Category Archives: Examples of Surreptitious Things Being done in Plain Sight

How Donald Trump did it, Part 4: Alexander Nix and SCL pulls the trigger.

So, let’s review.

It’s pretty much a perfect storm.

PBS’ Frontline describes a dissatisfied population demographic, driven to vote in catalysts of political endeavour that end up devouring its own base in Congress, only to replace them with more ardent activists of their cause.

The idea of the Tea Party not being Far Right enough is compelling. The idea of the Freedom Caucus taking Congress is worth massive focus.

Evidence of Russian involvement through servers located at Trump Tower was only the beginning. And, it seems, not the most important aspect of the story.

Then comes Cambridge Analytica and Facebook.

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Using something as simple as benign as personality tests, ‘like’ emojis, and shares, they measured and influenced newsfeed prompts that apparently guided the direction of one of the most shocking elections in American history.

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For the record, Cambridge Analytica denies any use of Facebook to generate data.

According to Motherboard, Alexander Nix is quoted as saying that his company, Cambridge Analytica, was integral to Trump’s victory.

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That means that Cambridge Analytical was the Distracted Subversion engine. It’s company parent, SCL, is an enormous, global network.

I know what you’re thinking. Tinfoil hat time.

But no. This one’s real.

Some writers are saying it’s ridiculous. But even in their own articles, the experts they interview end up summarizing by saying “we just don’t know.”

Investigation of SCL’s website unveils some incredibly informative findings.

Click on this link. go ahead. I dare ya.

Go look. Dig.

Watch the intro graphic.

Scroll down to the bottom. Look at the logos.

Go into the rabbit hole. It’s shallow. Doesn’t take long to see the trails.

Click on  ‘Social ‘ from their homepage.

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Click on ‘Defence’.

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Look under ‘Elections’.

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See how many countries SCL has offices in. Campaigns they have engineered.

Military Campaigns.

Election outcomes.

Brexit.

Nato.

The UK Ministry of Defence.

The U.S. State Department.

Sandia.

Both Cambridge Analytica and SCL proudly display their service to, and the logos of, these and more organizations at the bottom of their page.

Offices all over the world.

I was hoping that SCL’s site was a fake. Some high-quality page built by an enthusiastic fictionalist.

But no. It’s real.

And there’s more.

Among Cambridge Analytica’s Board Members, according to the Motherboard story and other news outlets?

A man named Steve Bannon.

And he’s working to hire them for the Trump administration.

That a company like SCL exists should not be very surprising. Neither should the idea that an entire industry generates millions from collecting and working with Big Data.

But hiring a firm to manipulate the outcomes and perceptions of international electoral and military campaigns?

Then contract them for Washington’s new administration?

I believe that takes us to a whole new level of Distracted Subversion. One unseen in our history. An unprecedented ability to bend outcomes without our being aware.

Stop clicking ‘like’. Stop taking ‘personality quizzes’. Stop clicking angry emojis.

Start a blog and write about how you feel instead.

The one thing Big Data can not stand.  Conversations in person.

Phone calls.

Face to face meetings.

Start a blog and write about how you feel instead.

Stop telling SCL and Cambridge Analytica how you feel about things.

By their own admission, they are gathering your reaction data and using it to win wars, change your mind, build empires, and get people like Donald Trump elected.

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How Donald Trump did it, Part 3: The Quiet Machine: My mother-in-law’s keen catch, The Antidote Writer’s Collective, Michal Kosinski, Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica

Das magazine, Trump’s ‘Oppenheimer’: Michal Kosinki, Who is Alexander Nix? The emergence of SCL, Cambridge Analytica , and Big Data.

 

Distracted Subversion has to have an engine, a core implementer, whose goals are laser focused, in order to work.

On January 28, my mother-in-law sent me an article that flicked on the light of what may be one of the largest engines of social influence that we have ever seen.

On 22/01/2017, antidotezine.com posted this Das Magazine article. My mother-in-law sent it to me, ironically, on Facebook. She may have stumbled on a monumental piece of history, lying out in plain sight for all to ignore.

It carried a Vice article through  Motherboard (I know, convoluted, right? But rabbit holes can be like that sometimes).

If you have stuck with me so far in this series, then I’m trusting that you are willing to actually read the entire article in the link. Don’t skim it. Like any good suspense story, it has to build through the whole story. And the article is carefully written, I believe, because there are huge consequences at stake.

https://motherboard.vice.com/en_us/article/big-data-cambridge-analytica-brexit-trump

Psychologist Michal Kosinki’s ‘Oppenheimer’ moment may seem dramatic. The stuff of Hollywood. Until you find out what’s next.

 

Next on The Desk: Who is Alexander Nix? SCL and Big Data.

 

 

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How Trump Did It, Part 2: The Beginning.

 

How did this happen?

Well, like most enormously important events, it did not start in a vacuum. President Trump’s victory happened slowly, evolving over several years. I’ve found that this Frontline Documentary from PBS does the best job of explaining this phenomenon’s history. It is worth watching.

