Fork Full of Noodles with Krish Mohan-177-182-Cambridge Analytica, Facebook Trails, Privacy & The CLOUD Act!
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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.
All this just proves that we should’ve destroyed Buzzfeed quizzes when we had the chance in 2001. But it was so hard! It was so exciting to figure which one of Destiny’s Child you were! To be fair if you changed your whole lifestyle because an online quiz told you that you were more of a Chandler on “Friends” and not a Ross, then you deserve to be manipulated because you’re a shell of person anyway.
Do some digging, some self reflection and realize that Friends doesn’t hold up anymore. And you can’t live your life based on 6 people, who all have codependency issues, which is why their spin-offs didn’t do well. It’s the only proof we have that Democracy actually works. When we stop watching spin-offs they get cancelled and ruin the lives of B-List celebrities!
This psychological evaluation was based on 5 different characteristics. Openness. Which might have had questions like “How many fingers do you let people put in your butt?” Consciousness. Questions might include “Did you ask first?” Extroversion. Which might have a question like “On a scale of 1-10 how much do you brag about your sex life?” Agreeableness. Where questions might be phrased “Don’t you think people that have premarital sex should be judged harshly by God and their peers?” And Neuroticism. Which might have questions like “Did you ever think that your neighbor is out to fuck your partner and everyone in your life? I mean why else would just let you borrow their lawnmower or cup of sugar?!”
Each person fits into a particular personality trait based on their score of each of the 5 categories. The personality traits then determine how to phrase the ads towards them to evoke an emotion to lead them to believe what these companies need them to believe. It uses what’s already in our minds against us to vote for who these companies want you to or buy the shit they want you to buy. If this technology was used in the late 80s they might have a campaign like “Vote Ford, Buy Ford. Win for America!”.
Cambridge Analytica was behind the “Defeat Crooked Hillary” campaign. According to Hillary Clinton that was a massive propaganda campaign. Well, like Mark Turnbull said they just used what information is out there to play on people’s psychology. So the information says you can’t be trusted Hill-Dawg and you were your own worst enemy. The video campaign didn’t help and neither did your emails or the DNC or your husband’s policies.
The campaigns are then spread by activists, billionaire’s companies, Super PACs, charity groups and these videos go viral. So eventually it becomes really hard to find the origin point of this. We might as well try to find the big bang before we try to figure out where memes and viral videos started, it’s slightly easier.
In the same Channel 4 expose, Alexander Nix, the head honcho and boy wonder of Cambridge Analytica, says the Candidate is the puppet. Which goes to show that technology and data companies drive election results. So Trump’s simplistic rhetoric was a ruse to an incredibly complicated scheme that can only be concocted by old timey weed.
Nix and Turnbull also bring up the use of honey traps, commonly used by James Bond villains and people trying to find sex addicts. They have denied the use of this strategy to blackmail the opposition. But Steve Bannon says these honey traps are the work of a totally different company. Finally a practical use for something you see in a James Bond film! We were all worried that James Bond was just a work of fiction. It’s good to get confirmation that he’s real and maybe Russia might be trying to feed their people with the concept of Love.
This issue proves that the biggest dollar bill has been on our minds the whole time. Advertisements have been bombarded on to us day in and day out. The TV tells us what to eat. The radio tells us what to wear. Family vacations are ruined by the enormous amounts of billboards confusing the mind about what rest stop is the best one to pee at.
This is the evolution of that. Youtube ads tell us what is or isn’t cool. Spotify bombards you with membership by berating you and constantly telling you to eat at Arby’s. Billboards are still confusing families but more about which hell they’ll go to based on which rest stop they use.
Cambridge Analytica has been shut down after their ban from Facebook, but in their absence there are new data mining companies taking over this landscape. The silver lining in the loss of our Democracy is that we no longer have to be slaves the whims of adverts. We can start using our critical thinking skills and with the help of friends and therapists our fears don’t have to become weapons for those in power. We can use the new timey tools to actually help people instead of rot our minds into piles of cash.
