I believe that our civilization is approaching a peak of collecting information about you and I, ordinary citizens, by every entity on the planet entirely without our knowledge or discipline. That is going to end because so much information in the hands of central authorities is one of the factors making our current world not work at all.
We are at the end of an era, the last one didn’t scale past some boundaries, we get to fall back, regroup, choose different paths into the next era. My thought is ‘own your data‘, which has the downside of requiring a different contract with each entity who wants to use your data. Apps cover that. You approve contracts and categories. But it doesn’t matter what the solution is or how hard it is, stable systems are not possible if they have central entity with all of everyone’s data.
The mere existence of such information means the system cannot be honest enough to function well enough to maintain itself. The built-in problems in our system can all be root-sourced back to the growth of centralized information and the power that has been built on that, the increasing centralization of both power and wealth. Unstable political systems can cause the loss of generations of wealth, we must not allow our system to continue in unstable directions.
Which it is, faster all the time. The questions now are : How bad will it be? How long will it last? What to do?
NSA is a prime example of specialists gone very wrong while pursuing their pinhole visions, disconnected from the world as well as oblivious to their strategic futures.* Ditto Google, Facebook, Microsoft (ridiculous built-in violations of every morsel of privacy in Windows-10), Amazon, schools and every other advertising and sales company, in store and on the web. They all collect and buy and aggregate information about each of us in order to control our behavior as efficiently as possible. The control is advertisers selecting the best ad to extract the largest amount of money from you with highest probability. The filters are your life’s information and what each advertiser is willing to pay for the chance of exposing your mind to their ad. If your life-info-filter shows you to be a buyer of things in the upper end of product prices, you will get the ad showing a higher price for their product than your frugal neighbor next door will see. Your information is a resource just like a gold mine, if they can keep the info up to date, you keep producing $ for them to the end of your days.
So all of the entities desiring to affect your mind are in price competition for your attention. The better the quality of the information collected, the higher the price they can get for their directing a slice of your attention to an ad. The more information they collect, the more $ they an extract from your data because the advertisers will be more in control of your actions and beliefs by way of that slice of your attention. Advertisers now tailor ads to particular kinds of people. You see different ads than your neighbor. They are getting good at that, there is plenty of feedback : sales daily and hourly as they switch ads around, aim them at different ‘demographics’, now such a weak term in an age of sharply-targeted messaging. The best advertisers experiment continuously, testing different filter->ad combinations.
Your governments and government-dependent entities such as unions, crony-capitalists, college professors, and MSM, are willing to pay top prices for exposing your mind to their version of reality. They are expert at that, as there is plenty of feedback every day : percentage of the news headlines dominated by their agenda items vs every headline. If they manage their press relationships correctly, they don’t have to worry about the agenda. Government and government-dependent entities set by far the largest part of the public agenda and its frame, the terms that most favorably connect with voters as a result of the last round of propaganda, the global frame of the US being the shining light of democracy illuminating civilization, drummed into you since first grade. Government as a whole is far behind the advertising world in targeting, but expect this round of presidential and congressional races to do a lot better. The spending will be enormous exactly to that end, putting messages into the minds of people tailored to many small categories of attitudes and concerns.
Because federal government is least constrained in spending, the central state has largely controlled the public agenda, and every entity in our universe of discourse is oriented to their story. Having framed the agenda that they set, pro-government entities can pay top dollar for your share of mind because they are spending your money for their benefit.
If we citizens are going to take back our political system, we must end the information advantage our governments and corporations have over us. Suggestions :
- Stop having opinions.
If your opinions and attitudes are not very carefully considered for consistency with your interests and those of family and community, you can easily begin supporting positions or having attitudes that do not benefit you. When you really know a subject or area of interest, you know most people’s opinions are not very good. Yours are no different when you don’t really know the subject or area.
Opinions and attitudes are keys and handles to your attention. If you favor a message based on an attitude in your mind that doesn’t really benefit you, you are accepting new ideas arriving in false pretense.
Deny those who consider themselves your masters keys and handles to your mind. Do not believe things that benefit them more than you.
- No TV, magazines or newspapers
We ordinary citizens want MSM to disappear for two reasons. First, they are the major conduits into most of the minds in our nation, the major propaganda organs of our age. Second, they are information collectors, aggregators and disseminators. They all sell their subscription lists and also use information from brokers to target new possible subscribers for advertising subscriptions. There is a profession of specialists doing that work, of course.
- No Windows or Skype or iOS or iPad, only Linux or BSD.
Windows is hopeless, it cannot be made secure for use on a network. iOS has a complex user interface. There are hacks for all of Apple’s products.
- Tails and Tor for everything online
If you prevent your OS from communicating over the network except for a few network services, then run Tails in a Virtual Machine, communicating only by Tor, you contribute very little information to their databases. DuckDuckGo.com is one of several search engines that does not store your internet address or search terms.
- Swap membership cards
Every store wants to track your every purchase so as to know how to spend its advertising money best. They sell the information, of course. As a result of the discounts provided by signing up for a membership, nearly everyone in town will have a membership in nearly every store. These stores often allow use of a telephone number, as otherwise all of our wallets would weigh several pounds. So try a couple of numbers near your own. I bet one works. A new wave of commerce, granny down the street is buying < use your imagination >, and our government has a bit less certainty in its design of propaganda.
- Lie to pollsters
Pollsters want the information so the political system can control you better. Why would you do that to yourself? So lie, and make it random. A consistent lie would have to be opposite to your real position, you don’t want that. So random, no consistency and you don’t care, ignore it if they ask or make up something even more incredible. Help blind our masters.
- Put Noise In Their Systems
There are many other equivalent things you can do to completely screw up information flows used to control us.
Sign a random set of the White House Petitions. Vote in a lot of on-line polls, random inputs. Give $1 donations to a lot of the solicitations that result, as that costs them more to process than $1. But your name will go on mailing lists for a wide range of organizations –> noise in the political system.
- Vote against everything and everyone
Reform after reform after reform is how we got here. More laws is not the answer, different laws isn’t plausible, so fewer laws and rules and regulations and taxes must be the answer. Repeal is the only reform. The only meaningful dimension among politicians is “How many years of laws should be repealed?”
- Bitcoins for online purchases
Bitcoins are not perfectly anonymous, but they are good enough. Certainly it prevents the credit card companies selling detailed information about you.
We need to win the information wars, to stop the Status Quo from organizing it against us. We will know we are winning as the price of on-line advertising falls, and falls and falls because they are displaying muscle car ads to my retired mother and quilting ads to my car-crazy son.
*Or maybe not. Coups happen. 9-11 was a false flag operation by our own government that took planning and coordination of many people over a long time. Promotion of so many of them sealed the official story and the power of the deep state. People behave differently in end-games. This is end-game of an era. Be aware of your normalcy bias, don’t judge things by normal times, these are not.
Bloggers mostly react to stories, although their very useful function is illuminating different aspects and making connections to trends and history our government would rather bury.
Added later : Fraud is doing in advertising. I loved the rogue software that converted your browser into clicking on ads at web sites. I would put an app like that into my browser, if I could control its use of bandwidth. I want an app to fuzz my political visits also, even more than they are.
This says our campaign is working, along with all of the natural fraud of robots clicking ads, at least some of that is our effort. Doesn’t matter, our psyops should take the credit. Get cracking guys.
Added later : a distributed web is not a magic wand, but overlays will be part of all of that, and they are a big part of it. The Generalissimo is in charge of security architectures, is working on a post.