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31 July 2019

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Russell Steele

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power

Amazon review:

The challenges to humanity posed by the digital future, the first detailed examination of the unprecedented form of power called "surveillance capitalism," and the quest by powerful corporations to predict and control our behavior.

In this masterwork of original thinking and research, Shoshana Zuboff provides startling insights into the phenomenon that she has named surveillance capitalism. The stakes could not be higher: a global architecture of behavior modification threatens human nature in the twenty-first century just as industrial capitalism disfigured the natural world in the twentieth.

Zuboff vividly brings to life the consequences as surveillance capitalism advances from Silicon Valley into every economic sector. Vast wealth and power are accumulated in ominous new "behavioral futures markets," where predictions about our behavior are bought and sold, and the production of goods and services is subordinated to a new "means of behavioral modification."

The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a "Big Other" operating in the interests of surveillance capital. Here is the crucible of an unprecedented form of power marked by extreme concentrations of knowledge and free from democratic oversight. Zuboff's comprehensive and moving analysis lays bare the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled "hive" of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit--at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future.

With little resistance from law or society, surveillance capitalism is on the verge of dominating the social order and shaping the digital future--if we let it.

I am at the end of Chapter 4.

If the Tech Oligarch can secretly convince you to buy stuff, they can do the same for voting. I highly recommend you read Surveillance Capitalism as explains the foundation of how the Tech Oligarch can exert control over the outcome of the next national election. They have a behavior profile of every internet user and know where your hot buttons are. And at no cost to them, they can push those button as you chose who to vote for.

Scott O

But it all rests on the fact that the majority of Americans lack a proper education and critical thinking skills. This sets up a vicious cycle of the masses being or feeling helpless and dependent on someone or something else to make decisions for them and the ensuing unchecked growth in power of those who make the decisions.
"Alexa, who should I vote for?"

George Rebane

Yes indeed. Please also see my Scattershots update -
https://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2019/07/scattershots-30jul19.html

Bill Tozer

From Russ’s 11:01 am

“The threat has shifted from a totalitarian Big Brother state to a ubiquitous digital architecture: a "Big Other" operating in the interests of surveillance capital......the threats to twenty-first century society: a controlled "hive" of total connection that seduces with promises of total certainty for maximum profit--at the expense of democracy, freedom, and our human future.”

Thank you Russ. I have been stumped with the proper terminology to use in grappling to capture the essence when using comparisons to 1984 or Big Brother. The answer is “Big Other”. The Other is watching you, using mind control techniques that got the practice banned in movie theaters back in the day when they flashed subliminal messages of “eat more popcorn” on the screen that the audience could not detect but raced to the concessionaire to buy more popcorn.

Dr. Rebane, scares the bejeezus out of me as well. Sort of off topic, but when you consider that Google controls the flow of at least 90% of the information and 4-6 companies control basically all of social media and those platforms’s information, it needs me to make a safe, yet frightening, prediction. I have been testing this hypothesis lately, as I go to search for a quote, clip, or story I read just ten days ago, two weeks ago, cannot find it without the exact words....or find it at all. Nevermind six months-eighteen months ago. Forget it. Gone. Some gone that were 4 days ago. Do you how hard is was to find this stuff lately? It’s work. And it was just there.

The prediction is that everyday conservative voices, links, and sites will be removed Two to three a day by FB or Google searches. This will increase more as we get closer to the 2020 elections. Closer to the election, the more the hammer of Big Other will strike. Arm and Sickle.
In conjunction with the silencing/slaughtering of the lambs is the ole bait and switch. The true conservative sites and voices will be replaced with “conservative-lite”, quasi conservative, faux conservative, pseudo conservative, or RHINO voices. Akin to “Republican” guests now on PMSNBC, CNN, NYT, or other propaganda outlets. The purpose of this is to redefine what a conservative is and says in the public’s minds. Redefine the language and meaning of words as you might say.