“Hey Marky, seems like you sold out the psyche of the American people to the highest bidder, leaving everyone feeling betrayed, unsure of what’s real and whether they can trust you or not. Do you think you did something wrong or would you like to sit in front of us with an awkward smile and eat ice cream all day?”
“Senators, I’m going to go with the ice cream option and continue my course of action proving to the world that Democracy is under the control of tech giants who enjoy being worshipped by the people for their worship of Capitalism! But we can all start a Facebook argument about what ice cream flavor I should eat and whether or not it’s racist because cows are from India!”
Zuckerberg’s response was “we need to make it so American companies can innovate even if it’s with features that seem invasive!” Which is code for “Let us root around in your psyche so we can get you to buy shit while being afraid of everything! And then sell you more shit!” Using technology and apps we’re basically conditioned to quell our fear with consumerism. Which works great since the far left is literally terrified about everything in this administration. Fear is always good for business. I believe that was McDonald’s original ad campaign explaining why their mascot is a creepy Clown.
So the question really comes down to trust. Can we trust Facebook? No. Did we trust Facebook? Yes. If we didn’t we wouldn’t have collapsed our MySpaces and Livejournals like a dying star to move a new platform and build a universe of our thoughts, feelings, desires, relationship statues and meaningless food photos. At this point there is so much our digital DNA on Facebook they can make clones out of 2 billion of us and unleash it upon the planet to either destroy it or run fun What if scenarios!
Zuckerberg’s trail…or what it really was; an excuse to finally wear his Sunday best and pretend to look professional…it proved that these companies are all in it to turn a buck any way they can. First it was trying to sell us on buying ads for ourselves. Then it was just getting corporations to change the game on advertising. And now it’s selling our personal, private data to whoever has the biggest check and some fun fancy tricks.
It’s like the worst magician ever! Keep your eye on the puppy gifs, while I take your fears, passions and personal information and….now it’s an ad for gun control and Nissan preying on your psyche!
And this really is a betrayal of trust to most of us! We trusted these tech giants and it turns out they’re doing exactly what our paranoid cousin said they were doing. We really did pour a lot of our trust into them. Anytime you need an answer, we Google it. Bam, the answer is right at your fingertips! We were ready to burn down libraries in the name of Google. Bing couldn’t even incite a book burning.
We trusted Google with all the answers so much that we even changed the term “Let’s search for it” or “Let’s research it” to “Google it!” It’s a noun and a verb! When other search engines come about they’re described as “Googley”. It’s an adjective now too!
Amazon is trying to go for a monopoly of all things and treats its employees like crap. Apple is hiding money off shores, doesn’t treat its employees overseas very well and keeps updating itself constantly. We get it Apple, you want to better yourself, but do you need to tell us everyday that you’re better than you were before? Can we take it back to like a monthly update?
And this betrayal is going all the up the corporate ladder with the most recent YouTube Adpocalypse. Advertisers pulled away from Youtube, which is owned by Google, because their ads were showing up on channels that promoted Neo-Nazi philosophies, pedophilia, and…Comedian Jimmy Dore.
“Oh those anti-war, pro-truth Comedians, you what they like? Bigotry, Eugenics and the Fury of the Dark Lord Satan himself…with a side of pedophilia. Buy a Nissan!”
When corporations can’t trust other corporations to get us sheep to buy their shit, you know it’s a real big mess! It’s the problem with the Polytheism of Consumerism, too many choices. And Facebook was collaborating with Cambridge Analytica to help us decrease the burden of choices.
Unfortunately the choice that was being taken away was about the leadership of this country. Leadership is being used as loose as Steve Bannon’s skin. These tech companies do play a part in the way the country and the world is run. And with their advancements they can control what we see, buy and vote for. But there are alternatives platforms popping up. From Steemit, to Minds.com to Mastadon, there are plenty of social media and information platforms we can join and try to put our trust into.
