the entire social network of the US", kept the data and still have it. w/ video

Facebook let us "suck out the ENTIRE social graph" because "they were on our side" -- Obama campaign team leader for 2012

@JulianAssange 7h7 hours ago
I have accepted a request by the select committee of the UK parliament @CommonsCMS to give evidence, via video link, about Cambridge Analytica, and other matters, later this month.

Posted by: wendy davis | Mar 20 2018 22:45 utc | 65

B please not Guardian, they lost,last shred of credibility years ago and now they push pure unadulterated propaganda including lying against everything you so precisely, aptly and truthfully wrote on your blog.

It does not matter that they sometimes allow for some truth if it fits liking of their sponsors from IC, they must be ignored they must pay price for blatant vicious murderous propaganda they proliferate for profit and by lives destroyed and taken by pushing psychotic delusions Guardian and MSM as true deadly manipulators .

Posted by: Kalen | Mar 20 2018 22:47 utc | 66

Apropos of the subject: namely, large scale data-collection as a means of telling masses of people what they should think:

Back in early 2003, a majority of Americans thought it just wonderful that we should kick the living shit out of Iraq, simply because we wanted to at the time and thought we could. Four years later, a majority of Americans now don't think this shit-kicking stuff has worked out so well since it turned out we only had one leg to stand on and kick the Iraqi people at the same time. Still, though, another majority of Americans still can't decide whether or not continuing to "win" this one-legged ass-kicking contest makes less sense than "losing" it as quickly as humanly possible. Hence:

Polling the One-Legged Proles

You ask if they like 'good' and they
Will tell you that they do;
You say: "You hate 'bad,' don't you?" and
They answer: "That is true;"
From all of which we gather what?
That one plus one is two?

Majorities, we learn, like wars
That sound like lots of fun,
And more than half will always say
We shouldn't "cut and run"
No matter if we die while shouting:
"We are number one!"

The old vox populi gives voice
To popular content
With knowing not the names of thieves
Or where the money went;
Nor even why we haven't hanged
The "leaders" we resent.

They lie and steal with such panache
That words cannot but fail
To conjur up the essence of
Their victims' plaintive wail,
And yet they walk free on the earth
When they should rot in jail.

Our Romanovs and their Rasputins
Say we need a "czar"
Because we cannot rule ourselves
And don't know who we are.
Our rulers scoff at serfs like us
Whom they find too bizarre.

So ask us if we like our lot,
And we will say: "And how!"
We wouldn't want to disagree
With "liking," would we now?
So just imply a "positive"
And we'll take up the plow.

Our "goodness" we assume as fact
Implicit in the word
As if agreeing with ourselves –
The bovine, driven herd -
Somehow makes our conformity
The least bit less absurd

And so if we should take a poll,
We'll find a total lack
Of any evidence that we
Are other than a pack
Who answer "yes" or "no" on cue,
And yet who don't know Jack.

Michael Murry, "The Misfortune Teller," Copyright © 2007

Yes, I think that holds up pretty well after eleven years and counting ...

Posted by: Michael Murry | Mar 20 2018 22:51 utc | 67

@67,vit holds up very well.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 21 2018 0:03 utc | 68

@67, it holds up very well, thanks. Sorry for the double post.

Posted by: spudski | Mar 21 2018 0:04 utc | 69

the surveillance valley book is a good one - the point is the internet, as we know it, has one primary objective: for govt it is to identify potential challenges internally to the status quo before they gain traction

there are auxiliary objectives such as for the private sector it is maximizing profit models which keyed on
PII, or spreading official mis/disinformation and the like, or enabling the decentralized distribution (and access) of data

however the overriding purpose is the power of ubiquitous surveillance facilitating optimization of political awareness and therefore control

Posted by: b real | Mar 21 2018 0:11 utc | 70

@ 70 'b real'

I've thought the NSA using the idea of customers as 'consumers' insidious.

That means there is a 'market' that requires a 'product'.