George Rebane

Let's all note the sound of silence from our leftwing readers regarding this entry. Even though Dr Epstein makes it clear he's an American first and Democrat second (hence his whistle blowing testimony), unfortunately that makes him a tiny minority in that large mass of liberals seeking to fundamentally transform our nation.

Bill Tozer

To clarify 1:21 pm above, pseudo conservative sites (the word pseudo taken from the same root word used for ‘anti-Christ’) will and are being pushed up to the front of the searches and the real McCoys are falling off into the abyss.

Rock Hunter

I guess psychographic warfare (Steve Bannon's own words) against the left by Cambridge Analytica is just water under the bridge. C'est la vie. No need to mention that on these pages.

Bonnie McGuire

I noticed and wrote about subliminal messaging many years ago. Had an old book on hypnosis that described the importance of capturing attention and then messaging. Music was a great means to captivate the subconscious, and warned about its power to lift or demoralize society. Television was the perfect tool. Our media knows messages are visual or auditory stimuli that the conscious mind cannot perceive, often inserted into other media such as TV commercials or songs. "This kind of messaging can be used to strengthen or heighten the persuasiveness of advertisements, or to convey an altogether different message entirely. True subliminal messages cannot be observed or discovered by the conscious mind, even if you’re actively looking for them. This is because stimuli to which we respond every day – the things we see and hear around us – are above the threshold of conscious perception, unlike subliminal messages, which are below this threshold. What makes subliminal messaging so insidious is that even though we’re utterly unaware of the message hidden in whatever we’re watching or listening to, part of our subconscious mind cannot help but respond to this concealed stimuli – it happens entirely without our knowledge or consent." We've been watching/listening to the continual media war against voter ID's and conservative constitutionalists for many years. The worst I'd ever witnessed during my many years voting was the last election. The subliminal manipulation is pretty obvious.
https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/10/24/subliminal-advertising

Rock Hunter

Bonnie-
You are parroting psychology from the 60's and 70's. Everything you just said has been largely disproven. "Hidden Persuaders" and "sleep learning" were interesting tangents of yesteryear but only live on in the minds of those who haven't kept up with reality. "Set and setting" such as lighting, music, and patterns of the flooring of your neighborhood Safeway can slightly alter mood and perception, but as of yet no one has found a way to turn us into conforming Zombies through subliminal messaging, smart meters, or chemtrails in the sky.

Bill Tozer

Thank you for posting the video above, Dr.Rebane. No way of knowing what they are doing. No accountability. Big Other. No paper trail. Magic.

Remember this commercial? Well, 1984 will not be like 1984 because it will be like Big Other instead.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=4n9btQRrM8I

Millions of votes moved to Hillary (polled 7% in trustworthiness) in 2016. That was not that long ago. This time no hammer through the screen.

Bonnie McGuire

Hard head Rock pay attention...Talk about reality. It all depends on the individual's personal experience and observation, not what someone tells us their opinion of what we experienced or saw. That's what you're trying to do. It's your limited opinion. You're trying to convince me there aren't con men and women continually trying to sell to the naive. Oh yeah...and pay attention to history cuz it tends to repeat over and over. Same old human pschycological tendencies.

Russell Steele

Rock Hunter@02:22PM


Funny, When Obama Harvested Facebook Data On Millions Of Users To Win In 2012, Everyone Cheered

Privacy: Facebook faces what some are calling an "existential crisis" over revelations that its user data fell into the hands of the Trump campaign. Whether or not the attacks on the social media giant are justified, the fact is that the Obama campaign used Facebook (FB) data in the same way in 2012. But the reaction from the pundits and press back then was, shall we say, somewhat different.

According to various news accounts, a professor at Cambridge University built a Facebook app around 2014 that involved a personality quiz. About 270,000 users of the app agreed to share some of their Facebook information, as well as data from people on their friends list. As a result, tens of millions ended up part of this data-mining operation.

https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/facebook-data-scandal-trump-election-obama-2012/

Consulting firm Cambridge Analytica, which paid for the research, later worked with the Trump campaign to help them target advertising campaigns on Facebook, using the data they'd gathered on users.