Media Influencers sounds like a job title you’d see at a tech start-up! Someone that pretentiously tells you why Twitter is better than Facebook and how you need hashtag particular things. It also sounds like someone that uses media sources like television, radio, print to get you buy into a particular agenda or product. So like corporate media. Is the DHS going to put Don Lemon and Anderson Cooper in their database? Is there room for shills or just people doing real journalism?
But they describe media influencers as any bloggers, correspondents, journalists, etc. So anyone that says anything about anything is on this database. So basically Humans and 6 very chatty & gossipy robots. And the contractor that gets this job, gets 24/7 access to all this information. What the DHS can guarantee is that Fourth Amendment will not be included this database.
Good. Lengthy process means that it makes law enforcement show their work. You know like every middle school math teach asked you to. Even Subway has a process to make sandwiches. It’s not just granted to you because you walked in through the door or crashed through the window! It keeps the credo of “Innocent until proven guilty!”
Daskal goes on to say that this bill won’t target US citizens or residents. So what about the immigrant communities? Some immigrants fear Immigrations and Customs Enforcement busting through their doors, guns ablazing and now we also have to worry the Bobbys from England with their batons and scalding hot tea! No thank you! Immigrants everywhere have just about had it with this Imperialism business.
I know some of you out there are saying “But Krish, law enforcement wouldn’t do that. They are there to protect the people not turn them over to oppressive regimes!” Ok, America is a nation where a marijuana user gets the same sentence as someone that burned an orphanage to the ground. Not just that, our media, politicians and police have criminalized activism.
You think I’m making that up? Oklahoma, Louisiana, North Carolina, Minnesota are just few of the states have harsh penalties for non-violent protests. They get fines from $3000 for teaching people about these non-violent tactics, up to $10,000 or 20 years in prison in some states! That’s in America! The land of free with the largest prison population in the world! So unfortunately I doubt that the CLOUD Act will really be on the side of activists that are championing Human Rights! And it’s murky at best on Robot Rights.
Now according to Daskal this bill will be protecting Free Speech. But Singh-Guliani points out that the DOJ states they’ll respect the requesting country’s free speech laws within their vague criteria for what Human Rights are. They also say that the requester has to have credible and articulate facts. In the world of Fake News and loss of trust you might as well ask them to consider your horoscopes as facts.
The really horrifying part of this bill that it allows for wiretapping and it’s the first time these law enforcers can intercept communication in real time! It’s the Facebook Live of Mass Surveillance! Not that Facebook Live isn’t that already, but this is arguably worse. Maybe this will encourage Zuckerberg to put a dislike button on his shitty social media platform we’re all addicted to!
Daskal says this bill doesn’t authorize foreign data requests but lifts the legislative bar on disclosures. Which is basically like saying “I didn’t say the N-Word, I just sang it in my favorite rap song at a Black Baptist church. I thought everyone would appreciate how cool I was being and the level of comfort I was showing in the moment!”
So how could this bill be passed if it’s that’s horrific? People must’ve marched up on to Congress itself! Sadly no. It was attached to the omnibus spending bill after it was barely talked about. They snuck it in like a drunk teenager sneaks into the house after a night of partying. Taking their cues from Cambridge Analytica they snuck something terrible into something that people can’t say no to. It’s basically the legislative equivalent of putting razor blades in candy!
At this point Congress has a few weeks to overturn this bill but unfortunately I doubt they will. Which is going to mean that we will have to fight even harder for our privacy. This is only the beginning of all this. If we want any moments of peace to ourselves, protect our activists fighting for basic human rights and our communities then we need to join in and fight back against this. Stand beside your those dissenters and make our voices so loud that the only way we can be queited is when we get our privacy back.
It’s basically Santa Claus. I’m pretty sure Santa was an NSA agent with OCD. Spying on kids and their parents. Making lists and checking it constantly. I know it says he checked it twice but you know he’s always checking it like a maniac. And when the economy turned in 2008 the NSA had to make the hard cuts and they had to let Santa go like he let himself go over the years.