Posted by: foo | Mar 21 2018 0:23 utc | 71

@ james | 56

does this mean the ''russia stole the election meme'' will lessen any? i doubt it very much...

Just as the UK government seems to have put itself out on a limb with the Skirpal poisoning bugaboo, the perpetrators of the "Russian meddling" smear seem unwilling or unable to abandon their campaign.

FWIW, mainstream/corporate news venues in the US are spinning this story as "Trump 'stole the election'". For instance, since anything that prompts a social media buzz is now automatically "news", there are many reports about Facebook users being outraged at the news that "Facebook helped Trump win the election."

Even if Cambridge Analytica was founded by, or on behalf of, Republican Party strategists, and funded by Trump associates, it's clear that CA did not exclusively service the Trump campaign and the Republicans; they are equal-opportunity fraudsters who will work for anyone who can afford them.

I should say that it's clear enough at MOA. But the anti-Trump forces are shoehorning it into still another "smoking gun" that will bring about the much-desired premature termination of the Trump aberration.

Posted by: Ort | Mar 21 2018 0:23 utc | 72

Old age comes a-creeping.

I'm supposed to trust a 28-yr old male-like person with pink hair and silver snot hanging out of his nose, to explain how scooping up information that morons posted on a site built for morons will a person's psychology and thereby change a nation's political values??

The people on this forum are pretty smart. None of you figured out, within 10 min. of Zuck promoting FB and then Twitter becoming a Thing, that their main purpose was the gathering of information in order to manipulate the public??? Really?? You didn't figure that out? The hairdresser who dyed your hair pink didn't whisper it to you?

Palantir is in the same/similar business, also sponsored by CIA. It's founder, Alex Karp, is Frankfurt school. The agenda of Frankfurt school is to change the culture, re-format the cognitive map in order to "eliminate antisemitism." Palantir's culture fosters infantilism: its reception area is loaded with toys, skateboards, toss games. The approach seems to be to enable a seamless transition from a Dionysian fraternity house to a workplace of studied carefree-ness: don't think about the moral content of what you are doing, you are the Smartest Geeks in the Room and you deserve to have fun.

Any adults at CA, or at Palantir? Do 45 year olds still dye their hair pink?
Wylie is a walking-talking demonstration of the effects of the psychological infantilization of the US and larger population.

What happens when CA employees like Wylie marry and have children? What am I saying -- that's one of the things Frankfurt school is determined to eradicate, much more cool to put your 45 year old pink-haired body on a skateboard and cruise to your cube than to wipe your kid's spit-up from your nose-ring: What will be the outcome when the infantilized encounters a real infant? Which one will grow up?
Wonder if Nikolas Cruz was ever an infant or if he was forever the product of an infantilized, psychologically re-arranged culture a la CA?

Posted by: Croesus | Mar 21 2018 0:32 utc | 73

@ 67 Posted by: Michael Murry
" Yes, I think that holds up pretty well after eleven years and counting ..."

There's also Dicken's rendition of the prosecuting attorney's examination of witnesses in the trial of Charles Darnay in Tale of Two Cities.

This is not new.

That's why god made authors like Dickens and books like Tale of Two Cities and institutions like schools, so we could learn from the past rather than repeat its mistakes.
But who has time for Dickens where there are protests in DC to arrange and FB pages to update?

Posted by: Croesus | Mar 21 2018 0:41 utc | 74

Its been a 100 years in the making. Bernay and his Uncle Freud merging propaganda and psychology to control the way we think on behalf of the power elite. Its been an evolution. Today they have control over social media, MSM, education, Hollywood, publishing, the Business Round Table, CFR, Bilderberg, TLC, NSA and of course our military and intelligence communities and both political parties. They have control over the USD , Opium and Oil , and thus control much of the world. Military bases in virtually every country, and so called NGOs to boot like the NED which will bring down any democracy from within. All internet data runs through the US since they invented the internet. More important is the power elite have united after a bitter civil war at the top between 1963-1973. The good guys lost.