But while the Trump campaign used Cambridge Analytica during the primaries, it didn't use the information during the general election campaign, relying instead on voter data provided by the Republican National Committee, according to CBS News. It reports that "the Trump campaign had tested the RNC data, and it proved to be vastly more accurate than Cambridge Analytica's."

Since this involves the Trump campaign, the news accounts have been suffused with dark conspiratorial tones. The Times article talks about how Trump consultants "exploited" Facebook data, and quotes a source calling it a "scam." It has been widely described as a massive data breach.

There was a team of 6-8 Facebook data analysis embedded in the Obama 2012 Election Headquarters. They had a secure office with limited access control. They provided lists of Facebooker and Friends potential voters based on behavior analysis, which was in its infancy. Much more intelligent behavior analysis is available now. Facebook uses many more inputs from outside sources, such as vehicle registration, insurance claims, court records, store loyalty cards, credit card transaction, and online activity. Facebook knows more about you than you do. They know because they remember every time you used your ATM card, library card, loyalty card, and you do not. And, with all that data, the Facebook algorithm has you pegged as a potential switch voter or a hardcore safe voter. Switch voters will be nudge to vote for the selected candidate . Technology in the wrong hand could destroy our democracy. 2020 will be tech on tech and you are the target.

Rock Hunter

Yeah Bonnie-
Like alien abductions, exorcism, the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich, and crop circles. Got it. Some people truly believe and I won't try to convince them otherwise.

However, "What makes subliminal messaging so insidious is that even though we’re utterly unaware of the message hidden in whatever we’re watching or listening to, part of our subconscious mind cannot help but respond to this concealed stimuli – it happens entirely without our knowledge or consent." Is just plain bullshit that has been disproven over and over and over again. Pop wisdom not withstanding, a fraction of a second of "Eat Popcorn" in a movie clip, never made herds rush to the snack counter. Sorry to bust your bubble.

Rock Hunter

Russ- You are correct and I don't dispute any point in your pitch. I will say that Obama used FB data at a much more naive level than CA. Obama's main focus was getting out the vote. CA's goal was to target the "convertibles" and barrage them with fake and altered propaganda to convince them to switch to Trump. Psychographic "warfare" versus knocking on more doors. Bannon described it quite graphically. You are right, there is no reason to believe both sides aren't employing it at this moment and we should be concerned as a whole and not simply blame one group or another.

To redirect my point, in light of CA, Rebane's hair on fire response to Epstein is a bit hysterical and prejudicial.

Russell Steele

Rock Hunter@04: 17 PM. Sorry, but you do not understand the magnitude of the issue. The tech giants who have developed behavioral profiles in all internet user have a powerful tool to sway voters.

Facebook is not the only potential threat, Amazon is also becoming a surveillance capitalist and could partner with an election campaign and provide behavioral profiles that could be used to nudge swing voters to a specific candidate.

This is from Axios Future:

In recent years, Amazon has made a series of investments, acquisitions and R&D moves in the smart home industry. None seemed particularly consequential on its own, but with a real estate deal last week, Amazon appears to have captured first-mover advantage in one of the most important new industries on the planet, Erica writes.

Why it matters: With the deals, Amazon has taken a pioneering lead in what has come to be called "surveillance capitalism," which includes some of the biggest businesses of the future, like 5G, autonomous vehicles and smart cities. Now, Amazon, with its edge in this new economy, is positioned to explode its revenue.

"Amazon has entered the surveillance capitalism domain with a very big bang," says Shoshana Zuboff, author of "The Age of Surveillance Capitalism." "Once you have this as your lens, and you look at Amazon, you will never look back."

The company has "already got all of this behavioral data flowing every which way," she says. "Now they're thinking, 'We can be a Google or a Facebook on top of what we’ve already got. Not only do we know what they know, but we know stuff that they don’t know. We don’t have to infer that you’re interested in a white T-shirt with a big rose on the chest. We actually know because you bought one.'"

