The point of technological progress is to help humanity. Each invention we’ve come up with has made a hard task easier. Forks made it easier to eat our potatoes. Cars made it easier for us to get some late night snacks when we got high. And let’s be honest the horse probably appreciated that too. Every time an old timey stoner would need to go get something from the grocer, the horses would have to be woken up and then the grocer would be woken up just get some old timey chips and dip.
Just as much as technological progress helps the people, the flip side is how it can benefit those hungry for power. Their drug isn’t old timey weed, but old timey tricks to control citizens using new timey tools. The internet is one such tool. The internet’s potential of educating a populous, connecting world views and watching Anime Music Videos and porn is limitless.
In the last month, Corporate media has caught up to what independant media has been warning us about for a year; the use of Facebook to psychologically control our choice to vote. That was what the Cambridge Analytica debacle was all about. Old timey tricks with new timey tools!
So what the hell happened with Cambridge Analytica? This was started by a Cambridge Professor, Alex Kogen, who was interested in Data Science. His app GSR used a personality quiz to collect personal data from Facebook. Finally Buzzfeed quizzes have a purpose. Albeit a nefarious one of collecting quantitative information about your personality, emotions and your general humanity, but Buzzfeed can finally sit at the top of the corporate journalistic throne with CNN, Fox News & MSNBC for manipulating human beings under guise being news. I’m sure someone is really proud of you.
Facebook allowed this data mining because it would only be used for academic purposes. And to feed the itch that human beings have for mining things. With how dangerous coal mining is for humans and the planet, we decided to steer away from that. And now we’re mining data in an abstracted digital landscape we created. Hollowing out those series of tubes for their pixelated gold! Unfortunately Kogen shared his data research with Cambridge Analytica.
As it was pointed by Whistleblower and former Data Analyst, Christopher Wylie, they thought this data was fair game to use for commercial means. (Ch 4 Important 1:22-1:55) Which means a British company did something absolutely American…assume something that wasn’t really yours was yours and used for commercial and profitable gains! I feel like this is the UK accepting the loss of the Revolution and getting their commuffins.
And this is why luddites exist. It’s why we still have people saying the Internet is a fad, because power uses technological advances in adverse ways. So they figure they’ll run it dry and move on to the next thing. If technology isn’t meant to progress and advance the lives of the people then we should probably put in the back burner. And that’s what we should really be doing with technology! Bettering ourselves and our lives. The way Cambridge Analytica used it was for control and fear. Old Timey tricks with New Timey Tools.
Krish Mohan is a socially conscious, Indian standup comedian and writer who regularly tours the country. He performs at small theaters, bars, comedy clubs, colleges, DIY and house venues. With his quirky attitude, charming personality, and intelligent humor, Krish captivates and engages audiences of all backgrounds, tackling hot button topics like race, religion, war, immigration, while adding an optimistic, philosophical & sociological twist!