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As always, click on the headline to be taken to the original source. Sometimes I insert my incendiary comments on article excerpts between [brackets].
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In case you were living in a cave, you may have heard the latest fallout coming out from the Cambridge Analytica company and the way our data was handled. This article takes a deeper dive into the whole thing. It is important and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. Some excerpts:
“…two distinct sets of problems have emerged. The ones getting the most attention are bad-actor problems—where someone breaks the rules and manipulates a social-media system for their own nefarious ends.. Charismatic megafauna may be the things that attract all the attention—when really there are smaller organisms, some invisible to the naked eye, that can dramatically shift the health of an entire ecosystem…Known bugs are the set of problems with social media that aren’t the result of Russian agents, enterprising Macedonians, or even Steve Bannon, but seem to simply come with the territory of building a social network…The Cambridge Analytica breach is a known bug in two senses…Zuck didn’t mention that Facebook’s business model is based on collecting this demographic and psychographic information and selling the ability to target ads to people using this data about them…
This is a known bug not just for Facebook and other social networks, but for the vast majority of the contemporary web. Like Facebook, Google develops profiles of its users, with information from people’s private searches and tools like Gmail and office applications, to help advertisers target messages to them. As you read this article on The Atlantic, roughly three dozen ad trackers are watching you, adding your interest in this story to profiles they maintain on your online behavior.
I’ve referred to this bargain, in which people get content and services for free in exchange for having persuasive messages psychographically targeted to them, as the “original sin” of the internet. It’s a dangerous and socially corrosive business model that puts internet users under constant surveillance and continually pulls our attention from the tasks we want to do online toward the people paying to hijack our attention. It’s a terrible model that survives only because we haven’t found another way to reliably support most internet content and services—including getting individuals to pay for the things they claim to value.
We become aware of how uncomfortable this model is when Steve Bannon and Cambridge Analytica develop personality profiles of us so they can tailor persuasive messages to our specific personal quirks, but that’s exactly what any competent advertiser is doing, every day, on nearly every site online. If that makes you feel uncomfortable: Good, it should. But the problem is way bigger than Facebook. This is a known bug not just with social networks, but with the contemporary, ad-supported web as a whole…It’s different with known bugs. When platforms address them, they run the risk of breaking their business models…And it’s impossible for Facebook to protect us from manipulative advertising targeted to our psychographic profile when their business model is built on selling this particular form of persuasion.
Users of the internet have been forced into a bargain they had no hand in negotiating: You get the services you want, and platforms get the data they need. We need the right to opt out of this bargain, paying for services like Facebook or YouTube in exchange for verifiable assurances that our usage isn’t being tracked and that our behavioral data is not being sold. We need an ecosystem that encourages competitors to existing social-media platforms, which means ensuring a right to export data from existing social networks and new software that lets us experiment with new services while maintaining contacts on existing ones. We need to treat personally identifiable information less like a resource to be exploited and more like toxic waste, which must be carefully managed…
Tribalism, manipulation, and misinformation are well-established forces in American politics, all predating the web. But something fundamental has changed. Never before have we had the technological infrastructure to support the weaponization of emotion on a global scale. The people who built this infrastructure have a moral obligation to own up to what they’ve done. On some level, in some way, Zuckerberg must know that. “We have a responsibility to protect your data,” he said in his statement, “and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you.” Nor does he deserve our support if he and his peers don’t address the known bugs that are corroding democracy.
Hey, anyone remember this guy who was hired to run Iraq back in the day? They got him to be the fall guy when he was screwed from the beginning with the disastrous policy mistakes made by all the morons over him. We are looking at the same thing going on these days with some incompetent ideologue morons running the place, especially in foreign policy, among other things. It is sad…
Okay, enough of my digs. This is actually a really good article and pretty fair take on Paul who is a nice guy by the way. And so was George W. lol.
Just an excerpt from it, I will let you read it in its entirety. If you do not enjoy it I will give you your money back! Say whaaaat!
His tenure as the country’s top authority — variously identified as a “civilian administrator,” “Presidential envoy,” or “viceroy” — was controversial almost from the start, beginning with the decision on his fifth day in country to bar all senior members of the Baath Party from holding public jobs. That fiat, entitled Order No. 1, came to be viewed as the original sin of the occupation, the hubristic first domino that set off the insurgency and ultimately the emergence of the Islamic State. Bremer followed up a week later with what many considered an even more ruinous misstep, Order No. 2, which disbanded the Iraqi military with the stroke of a pen.
As he has regularly pointed out, neither idea originated with him. “There’s a lot of very convenient memory loss going on,” he told me. But he made sure the orders bore his signature. A sense of lawlessness had by then become pervasive, and after Rumsfeld’s seemingly indifferent response, Bremer felt it was critical to demonstrate the arrival of a new sheriff in town. But as the effects began to be felt, criticism mounted. By the time he left Iraq, posing for the media in a decoy C-130 for security reasons before being bundled off to a Gulfstream jet for the actual trip home, Bremer had effectively been labeled the man who lost Iraq. As he made clear in his 2006 memoir, he has believed from the beginning that his tenure would be vindicated when the dust finally settled. In the meantime, he’s spent the last decade and a half patiently waiting for history to finally render a favorable judgment.
If you are into food at all, you will love this article. I found it fascinating you guys!
Some of them I did not know about. Very educational! Sorry, no shocking video, sad!
In case you were looking to buy an electric car, THIS is the post to read! I saved it for reference in my Evernote web stash, GREAT reference!
This infographic will shock you!
And I leave you with this…
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