We live in the matrix. Former CIA director William Casey allegedly said when everything the people believe in is a lie we will have accomplished our mission. Today he would say Mission Accomplished

We are in, and have been for over a decade in a stage I call the End of History. Perhaps a better name is the Age of Fake Reality or Deep State Illusion. Its all fake, except that which is real. The real is hidden behind a wall of lies. Those that attempt to breach the wall are attacked or ridiculed. The Truth is sacred, but only a chosen few must know it. Plato called them Philospher Kings. I call them Power Elite.
They now have Total Control and there is nothing anyone can do about it.

Posted by: Pft | Mar 21 2018 1:03 utc | 75

@75 God isn't much help either. She's too busy with gender politics.

Posted by: Dh | Mar 21 2018 1:13 utc | 76

@ 73 Croesus

I dunno, did you ask Wylie's pronoun?

Posted by: foo | Mar 21 2018 1:18 utc | 77

@ 77 Dh

lol, we hit the snark button at the same time!

Posted by: foo | Mar 21 2018 1:19 utc | 78


Posted by: Uuncle $cam | Mar 21 2018 1:29 utc | 79

@70 b real

Very glad to see you come out of the shadows and comment.

While the intent may have been the mass surveillance of the populace, the true power of the internet is displayed here regularly at MOA and that is the enlightenment and education of the misinformed. The internet is much more powerful than any could have imagined. WE/I bring the internet to people who have been restricted to the lies propagated by the msm. There will always be sheep, but even sheep know to gather or run when a wolf is in the vicinity.

What I am saying is although the internet (like a gun) can be either helpful or harmful, it should not be disdained or suspect. Access to differing viewpoints will make all but the mentally lazy people THINK, and come to their own conclusions. You're not going to get that on cable or satellite tv unless you pay extra, and people aren't paying extra. They pay for internet though, (thank you facebook) and while keeping track of loved ones, SOME gradually become aware of the lies their government is telling.

While the internet has become a powerful tool for the powers that be, it also has the potential to become an even more powerful tool in the hands of the masses. Their strategy has not reached fruition yet and it is our duty to share links to information that disputes the gov pov and tilt the scales in our favor. It's a huge task, with no guarantee of success. If we don't make the effort, who will?

Dinosaurs died off through no fault of their own, if we die off, it's on us.


p.s. Didn't read the article, was just browsing thru the recent replies. I don't pay attention to MOA's "the msm is lying to you" articles too often, because it should be obvious. Saw your name and cuz you seldom post, read your comment. Wish b would post on Turkey threatening to cross the Euphrates, Trump meeting Putin in regard to "arms race", the effects of the upcoming China/Us trade war or all the D.C. folks exploring doomsday shelter where his insight is most useful and effective. If I am out of line with response, it's cuz I only read like five comments this article.

@b I can't imagine how you produce what you do, but you are very good at it. I follow, because you cover topics of interest to me, but accept that I didn't become aware in one giant step either. No complaints about the topics you choose to pursue, only preferences and one day, I promise, I will back them up with cash. ;)

Take care b real and I am glad you are still with us.


Posted by: b4real | Mar 21 2018 1:36 utc | 80

@72 ort.. if the folks who so detest trump were honest, they would be blaming the uk for stealing the election as opposed to russia... as it presently stands, these folks will only be content with trump gone, regardless of who comes next.. and they don't really seem to care much about how the usa has gotten to this place either, due the inability to self reflect.. looking for some scapegoat is all they appear to be about...

@73 croecus... nice rant / post...

Posted by: james | Mar 21 2018 1:43 utc | 81

Without having had the time to go through all the comments here. It seems John Bolton, poised to replace McMaster as security advisor for Trump's Iran-war cabinet, also had his money in this company (CA).

They are hoping that while the number of the awoken may increase, they can at least better control the ones that refuse to listen and understand. I do believe though that truth will always prevail.