Other tech giants aren't "even in the same universe as Amazon," says Amy Webb, founder of the Future Today Institute. "We're talking about an entirely new ecosystem that is literally being born in front of our eyes."

What's happening: Amazon's newest offering, a deal announced last week with Realogy, connects homebuyers to real estate agents and gives them $5,000 in smart devices and services when they close the deal. The huge upside for Amazon is unchecked access to the data-rich interiors of our homes.

On paper, Amazon is giving out cool stuff for free. But the company is also getting "extremely inexpensive access to record some of the most intimate parts of your life," says Meredith Whittaker, co-founder of the AI Now Institute.

"There are hundreds of millions of marketing dollars that go into presenting these as sleek, convenience devices, but smart home is a misnomer. We’re really talking about a surveillance home" that feeds tech firms data that is far more personal and valuable than what is garnered from an Instagram like or an online purchase.

Speaking to Axios, Amazon says that its speakers and cameras can be turned off at will and come with lights that signal when they are recording. It also says customers can log onto portals and delete whatever they want.

Still, there's a chasm between what the company says it does and what is technically possible, Whittaker says.

And there's more.

Amazon has rolled out Echo, its smart speaker, Ring, its camera doorbell, and dozens of other Alexa-enabled smart appliances. And Amazon is winning: about 70% of people who own smart speakers have Amazon's devices, according to a recent report from Consumer Intelligence Research Partners.

Both sides are going to be using this new surveillance marketing approach in 2020, and we are going to be the victims.

George Rebane

What Mr Hunter apparently does not understand is that Dr Epstein points out one of the EXACT techniques of subliminal persuasion used by Google as described in Hidden Persuaders.

And for a bit of comedy, I would ask what RockH considers "hysterical and prejudicial", but I won't since he knows not the meaning of either descriptor.

Finally, RockH misses no opportunity to display his ignorance and snarkiness. Among the many times we discussed Cambridge Analytica and its asymmetry to Fusion GPS, here's an example -
https://rebaneruminations.typepad.com/rebanes_ruminations/2018/03/sandbox-20mar18.html

This liberal is a typical 'ready, fire, aim' kinda guy. But he does an excellent job of parading his talents for us. Somewhere in his past there must be unanswered letters for a well-deserved tuition refund.

Bill Tozer

Well, Rock Head, I see you are falling into the same ole trap you always do. Every single time. It’s all or nothing, Black and White, no matters of degrees, grey areas, or cross overs. If I think Frisco is a shithole, that means I hate California! If my popcorn subliminal example is all bull pucky, then why is the practice outlawed? Hmmmm?

We are not talking about the color schemes of inside a Mickey D’s with orange and yellow booths which are designed to make one leave as soon as they eat. Repel. No ‘cool’ colors.

We are talking what the man in the video said. His expertise. Got his doctorate from Harvard, 1981. Editor of Phycology today. Nearly 40 years of researching human behavior, blah, blah, blah. Many papers, many studies. In his long career in behavior sciences, he has never seen anything as effective as what Google is doing. Data guy, data guy, data guy. Proof is the FB private test with 60 million users in 2010, published 2012. Search engine, search suggestion, bot affect effect...all controlled by Goggle.

Beyond a doubt it works. Is it total mind control? No. Does it have to be total mind control or trance inducing like the lights and sounds of a slot machine? No. Will it turn us into flesh eating Zombies? Probably not. Can it move votes? Yes.

But, per your usual puffery, it’s all BS tin hat conspiracy theory.

Your argument is with Dr. Robert Epstein, not Bonnie (the classy, gracious, and unapologetic for being a Christian woman). Refute Dr. Robert Epstein’s research, data, and conclusions, Rock Head. Call out Dr. Epstein’s research. Show us where he totally wrong. Lead on, oh superior one.