But it’s fine! The NSA found camera phones! Remember how everyone laughed at the camera phones. The photos were always so crappy and junky. And then all of a sudden cell phone photography was like professional grade. Most phones are purchased because of how many Megapixels it’s camera has. And I bet the average consumer doesn’t even know what a Megapixel is!
“YEAH I do! It’s like a regular pixel but like way bigger!”
You might also remember that Edward Snowden warned us about the NSA and how they were collecting our phone data. Using apps, call logs, cameras, they made our consumer goods into the Panopticon and we were none the wiser. Now we’re on a best behavior because the NSA could be listening and if we were bad and dissent against their unauthorized spying we don’t get Christmas this year! They will wage a LITERAL war on Christmas instead of a bullshit, fake ideological one.
Our privacy is bought and sold like this country is a huge pawn shop of data! And because of this idea of the Panopticon we don’t really have moments of privacy. Without private moments we as people can’t discover who we really are. Human beings are social creatures. We need to interact with each other, but in those private moments we get to self reflect, recharge and grow as people.
Eric Schmidt of Google makes the claim that the only people that want privacy are those that have something to hide! And Mark Zuckerberg claims that privacy is no longer the norm.
Ok, so if we’ve got nothing to hide then it should be fine to stand at a street corner and just jack off all day. Hey why would that guy or gal want to hide their junk if there’s NOTHING to hide! If we don’t need to private spaces to masturbate, our streets should be running wild with spunk.
What about surprise birthday parties? Does Eric Schmidt and Zuckerberg think that surprise parties are plots against them! If that’s the case, I don’t think you’re mentally well enough to run a giant tech company. You just hand it over to the people and we’ll take of the company for you while you take care of what you need…oh wait you don’t believe in that so we’ll watch you take care of yourself.
The counterargument to our lack of privacy is that this should force our government to be less private about it’s dealings! They should be more open and some can say that’s exactly what the Trump administration is! Trump’s administration is basically the boldness of the government because of the lack luster response from us about the privacy issue!
With Trump spewing rhetoric like ‘shithole’ countries it’s very clear that they’re anti-immigration. The Stormy Daniels story reveals how anti-family they are. Scott Pruit, a man that has sued the EPA, now running the EPA proves that they’re anti-climate! And with this surge of data mining it proves that they are trying to keep us dumb, scared and buying shit! They’re not doing this behind closed doors. It’s out in open and it’s acted on very quickly!
As Glenn Greenwald states, being watched all the time means you follow the mandate of social orthodoxy. The loss of privacy is the start of totalitarianism! It’s the eradication of freedom. This mass surveillance state creates a prison of the mind. Which means they’re trying to make money for the Prison Industrial Complex with our brains! This is extra super villainy shit!
And even your mind isn’t a place where you can have your own private thoughts, because God might be watching. God is like OG NSA! And yes, God has watched you eat, sleep, shower, make love, masturbate, cry and basically everything you’ve done. God might need help…or a hobby. Go make another universe God. Let us be for a while.
At this point we’ve submitted to the Panopticon of Technology! We submitted to it when we called Edward Snowden a traitor instead of a hero; when Cambridge Analytica was able to use our own fears against us and open the doors other companies doing the same thing; when Google, Facebook and Apple are selling our information to highest bidder for more control; when Congress cuddled with tech giants instead of imposing restrictions; and when we let law enforcement into the digital landscape of our lives.
We’ve been sitting still on this matter for far too long. Our chains are beginning to rust. We don’t need to be silent or still about this issue any more. With all that’s happened we should be ready to take back the Internet. Something Edward Snowden called a tool for Democratization! And since our privacy has been taken away, lets say fuck all to the social orthodoxy and very loudly and publicly say we want our privacy back. We want the right to think for ourselves and have a moment of peace by giving this administration, the NSA, Congress and all the power hungry megalomaniacs none of it.
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!