Posted by: Alexander | Mar 21 2018 1:47 utc | 82

Cambridge Analytica is not the only one doing this. They're getting a lot of publicity because the backed the winning horse in the last presidential election.

Posted by: ab initio | Mar 21 2018 1:48 utc | 83

@Tannenhouser #37 (and others who might need cheering up):

My mom was beginning to get herself worked up in a lather about all the "Trump bad, m'kay?", and Srhillary, etc etc. Over a series of several dinners with her and my wife, I talked with her about 'decentralization' and the futility of trying to fight the huge structures. I told her that she would certainly make more headway in smaller circles of friends and associates. Work for local change, and it will ripple outward.

Well...after a couple months, she openly thanked me for the good advice, told me she had been attending local 'town hall' meetings instead of participating in marches and the like. She said it was cathartic, educational, and she felt she was actually making some headway.

It's probably easier in smaller groups to break the mob mentality and step back to examine things with a little more leisure. If nothing else, you don't have 60,000 marchers loaded up with confirmation bias to 'assist you in rightthink'.

Posted by: Dr. Wellington Yueh | Mar 21 2018 1:54 utc | 84

@ v Anthony, re: snail mail being relatively safe...
um, I have some disappointing -if not sphincter clenching- news for you, tony, unka sam been doing mail intercepts for for-freaking-ever... I NEVER believe any of their denials or lies that they, um, weally, twuly stopped doing that stuff...
if sauron turns his eye on you, they will stop at nothing to destroy you...
@ bottle, re: Why do you think anyone wants to spy on you?
you aren't getting it kamper, The They are sucking it ALL up so that EVERYONE IS VULNERABLE... maybe you are a good little soldier shreck today, but a couple years from now when you go off the reservation, The They have the goods on you: because they have 'the goods' ON EVERYONE..
THAT is the point: not that rhisiart, bottle, or art guerrilla are such a thorn in the side of Empire that we get individual attention from the spooks, but that EVERYONE is being surveilled to A) keep the rabble in line, (The They WANT you to know they are watching); B) have a minute record of EVERYONE such that they can be jacked up any time Empire so deems it necessary...
every hear about '3 felonies a day' ? ? ?
you didn't think Empire was there to serve us 99%, did you...
bwa ha ha ha ha haaaaaaaaa

Posted by: art guerrilla | Mar 21 2018 2:04 utc | 85

@37 bevin

Agree that the power is there. For the ordinary people, the equation is simple: power comes from organizing. You organize, you automatically accrue a measure of power. The more people, the more organization, the more power. All the collaborations you mention, they all understood this in their own way, without much needing to be told. It's a very clear and obvious thing.

Michael Parenti pointed out once that while the rich don't care about us at all, they care desperately what we're thinking. Every day they worry that enough people will form the same conclusion or join in a similar attitude and destroy them. They know they're vastly outnumbered, completely surrounded, and irredeemably guilty of multiple crimes.


@57 Augustin L

I'm with you on the Eurasians and the more real achievements they will energize in this century. Very well said. Physical economy. It's about the real versus the unreal.

I quoted the other day a line that I've long admired: "Power. The one quality of the human condition you can't fake." I think this is a supremely true statement.


@80 b4real

I did read all the comments, but I agree with your sense that this is not a one-sided demise for the human condition or its spirit. There is a balance in all of nature including the human race of antibodies fighting against diseases. And as all the ancient and modern wisdom of the race agrees, plans for badness are often the simple reflection of weakness, and what doesn't kill you may just make you stronger.

Sometimes their anemic schemes simply reveal their anemia. The true miracle is that we can see the schemes, and form the same conclusions or join in similar attitude. They better watch out, lest they die from their daily worry that their schemes aren't working.

Posted by: Grieved | Mar 21 2018 2:47 utc | 86

@64: "Or just leave it, lol."

Well that would be terribly inconvenient. Phones do actually have uses, which is why people have them....

