200 Again

Brave New World Quote

This is post #200 again. I had over 250 posts at one time before I sabotaged myself and had to rewrite all of them. Because I had to do everything all over I didn’t just put the content back. I did an edit.

We are months away from voting on our next president. I believe there is some obligation for bloggers to weigh in on the two candidates. I’ve done so. We’ve got a whore and her pimp-daddy telling us that as reasonable people we should be ecstatic at more of that, of more signaling and failure to actually do anything. The alternative? A rich John and wanna-be pimp daddy whose biggest success is a beauty contest. He, we are told, will make America great again. At this point, given a choice between the whore and her pimp and the John, I’d vote for the whore. At least the whore is getting paid.

I’ll not endorse either candidate. I will say that the Republicans are idiots, with Dumpf being the biggest idiot. Trump is where he is because of an attempted insurgency that started with the Tea Party and rose to put him on the dias where he has proven how completely we are in the pocket of the establishment. You don’t fight the Chinese Imperial army with a pocket knife. You definitely don’t try to assassinate the generals without knowing your enemy. PDaddy Dumpf and the RePUBikans don’t know their enemy. They are defeated even before the fight has started.

This battle for the hearts and minds of us has been underway since we told King George to go fuck himself. It is a Propaganda War fought with sticks & stones for most of it. Hearst Newspapers and Yellow Journalism marked a milestone in the war. That was the first time the propagandists began to understand the power of the press and that this war isn’t won in our heads, it is fought and won in our hearts and stomachs. The early pioneers in this were the USSR and Communist China where there is no pretense of a free press. We didn’t get serious about it until Woodrow Wilson, William Randolph Hearst and especially, Noam Chomsky. It didn’t get possible in the same way it is now until Al Gore invented the Internet and big data became cheap.

Go into a bar. Buy a drink at the bar. State your political opinion in one sentence loud enough that you can be heard. For the most part, people will look at you funny and wonder if you are going to be a problem. The next few seconds are up to you. You can continue the night as a jovial malcontent or you can trigger a dispute needing the bouncer, maybe the cops, and (don’t go here) an ambulance. I’d rather you back down before the bouncer makes it clear your time in the bar has ended. This is an experiment in manipulating behavior, not getting your ass beat. Now, and be careful with the next because this will get you thrown out, threaten the resources of someone in the bar. Take their drink, their food, whatever. Right, you just stole something and the consequences need no explanation. No, I won’t bail you out. You should know better.

My point isn’t to get you arrested. I’d rather you did the inverse and offer to buy food or drinks for the bar. You’ll provoke a reaction anyway, one with a better outcome than theft. My point is that we are more easily motivated by figuring out what emotional drives we have and how those can be used to get us to do things desirous to our leadership. Every successful salesperson knows that the deal is closed on fulfilling an emotional need. It’s not for nothing that many businesses put young, attractive women at the front to face the public. Politics in this age is no different. We are being lead by very intelligent marketing. The optics are the game.

Big newspapers, then radio, then TV, then Al Gore, and now IBM’s Watson. At each leap in communications method the techniques for understanding what moves us and the methods for moving us in an intended direction evolved. Somewhere in the end of the last millennium and the beginning of the future it all came together and democracy was buried in a mountain of tractor feed green and white banded paper containing statistics about our hearts and minds. We became knowable and manageable in aggregate. Dissidence became an acceptable margin of error. Welcome to the new world order.

Protest protects the illusion of freedom. Black Lives Matter is a crucial part of the strategy. They are needed, as are the Revolutionary Communist Party, the Black Panthers and other fringe dissidents. As long as Black Lives Matter remains in the popular conversation the establishment can hide behind the green curtain manipulating the levers of the machine. Black Lives Matter is as much a part of the establishment as Hillary and Obummer.

The tipping point was big data. Ad campaigns pitching analytics to business have been around for a couple decades. Microsoft was quite pleased with themselves when they had an ad campaign making the case that a customer purchasing a bottle of wine could trigger automated activity in a logistics system such that all the vendors who contribute to that bottle of wine would receive an order from the supply chain. It’s only been more recently that we have been told in advertising that now the major analytics vendors like IBM, SAIC, SAS and others, have also been selling products to businesses and government which help them understand why the customer chose a bottle sold by Altria and not one by Bronco.

This election is being one by a candidate chosen by the establishment and sold to us by all the best that marketing analytics, big data and over a century of national expertise in advertising. It is why the Democrats are raising and spending billions to Dumpfs millions. They are using everything they can buy to understand us and sell us Killary. Defeating the machine is going to take an analytics and marketing campaign of sufficient size. So far, Dumpf is still being a stupid asshat.

This is good news for sites like mine. We are too small to be a worry so we’ll be ignored. We are also a screaming nat the establishment can point to as proof that freedom is alive and well in the brave new world. It is also a bit depressing. It means that democracy or the illusion of it has largely become irrelevant. We can vote any way we want and the establishment will have their way with us. We are merely an annoying cloud of buzzing insects.