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Fri Mar 23, 2018, 05:08 PM

Elections, Billionaires and Data Analytics

An important feature piece from The Observer has resurfaced recently. The story is written by Carole Cadwalladr, a Welsh feature writer. It was written nearly a year ago, May 2017, and was attempting at that point to connect the dots between what at first seemed disparate names and companies and events, yet all weirdly linked to: Brexit, the Trumpster’s election, Steve Bannon, the Mercers, Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix, Peter Thiel, Aggregate IQ, Chris Wylie, SCL, Murdock, Facebook and, of course, Russia. The listing continues to grow. For instance, we just found out that McMaster will be replaced by John Bolton who has been running several SuperPacs that donated/paid no other than . . . Cambridge Analytica.

It’s a small, small world!

Just to give you a taste of the article:

There are three strands to this story. How the foundations of an authoritarian surveillance state are being laid in the US. How British democracy was subverted through a covert, far-reaching plan of coordination enabled by a US billionaire. And how we are in the midst of a massive land grab for power by billionaires via our data. Data which is being silently amassed, harvested and stored. Whoever owns this data owns the future.

Even now, many of us are overwhelmed by the intricate network of nebulous names and connections; seemingly incongruent facts and an ever-increasing information overspill.

That was the design of the enterprise, not a bug, btw. Because what better way to evade awareness and/or detection?

The astounding thing is Cadwalladr’s article and detail was gathered, organized and written nearly a year ago and only now is the U.S. public slowly seeing the shape and character of the plot line: one of the most incredible, sophisticated assaults on the notion of democratic governance.

Personally, I have a sneaky suspicion that this whole messy assault was hatched by a bunch of plutocrats who thought they had the best idea on how we should be governed and they were quite willing to throw our Constitutional Republic overboard for their own selfish reasons, basically money and power. If they had to dirty their hands with mobsters or Russian-styled tyrants or Putin himself that was okay. Because the end justifies the means. As for the rest of us? Well, we’re the inferior rabble anyway, lucky to get what we scramble for, the crumbs off the royal table.

It’s pretty depressing to think people can be this arrogant and greedy, even treasonous. Then I think of the Trumpster and/or Steve Bannon and I just get angry and disgusted.

May they all rot in jail!

Btw, this article is on the lengthy side. May be something to invest in over the weekend. But I think the article is pretty informative and a year ago—when people were poo-poohing the idea of wrong-doing and yelling Sour Grapes—it was extraordinarily prescient in nature. As was another Brit writer whose name I won’t mention.


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Reply Elections, Billionaires and Data Analytics (Original post)
peggysue2 Mar 2018 OP
FakeNoose Mar 2018 #1
peggysue2 Mar 2018 #2
OnDoutside Mar 2018 #3
peggysue2 Mar 2018 #4

Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 05:25 PM

1. Thanks for this

I've got a lot to read this weekend.

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Response to FakeNoose (Reply #1)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 05:56 PM

2. You're welcome

Yes, a lot of reading required just to keep up. Yikes!

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Response to peggysue2 (Original post)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 07:59 PM

3. It's worth remembering this paragraph in the superb article

Mercer is a brilliant computer scientist, a pioneer in early artificial intelligence, and the co-owner of one of the most successful hedge funds on the planet (with a gravity-defying 71.8% annual return). And, he is also, I discovered, good friends with Nigel Farage. Andy Wigmore, Leave.EU’s communications director, told me that it was Mercer who had directed his company, Cambridge Analytica, to “help” the Leave campaign.

Within a US election context, this is important. Mercer (and Farage) will have their day in court yet.

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Response to OnDoutside (Reply #3)

Fri Mar 23, 2018, 09:04 PM

4. Yep.

There are several paragraphs that really knocked me back on my heels, particularly with what's coming to light now on our side of the pond.

It really is an excellent, clearly written article. And the fact it was written a year ago? Gobsmacking.

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