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Mar 21 2018 2:48 utc | 87

For all believers in snail mail,

"Postal Service Confirms Photographing All U.S. Mail" (The New York Times, August 2 2013)

A photograph of every letter and every parcel mailed in the US is taken by the Postal Service, to provide to law enforcement agencies if they ever ask for them as part of criminal investigations.

Posted by: Jen | Mar 21 2018 2:52 utc | 88

Jen | Mar 20, 2018 10:52:50 PM | 88

But they're not opening and reading it...yet.
Snail mail is still more secure than any electronic media...for the time being.

Posted by: V. Arnold | Mar 21 2018 3:21 utc | 89

@88 Jen,

UNLIKE the NSA, the USPS is offering access to their (our) records, for free, via their Informed Delivery service. Maybe all the NSA needs to do to gain broader public acceptance is offer cloud backup services?

Posted by: Jonathan | Mar 21 2018 5:26 utc | 90

@b4real -

appreciate that - haven't been in the shadows, per se - perennially perched on a stool here (or branch, if you view moa as a tree of knowledge in forest of electronic literacy), most days at various times, listening, learning & thinking in preference to opening my mouth or pressing keys

however i recommend you read yasha levine's book as he specifically addresses those very sentiments you bring up, which have taken various forms esp since the 1990's. The chapter "Utopia and Privatization" outlines how the ideas/narratives gained foothold, despite establishment plans to the contrary, "that this tool of oppression would liberate us from oppression! Computers were the great equalizer! They would make the world freer, fairer, more democratic and egalitarian." it, and subsequent chapters, will clear such notions from one's head in the current internet as we know it.

knowledge is power, yes. distribution of knowledge can provide that power greater efficacy. shared bonds, however imagined & ungrounded in reality, do lead to leaps in empathic reasoning and more open doors & collaborative networks in meatspace. i do not disagree w/ your point that we are therefore obligated to utilize the tool to fit our needs and gain advantage from its features. but we also need to be mindful and realistic of the bugs - and they are showstoppers at the executive level, and not just "built-in". levine's findings on & critique of the privacy movements are enlightening and foreshadow what we will eventually learn about other efforts to 'wrest control' of the internet from its creators & owners in service of bourgeois democratic ideals. he also covers the origins & efforts of the 'internet freedom' project to destabilish power structures the USG doesn't respect.

a technology is no more neutral than the assertion or idea that technology can be neutral. the internet was invented with a narrow set of specific purposes in mind. and it has developed accordingly along those intentions. it has shaped minds, habits and even cultures in service of these intended outcomes. the modern internet is as embedded in developed societies as the major internet companies are in bed with the military and govt agencies. it's that latter connection - one of the core bugs in the system - which will not allow a transition to any meaningful revolution founded on tenets of economic and social justice. it's too vested in the ideological & technical control of the established order. dreams of distributed ownership by "the masses" is just that - a dream.

but, i agree - the internet can be helpful for our education. for instance, i wouldn't have been able to decipher Croesus@73 had i not had access to web-linked material such as 'Cultural Marxism,' a conspiracy theory with an anti-Semitic twist, is being pushed by much of the American right.

Posted by: b real | Mar 21 2018 6:04 utc | 91

Posted by: b real | Mar 21, 2018 2:04:45 AM | 91

Yep, he is an example that information does not change instinctive bias. Cambridge Analytics do not change the way we feel, they exploit it.

But b. is right, politicians have always been able to do that. What the internet has changed is that you can do it with very little effort, anonymously, on the cheap.

People are angry about BREXIT and TRUMP. Cambridge Analytics is behind both. Cheap investment by some interested parties was enough to engineer this.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2018 8:49 utc | 92

People are angry about BREXIT and TRUMP. Cambridge Analytics is behind both. Cheap investment by some interested parties was enough to engineer this.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21, 2018 4:49:49 AM | 92


Posted by: DM | Mar 21 2018 10:56 utc | 93

Well, if you tried to reverse BREXIT you would defang Cambridge Analytics first?