The Divided states of America contains what appears to be critical information about the history of Trump’s rise to power, through the GOP’s devastation, rebirth, then its infiltration, and eventual implosion.

Reminds one of watching lava form. Each cooling layer pooling slag upon which fresh lava cooks through and burns over to form the new political foundation.

It’s a long one, so you may need several bags of popcorn. And, perhaps, depending on your politics, a pillow to scream into:

http://www.pbs.org/video/2365934009/

If you’re reading this from Canada, here’s an active link  (For some STRANGE reason, PBS Frontline no longer runs its content streaming into Canada. Which is weird. It did last year…):

Do yourself a favour, and watch both part 1 and 2. It’s a comprehensive, detailed saga that brings us right up to the election.

 

Next time, on The Desk:

How Trump Did It, Part Three:

The Quiet Machine: My mother-in-law’s keen catch, The Antidote Writer’s Collective,  Michal Kosinski, Facebook, and Cambridge Analytica.

 

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How Donald Trump did it: Part One. Or, The Morning My Mother-in-Law Discovered a Tiny, Incredible Article.

 

I’m fascinated by what I like to call Distracted Subversion.

That’s kind of like being a conspiracy theorist, but with deeper weeds, more data, and actual evidence. It’s what large organizations do when they know the world is distracted looking at something else. They do it in plain sight, because everyone, from the media to the governments of other nations, are very busy looking at something 180 degrees in the opposite direction.

Did you know they are making toilet paper tubes bigger to save on shipping costs? Or injecting air bubbles in your toothpaste? That “Frozen Dessert” is not actually Ice Cream, and never melts? Or that the CIA had a torture franchise in Libya?

I wrote about Libya, an example of Surreptitious Things Being Done in Plain Sight, back in 2011 on my now-dead, other blog. I’ve linked it here.

Organizations like the CIA, Israel, Russia, Banks, Media, and political lobbyists and pollsters engage in this Distracted Subversion every day. And it works. Make something go off to our left, and we look left. That real art happens when you’ve planned it that way and use that time to do Something Very Important to make something happen on our RIGHT.

It certainly did in this last, profound presidential election.

As a Canadian, I get substantial flack for putting my Bluenoser proboscis in American politics. But the United States is an excellent litmus test for the rest of the world’s political metabolism. It teaches us larger lessons about the way our own elections can twist and bend, and, perhaps, how to prevent surprises. I hate surprises.

I’ve been baffled by how Trump did it. I just could not figure it out. But I started to think about Distracted Subversion. Then, my mother-in-law sent me an article that she found laying out in plain sight on the internet that offered a key insight into what just happened in the United States.

And it is of critical importance, because the tool Trump’s campaign used reaches all the way from Brexit to any other elective process for the foreseeable future, and even to help determine the outcome of international military campaigns.

If you care at all about political outcomes, I strongly suggest you read on. If you are baffled and dazed and shocked and outraged, you need to read this. If you use Facebook, and are ‘liking’ posts, either with an angry face or a tearful emoji, you need to know what that is doing for the people who want to use that information to get elected.

I’d very much like to be wrong.

I’d very much like to find out that this is a hoax.

I’d love to find out that the SCL Group website is a hoax page built by an eighteen year old member of the Freedom Caucus.

But I’ve dug through their site, and I fear it is not.

And, to me, that’s terrifying.

But to know the future, you have to see the past. And PBS’ Frontline documentary is a necessary place to start.

Next time, on The Desk:

How did this start?

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The simple act of forgetting to burn the files after the Boss leaves: The rebels catch wind of CIA consult work with Gadhafi; in trade, his expert torture contractors get some extra workouts in.

 

(September 4, 2011):

No big surprise that the CIA  working with Libya . Probably no huge surprise that Bush’s administration used Libya to exercise their unique skill sets on subjects snatched from various streets around the world during the ‘Extraordinary Rendition’ phase of activities. Leaving the files fluttering in the streets of Tripoli as Gadhafi flees? That, boys and girls, that’s a tongue-biter.

Now, The People in Charge have to rely on their default defensive position regarding Media and the People: Memory Atrophy for today’s instant Distraction Syndrome generation. While everybody gets their thumbs pressed into the latest Iphone, and their gaze is drawn, like the survivors of a zombie apocalypse, into the TV screens to watch Gene Simmons and Shannon Tweed get married, Men in Suits, and their counterparts, Men in Field Vests and Levi’s, wait for you to forget what The Canadian Press and other news agencies have released today:

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/libyan-intelligence-documents-show-ties-between-cia-gadhafi-164610538.html

Should be forgotten by lunch.

CopyrightBCLaybolt2011

 

(Addendum: Feb 1, 2016: Interestingly, the link is dead. Here are more that are intact:)

https://ca.search.yahoo.com/search?p=libyan+intelligence+documents+show+ties+between+cia+and+ghadafi&fr=yfp-t

 

 

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