“Yet across the gulf of space, minds that are to our minds as ours are to those of the beasts that perish, intellects vast and cool and unsympathetic, regarded this earth with envious eyes, and slowly and surely drew their plans against us.”
Yesterday I watched Savannah interview Christopher Wylie on the Today Show (see https://www.today.com/video/cambridge-analytica-whistleblower-says-the-company-worked-with-trump-campaign-strategist-and-steve-bannon-1189326915651). As he described the company Cambridge Analytica and explained the “ideal of informational dominance” it brought home the global battle with darkness that we are facing today. He explained:
“Cambridge Analytica was founded on misappropriated data….I think what is really important for people to understand is that Cambridge Analytica was birthed out of a company called SCL Group which is a military contractor based in London. This data was used to create profiling algorithms that would allow us to explore mental vulnerabilities of people and map out ways to inject information into different streams or channels of content online so that people started to see things all over the place that may or may not have been true. This is a company that took fake news to the next level by powering it with algorithms.”
“You have to understand that this is based on an ideal called informational dominance which is the idea that if you can capture every channel around a person and inject content around them, you can change their perception of what is actually happening. The fundamental difference between what Cambridge Analytica has done and standard political messaging is that when I show you an ad for a candidate it says, “Hi, I’m so and so and I approve this message.” It is apparent that they are seeing political messaging. It is apparent that they are trying to be convinced. What Cambridge Analytica does is works on creating a web of disinformation online so people go down a rabbit hole of clicking on blogs, websites, etc. that make them think that certain things are happening that may not be.”
When asked if he had a political agenda he replied, “I think we need to step back for a second and de-politicize this because this is about the safety of Americans and the integrity of the American democratic process. This data was misapproriated and mishandled by this company and I think they need to be investigated for that.”
The “ideal” of informational dominance is subconsciously hijacking will, psychologically controlling behavior on a global scale. We might assume that Wylie is initiating a global outrage, a global awareness to set off our current stand up, organize and march paradigm that is creating change. Activism has awakened and now is a ripe time for people to speak up and speak out against what typically we denied, ignored, or adapted to because there was too much natural information dominance normalizing undercurrents of immorality, hate, and dehumanization. The question is, “What are we willing to sacrifice?” Change always requires real sacrifice. Would we sacrifice social media?
We need to awaken or stay awake! We are now in an age where we can collectively be held hostage to a War of the Worlds algorithm operating as an undercurrent in our subconscious awareness. If I heard myself say this two years ago I would think I had gone mad. In this consumerist society, however, we are now over consuming information, consciously and unconsciously. The algorithm KNOWS how to engage addictive consumption of information and bring us down rabbit holes of misinformation and complex manipulation. It knows how to create mass think, mass delusion, mass confusion, mass terror.
In 2014 Elon Musk (https://www.techemergence.com/elon-musk-on-the-dangers-of-ai-a-catalogue-of-his-statements/) declared “artificial intelligence (AI) as the most serious threat to the survival of the human race” and guessed that “our biggest existential threat” is AI. Four years later we learn that Cambridge Analytica allegedly used information dominance to control what people believed and how people voted to undercut the integrity of our democratic process. Does this constitute enough of a crisis amidst the current political atmosphere? “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight, maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish,” said Musk. He goes on to say, “With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like – yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon. Doesn’t work out,” said Musk.
October 24, 2014 – MIT’s AeroAstro 1914-2014 Centennial Symposium