Above link is from BBC.

At the same time, it is not only the kind of second referendum that matters. So also does how the idea is presented to voters.

When, on numerous occasions, YouGov has asked whether "there should or should not be a referendum to accept or reject" the terms of the deal that is eventually negotiated with the EU, they have on average found only 33% in favour, and 46% against.

In contrast, when Survation has asked whether people support "holding a second EU referendum to allow the public to vote on a Brexit deal when the details are known" they have on average found 46% in favour and only 42% opposed.

Presenting a referendum as a way of putting voters in charge seemingly makes the idea rather more attractive.

But whether they will eventually be given that role remains to be seen.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2018 11:09 utc | 94

And this here is what it is really about.

British electoral law is founded on the principle of a level playing field and controlling campaign spending is the key plank of that. The law states that different campaigns must not work together unless they declare their expenditure jointly. This controls spending limits so that no side can effectively “buy” an election.

But this signed legal document – a document that was never meant to be made public and was leaked by a concerned source – connects both Vote Leave and Leave.EU’s data firms directly to Robert Mercer, the American billionaire who bankrolled Donald Trump.

and this: Brexit campaign was largely funded by five of UK's richest businessmen

Posted by: somebody | Mar 21 2018 11:26 utc | 95

@84 Dr. Wellington Yueh. Thanks for that....yes I agree.

@91 b real. With all due respect....would it be accurate or even fair to label you Hasbera? It does after all seem that's what you did with your cultural Marxism link? The difference really is which views are being enforced and which are being silenced. Just because I mostly agree with Croesus@73 does not make me from the right or an anti-Semite as the end of your post seems to make believe. The complaints Croesus seems to have can be seen in our society today at all levels.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 21 2018 18:27 utc | 96

@ Tannenhouser | Mar 21, 2018 2:27:18 PM | 96

You did not specify to which society you refer.

„The complaints Croesus seems to have can be seen in our society today at all levels.“

I read the article that is linked about „cultural marxism“. Alt right BS, my 2 cents. Ridiculous.

Posted by: Hausmeister | Mar 21 2018 21:09 utc | 97

CA is a psyop. The mere fact the media are all over it, promoting it and Wylie show it’s phoney, conceived as nothing more than another means of hitting Trump and all the usual targets. I mean they even try to tie Russia in! It’s just fake from the bottom up IMO.

Posted by: Neve | Mar 22 2018 0:20 utc | 98

Speaking of: Bernays and Tavistock

The manipulation of the American public saw great strides under Bernays and his colleagues, CFR man Walter Lippmann, and media magnate Lords Rothmere (Harold Harmsworth) and Lord Northcliffe. The latter individuals were employed by Britain’s War Propaganda Bureau otherwise known as Wellington House founded in 1913 and named after the Duke of Wellesly. His task was to assist in the preparation of the American mind to accept and support entry into the First World War. Brainstorming sessions took place where the main target of propaganda operations were young working class men who were required to become machine-gun and cannon fodder on the fields of Flanders and the Somme, all of which was unknown to the American public.

The funding came firstly, from the British Royal Family, Rockefeller family trusts and several years later from the Rothschilds, to whom Lord Rothmere was related by marriage. As the members of the board had links to Lord Milner’s Oxford set, the Round Table group, the Fabian Society, the Rothschilds and the Rockefellers, the formation of “mass brain washing” meant that Bernays and his set of skills was employed directly in the service of the Establishment’s emerging Pathocrats. The tripartite relations of the arms industry, banking and Elite designs is a lucrative ideological and geopolitical formula that have defined the financial architecture up to the present day.

War propaganda also came under the guidance of the Royal Institute of International Affairs (RIAA) whose director of Future Studies, Fabian historian Alfred Toynbee acted as an important liaison. As Lord Rothmere owned both The Times of London and the Daily Mail it was deemed more than feasible that the shaping of the Anglo-American mind in favour of war could proceed.

