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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Propaganda is Obvious

Because it is excellent, I've cut and pasted from a fascinating- and chilling -article by Berit Anderson and Brett Horvath from  If you wanted reasons to spend less time on line, well here you go.  The full article is at  This is a must read.  Thanks Tom Civiletti for your post.
The upshot:  political, social and economic propagandizers now have the capacity to customize their message to every single individual with an online presence.  They can build a total experience for you, complete with a large group of fake friends, that is emotionally addicting and intellectually manipulative.  They can construct a complete world just for you, solely for the purpose of contolling your decisions.  Which doesn't feel like control at all.
This is why I believe people who run face-to-face businesses like I do will never become extinct.  In fact, now is our time.  We must counteract this powerful, pervasive and unConstitutional manipulation of one another.

At Scout, we’ve been speaking with political strategists, technologists, and machine learning experts about how AI propaganda will spread through society in the near future. We want to work with you, the Scout community, to scenario plan what happens next. Here are some implications to get the conversation started.


Public Sentiment Turns Into High-Frequency Trading
Thanks to stock-trading algorithms, large portions of public stock and commodity markets no longer resemble a human system and, some would argue, no longer serve their purpose as a signal of value. Instead they’re a battleground for high-frequency trading algorithms attempting to influence price or find nano-leverage in price position.
In the near future, we may see a similar process unfold in our public debates. Instead of battling press conferences and opinion articles, public opinion about companies and politicians may turn into multi-billion dollar battles between competing algorithms, each deployed to sway public sentiment. Stock trading algorithms already exist that analyze millions of Tweets and online posts in real-time and make trades in a matter of milliseconds based on changes in public sentiment. Algorithmic trading and ‘algorithmic public opinion’ are already connected. It’s likely they will continue to converge.


Personalized, Automated Propaganda That Adapts to Your Weaknesses
What if President Trump’s 2020 re-election campaign didn’t just have the best political messaging, but 250 million algorithmic versions of their political message all updating in real-time, personalized to precisely fit the worldview and attack the insecurities of their targets? Instead of having to deal with misleading politicians, we may soon witness a cambrian explosion of pathologically-lying political and corporate bots that constantly improve at manipulating us.


Not Just a Bubble, But Trapped in Your Own Ideological Matrix
Imagine that in 2020 you found out that your favorite politics page or group on Facebook didn’t actually have any other human members, but was filled with dozens or hundreds of bots that made you feel at home and your opinions validated? Is it possible that you might never find out?

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