Me thinks that your prejudice against Christians and strong independent women fogs up your glasses. Contempt prior to investigation. Opps. I said your issue was with Dr. Epstein. I was wrong. You have real issues that have not been addressed.

Rock Hunter

Good one Bill - You were able to insert religion into the conversations. How did Bonnie's Christianity come into play? Did she see the Virgin Mary on a cheese sandwich? If so, my comment in simply coincidental. Sorry.

I understand Epstein and it frightens me. I too have read Zuboff and Webb. My point is that Rebane comes out guns a blazing at Epstein, Hillary, and Democrats as if he suddenly discovered that liberals and liberals alone were the nexus of the data mining, thought control revolution. - Prejudicial, absolutely.

"This is possibly the scariest post to date" - Hysterical? Pretty much the definition.

Back to Rebane linking to some comment he made in the past, Sorry Bud, I don't study your past nor hang onto your every word you've spoken for the past 25 years. If you said something a week ago, it might as well be fish wrap. Your ego must know no boundaries to believe anyone would take you so seriously as to research your blog for your every utterance before making a post.

Russ

Rock Hunter@05:41 PM. Enjoy your ignorance, knowledge could be a danger to your intellectual health!

Bill Tozer

Rich Hunter,

Don’t play dumb with me. Whether your current sock puppet is...be it Ozz or some other idiot handle you have used to hide behind, everytime Bonnie comes over here (infrequent as it may be), you unleash your vile upon her ever since she shared she prayed for the right man and God sent her a Biker dude that they built a good life together. So don’t play dumb with me. It’s the same vile, the same unprovoked attack the second she graces this site with her presence, experience, knowledge and wisdom. You are chopping at the bit to go straight after her every single time...using the same words and same structure to flail your fists against her...no matter what she shares.

It is a rather despicable habit you have cultivated, Mr. Handicap Man. Pick on someone your own size and treat Ms. Bonnoe with the respect she has earned and deserves, jon.


George Rebane

Good-bye Mr Hunter. Go get a new sack.

As for this ignoramuses' attempted point, the readers of this blog, if they intend to debate me, do indeed have to research my previous arguments, how I define the terms I use, and my credo. This is an ongoing conversation which builds on what has been said before. It is not intended to be an endless repetition, starting covered points from scratch like a broken record. My life is too short to cater to the debate deficiencies of those who visit these pages. If you don't value my and my readers' developments over these years, then begone, you're not smart enough to figure out why God invented search engines, which says a lot about your other smarts.

Todd Juvinall

RockHead is a troll. Just here to aggravate and not to debate. I deal with these scum all the time. They have the same traits. And all lefties.

Bonnie McGuire

Thank you real men! I love reading other people's viewpoints. Dr. Rebane, your blog has many interesting subjects and intelligent discussion contributors. There are a few who provide quite a contrast, because don't have much to say other than to distract from the discussion by insults. I used to occasionally visit Mr. Pellines blog, but there's not much open discussion there.

Bill Tozer

The main point (danger) of Google’s ability to move millions of votes to one preferred candidate over the less favored candidate is Google and its top guns all they say down to the lower ranks ARE all lib all the time. Right there is a humongous red flag with flashing bright lights. Danger, Will Robinson, danger!

Some of us have been following Cruz’s Senate inquires into Google, it’s parent company, Zuckerberg’s company and others during numerous hearings, not just the video above. To a tee, not one executive in any capacity from any of the Silicone Billionaires Club would cop to leaning left. Not a single one, no matter their capacity. Can’t pry it out of them. They refuse to even hazard a guess if their companies lean a bit left.
Meanwhile, each and every one of the whole lot pumps and dumps money to the Lefties and not one penny to one single Republican. Follow the money.

We have Project Veritas unedited recordings, we have hundreds of examples of selective biased choking of/off conservative voices and right wing outlets across the board and it’s very one sided and partisan. Sure, there are the commercial applications and deep data mining down to an individual’s preferences, but as far as turning the populace into a “single party state”, the threat is huge and very real.
One has to be brain dead or deliberately make the conscious decision to turn a blind eye not to realize the nefarious activities going on in interfering and manipulation of our election process.