Various propaganda techniques were tried out through Rothmere’s newspapers under Bernays’ expert tutelage. They discovered that the ability to reason was poor amongst the population, especially the uneducated which made up the vast majority of conscripts. It was the stimulation of mass emotional reaction accompanied by appropriate slogans and images of national pride and family protection that proved the greatest success.* As author and anarchist Edward Abbey has pointed out: “The tragedy of modern war is that the young men die fighting each other – instead of their real enemies back home in the capitals.” This applied not just to seducing young men to fight wars but to all aspects of society that indirectly contribute to such a conclusion.

The late ex-Intelligence analyst Dr. John Coleman and his own research tells us:

With the Tavistock plan modified to suit American conditions, Bernays and Lippmann led President Woodrow Wilson to set up the very first Tavistock methodology techniques for polling (manufacturing) so-called public opinion created by Tavistock propaganda. They also taught Wilson to set up a secret body of “managers” to run the war effort and a body of “advisors” to assist the President in his decision-making. The Creel Commission was the first such body of opinion-makers set up in the United States. [2]

In 1921, the ideology of Woodrow Wilson’s handlers met the Duke of Bedford, Marquis of Tavistock, the 11th Duke, who gave a building to the Institute to study the effect of shell-shock on British soldiers who survived World War I. The British Army Bureau of Psychological Warfare sent for Sir John Rawlings-Reese who was given the job of discovering the threshold or “breaking point” of men under severe stress. This was the official starting point, but the ambitions of the Institute were far broader.

Edward Bernays helped to spread Freud’s theories into the USA while assisting the rise of a particular brand of corporatism and social science based on the same. His books Crystallizing Public Opinion (1923) and Propaganda (1928) became bibles of manipulation in business and government circles alike, spawning the growth of Public Relations in Europe and America. In 1919, he had opened for business as a Public Relations Counsellor in New York, with clients falling over themselves to learn the art of engaging the public mind, tailoring their goals to want what they didn’t need. Selfishness, instinct, fear and the importance of Pavlovian responses sat upon an abiding materialism and distrust in human nature, all of which served to feed the machine of the 4Cs. **

German-born Dr. Kurt Lewin became director of Tavistock in 1932. He went on to set up the Harvard Psychology Clinic, which worked closely with Edward Bernays’ propaganda campaign to make the American mind amenable to war with Germany. A ratline of psychologists began to create a conduit between the US and UK. By 1937, Wellington House had transferred operations to the Tavistock Clinic which became the Tavistock Institute for Human Relations in 1946. The Climax of Civilization (1917) by Correa Moylan Walsh and Oswald Spengler’s The Decline of Western Civilization (Untergange des Abenlandes) were incorporated into an ideological model which included world government and the precepts of A New World Order. Both authors drew from the usual neo-feudal beliefs which augmented the need to regulate and shape societies. This led to the Institute becoming host to renowned behavioural psychologists and the study of group psychodynamics. [3] The founding members of the Tavistock Institute were dispatched across the world stage to tweak social and political policy. Brigadier John Rawlings Rees was psychiatrist to Rudolph Hess, Adolf Hitler’s deputy whilst Ronald Hargreaves became deputy director of the World Health Organization (WHO).

Posted by: PeacefulProsperity | Mar 22 2018 3:35 utc | 99


Everything since Gramm-Leach-Bliley Bankster Law has been deliberatecstress-positioning. They have to keep tightening the ligatures as we become numb. By 2011, we nodded off while Congress disinherited 325,000,000 USAryans. Today we nod off to daily flogging posts from the Orange Fuckwit, so they wake us up with a shooting or a bombing. We'll give over everything, without a whimper. Buried in the 2018 Omnibus Bill is a Cloud Act, which grants Corporations full access to all your data and communications, even foreign corporations, even foreign governments (e.g. Israel).

Posted by: Chipnik | Mar 22 2018 3:49 utc | 100

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