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Stephanie C. Fox

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Algorithms, Suppression of Opposition Speech, and Psy-Ops.

As I write this, the Oscars are on. Why not? They’re fun.

I still want to see Hidden Figures, and I hope it wins big, because I’m such a sucker for all things outer space and feminist. My law thesis was on outer space law – but that’s another story, and also a fun one.

Jimmy Kimmel wasted no time in disabusing viewers of the fantasy that the celebrities will provide such a good time that our divided nation of citizens – divided politically – will be brought together and “healed” of our discord.

Good. That is, after all, absurd and unrealistic.

While we’re at it, I have something to add: if you have a better working knowledge of who’s who in the entertainment world than you do of who’s who in the political world, that is a disgrace. That is what’s wrong with Americans. And that’s just a start.

Here are some names to drop, names that can be looked up on www.wikipedia.com and http://www.house.gov/ and https://www.senate.gov/ after reading this:

  • Jason Chaffetz
  • Joe Manchin
  • Tammy Duckworth
  • Elizabeth Warren
  • John McCain
  • Steve Bannon
  • Steve Mnuchin
  • Scott Pruitt

Okay, that’s eight names. That will do for now.

On to the topic of the moment:

Alex Jones is the blowhard who runs a radio show in Texas called InfoWars. He screams himself hoarse until he is red in the face, and ripe for caricature – like a balloon with a bit of hair on top and bulging, round eyes with bags under them.

What does he scream about? Utter nonsense – all emotion, no research.

In this clip from The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Jones is shown with a juice box, claiming that drinking out of them makes a person “turn gay” – like frogs – and so on. It’s tempting to sic a scientist on this idiot, but he would likely just shout the scientist down.

Infowars’ Alex Jones is Trump’s CAPS LOCK Advisor

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A-HUbdEAxo8&feature=youtu.be

In December of 2015, Donald J. Trump – a.k.a. the #Pumpkingropenfuehrer – went on his show.

Trump talked about how we need more surveillance everywhere in this interview.

Just for going on this show, he ought to be ineligible for office.

Donald Trump Tells All on the Alex Jones Show

http://www.infowars.com/donald-trump-tells-all-on-the-alex-jones-show/

So what? It’s just a radio show that no one has heard, of, you might say.

Well, not anymore, and nonsense like this does matter when it is so easy to take in, and when served up to a public that does not care to read or research primary source material, to check its veracity, and to make sure that it is not being manipulated.

No one with an ounce of common sense would take Alex Jones seriously, you might say.

No one with an education and who isn’t too lazy to do research would do that…

Not so fast with the dismissal.

People DID take him seriously, starting with our Thief-in-Chief.

It would be too simplistic to simply ascribe the problem to a lack of education, laziness, closed-mindedness, and a general unwillingness to research or listen.

It’s far worse than that.

Data was manipulated, after it was gathered and shared among the most funded hackers of all time. The Farmers that I write about in the dystopian Nae-Née series did this – libertarian corporatists with pockets so deep as to seem bottomless.

The much maligned main-stream media continues to resist the Orwellian efforts to shove Newspeak – fake news – down our throats. We still have, uncensored, even if blocked from some White House press conferences by a fascist administration with a weak ego at its head, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, Newsweek, Ms. magazine, the Associated Press, The Guardian, and many others. Read them. Look up information about each news source online, check with Snopes.com and Wikipedia.com and other verification sites. The Washington Post has demonstrated its determination to fight for freedom of the press and of information access by a change to its masthead:

Strategic Communications Laboratories, or the SCL Group, engineered our 2016 presidential election. Visit its website – https://sclgroup.cc/  – and the first image shown is of a stadium full of people attending a national election convention. Cambridge Analytica is a spin-off corporation of SCL. Here is its website: https://cambridgeanalytica.org/  Here also are the logos of each of these corporations:

 

This article from The Guardian explains what was done, and although I don’t usually provide excerpts, this one is a bit long, so I shall provide them.