A level playing field is all I ask, but that principle is without a doubt not even a palliative consideration or even within the realm of possibility for Big Other. They will do everything in their power to make sure 2016 will never happen again. And they have some powerful tools at their fingertips.

One little man with a pocket device is all we got. Just a shepherd boy with a slingshot and a few smooth stones against the heavily armed Giants of the uncircumcised. :)

Bonnie McGuire

Wow! Bill you nailed it! Kind of like history repeating. That lil o David aiming his slingshot at the powerful giant Goliath. Who woulda thougt he could win?

Russ

PLUS: CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA FALLOUT — Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) introduced legislation to give voters control over how political candidates and campaigns use their data, a direct response to the Cambridge Analytica scandal that triggered the FTC’s lengthy probe into Facebook. The bill would, among other things, allow voters to review their personal information collected by a political candidate or organization; require campaigns to notify voters of any personal information obtained from data brokers; and give voters a choice over whether sites like Facebook and Google can use their data for political ad targeting. “Today, campaigns are legally able to conduct sophisticated online surveillance of everyone in our country in order to influence individuals,” Feinstein said in a statement. “This targeted manipulation not only undermines our democracy, it’s a threat to basic individual freedom.”

Source: POLITICO Morning Tech

Bonnie McGuire

Don't Burn This Book -by Dave Rubin seems to be similar to what's being discussed here. The modern version of liberal and progressive are the opposite of the original meanings.
"The Progressive Woke Machine--from outrage mobs and online censorship to activists masquerading as journalists--is waging war against the last free thinkers in the world. This book is both an explanation of the current political upheaval and your guide to surviving it. America, and the West in general, is in the midst of an identity crisis that's headed towards an outright revolution. The progressive left, once the advocates of free expression and individual autonomy, now undermine these values at every turn. This uncomfortable truth has turned moderates and true liberals into the politically homeless class."
https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Burn-This-Book-Thinking/dp/0593084292

Bill Tozer

Google 451; The Happiness Doctor

“The important thing for you to remember, Montag, is we're the Happiness Boys, the Dixie Duo, you and I and the others. We stand against the small tide of those who want to make everyone unhappy with conflicting theory and thought. We have our fingers in the dike. Hold steady. Don't let the torrent of melancholy and drear philosophy drown our world. We depend on you. I don't think you realize how important you are, to our happy world as it stands now.”

https://fee.org/articles/google-is-burying-alternative-health-sites-to-protect-people-from-dangerous-medical-advice/

Bonnie McGuire

Human Pschycology is continually at work as long as there are humans. All you have to do is pay attention. The following article clearly shows the subliminal mental affect. As one commenter put it, "The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”
Trump Supporters Push Back: We Are All Tired Of Being Called Racists'
https://rightwingfolks.com/trump-supporters-push-back-we-are-all-tired-of-being-called-racists/
Following President Trump’s packed-out rally of nearly 18,000 people in Ohio Thursday night, The Atlantic published a piece by Elaina Plott Friday addressing what the report suggests is an increasingly prominent sentiment among Trump supporters: “They are tired of being called racists.”
I've been watching it a long time. Looking back to Russia’s communist revolution…(Ency Britannica) They claimed it was easy to stir class and race hatred because human nature tends to harbor envy/covet in one form or another…In other words it hides in the subconscious of the one doing the accusing. Most people aren’t aware that Russia is considered the pschycology world leader today. Years ago doctors from many nations attended a conclave there to see how they did things. Children, parents, or anyone who criticized the Russian gov were sent to a mental hospital to readjust their thinking. A friend and I attended the lecture at a Parent Teacher Association meeting by one of the returning doctors who witnessed the lecture in Russia. The funny side of the Russian collusion blabber is that if you paid attention you noticed that Russia has historically supported the Democrat party in our elections. Best not to follow the destructive mob mentality.

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