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2017/feb/26/robert-mercer-breitbart-war-on-media-steve-bannon-donald-trump-nigel-farage

But there was another reason why I recognised Robert Mercer’s name: because of his connection to Cambridge Analytica, a small data analytics company. He is reported to have a $10m stake in the company, which was spun out of a bigger British company called SCL Group. It specialises in “election management strategies” and “messaging and information operations”, refined over 25 years in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan. In military circles this is known as “psyops” – psychological operations. (Mass propaganda that works by acting on people’s emotions.)

Cambridge Analytica worked for the Trump campaign and, so I’d read, the Leave campaign. When Mercer supported Cruz, Cambridge Analytica worked with Cruz. When Robert Mercer started supporting Trump, Cambridge Analytica came too. And where Mercer’s money is, Steve Bannon is usually close by: it was reported that until recently he had a seat on the board.

Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s affable communications director… Wigmore was one of the “bad boys of Brexit” – a term coined by Arron Banks, the Bristol-based businessman who was Leave.EU’s co-founder.

Cambridge Analytica had worked for them, he said. It had taught them how to build profiles, how to target people and how to scoop up masses of data from people’s Facebook profiles. A video on YouTube shows one of Cambridge Analytica’s and SCL’s employees, Brittany Kaiser, sitting on the panel at Leave.EU’s launch event.

Facebook was the key to the entire campaign, Wigmore explained. A Facebook ‘like’, he said, was their most “potent weapon”. “Because using artificial intelligence, as we did, tells you all sorts of things about that individual and how to convince them with what sort of advert. And you knew there would also be other people in their network who liked what they liked, so you could spread. And then you follow them. The computer never stops learning and it never stops monitoring.”

SCL was founded by someone called Nigel Oakes, who worked for Saatchi & Saatchi on Margaret Thatcher’s image, says Briant, and the company had been “making money out of the propaganda side of the war on terrorism over a long period of time. There are different arms of SCL but it’s all about reach and the ability to shape the discourse. They are trying to amplify particular political narratives. And they are selective in who they go for: they are not doing this for the left.”

Wigmore met with Trump’s team right at the start of the Leave campaign. “And they said the holy grail was artificial intelligence.”

Who did?

“Jared Kushner and Jason Miller.”

Later, when Trump picked up Mercer and Cambridge Analytica, the game changed again. “It’s all about the emotions. This is the big difference with what we did. They call it bio-psycho-social profiling. It takes your physical, mental and lifestyle attributes and works out how people work, how they react emotionally.”

Bio-psycho-social profiling, I read later, is one offensive in what is called “cognitive warfare”. Though there are many others: “recoding the mass consciousness to turn patriotism into collaborationism,” explains a NATO briefing document on countering Russian disinformation written by an SCL employee. “Time-sensitive professional use of media to propagate narratives,” says one US state department white paper. “Of particular importance to psyop personnel may be publicly and commercially available data from social media platforms.”

How do you change the way a nation thinks? You could start by creating a mainstream media to replace the existing one with a site such as Breitbart. You could set up other websites that displace mainstream sources of news and information with your own definitions of concepts like “liberal media bias”, like CNSnews.com. And you could give the rump mainstream media, papers like the “failing New York Times!” what it wants: stories. Because the third prong of Mercer and Bannon’s media empire is the Government Accountability Institute.

Bannon co-founded it with $2m of Mercer’s money.

Expressing his confidence that his crimes will go unchallenged, Bannon brags:

“You wouldn’t get a Watergate, a Pentagon Papers today, because nobody can afford to let a reporter spend seven months on a story. We can. We’re working as a support function.”


If you don’t yet see that something is rotten in cyberspace and in real time, you have plunged your head into the quicksand of Orwellian Newspeak.

Get it unstuck, America. Learn how to spot fake news and discount it.

Our democracy is worth more than all the money that was sunk into this psy-op.

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