Can a movement like DiEM25 really fill it? How are you trying to fill it?
“If it cannot Europe is finished. For what we are trying to do is both modest and essential: to reach out across national borders, political party division lines and even ideological boundaries to put together a coalition of democrats (of the left, the centre, liberals, greens, independent thinkers, progressive conservatives even) who agree on basic humanist principles and forge a common internationalist, progressive agenda for Europe. Our first major challenge is the compilation of our European Green New Deal Policy Paper, which DiEM25 will be presenting in Paris on 23rd, 24th and 25th February 2017. This is meant as a first step toward a comprehensive progressive agenda for Europe that acts as the magnet for Europeans fed up with the incompetent establishment but also determined to end the rise of the Nationalist International that is today undermining European civilisation and unity everywhere.” [excerpt]
Can anyone say “Big Brother is watching?” 1984 may have finally arrived in the year 2016. Below are some highlights with particular links that should prove of great interest to all who care about how their children’s and their children’s children’s world develops. And a link to the original article from which these highlights are drawn.
It also wasn’t entirely clear whether or in what ways Big Data would be a threat or a boon to humanity.
Since November 9th, 2016, we know the answer. Because one and the same company was behind Trump’s online ad campaigns and late 2016’s other shocker, the Brexit “Leave” campaign: Cambridge Analytica, with its CEO Alexander Nix.
Two psychologists were able to demonstrate in the 1980s that the character profile of a person can be measured and expressed in five dimensions, the Big Five: Openness (how open are you to new experiences?), Conscientiousness (how much of a perfectionist are you?), Extroversion (how sociable are you?), Agreeableness (how considerate and cooperative are you?), and Neuroticism (how sensitive/vulnerable are you?). With these five dimensions (O.C.E.A.N.), you can determine fairly precisely what kind of person you are dealing with—her needs and fears as well as how she will generally behave.
“‘We are a global election management agency,’ said the company website [really, the website has even creepier language on it than that. ‘Behavioral change communication’? Go look already].”
“SCL Elections has a formidable track record around the world for delivering electoral success. By breaking down issues and the electorate in a scientific way we help Presidents, Prime Ministers and candidates better present their policies and communicate with their audience. [This is not a process of representing the electorate. Rather it is a process of manipulation of the electorate.] With a suite of products and services SCL Elections combines data-driven messaging and years of electoral experience to give your campaign the winning edge.
“From identifying the target audience for a campaign to establishing the key behaviour triggers and filters and deploying on-the-ground teams, we collect a lot of information.”
“By combining qualitative and quantitative research and applying the BDi’s behavioural methodologies, we can deliver unparalleled insight into the motivations and actions of target groups and accurately predict likely responses to particular subjects and methods of communication.” [read behavior modification]
“SCL Social’s communication strategies and campaigns have helped communities around the world achieve lasting change. We know that real change comes from real people, so we work to engage and encourage community involvement by creating grassroots outreach networks on local and national levels.
“We work with our partners every step of the way, from helping to organize and deploy field teams to measuring campaign impact and effectiveness throughout an engagement programme’s lifetime. This approach provides invaluable insight and the flexibility to evolve and refine campaigns in real time.”
“We work across all media platforms and on every level of a community or country, from direct local interactions to large-scale event management. Our communication programmes are delivered in three stages, covering rigorous planning, implementation and analysis:
“Strategic Campaign Planning – By combining historical and contextual information with SCL’s on-the-ground research techniques and advanced data analysis we can identify target audiences and key community influencers, and begin to structure the engagement strategy.
“Engagement Strategy – Once the target audience is identified an engagement strategy can be designed and tested to produce a fully workable communication campaign across all relevant channels, from face-to-face conversations to online advertising.
“Effectiveness Measuring – We closely measure the implementation and reception of all our campaigns so we can monitor their effectiveness in real time, suggest changes based on live data, and propose intelligent recommendations for future communication projects.”
[One can find no better definition of the total opposite of a GRASSROOTS network than this description. This is blatant “mass conditioning” not grassroots organizing.]
“At Cambridge Analytica we understand that every customer, every cause, and every campaign is unique. That’s why we help you connect with every member of your audience on an individual level in ways that engage, inform and drive them to action.
“We bring together 25 years’ experience in behavioral change, pioneering data science, and cutting-edge technology to offer unparalleled audience insight and engagement services and products.
“We collect up to 5,000 data points per person on over 220 million Americans, and use more than 100 data variables to model target audience groups and predict the behavior of like-minded people.
“When you go beneath the surface and learn what people really care about you can create fully integrated engagement strategies that connect with every person at the individual level.”
Cambridge Analytica is doing precisely what Kosinski had warned about. They have assembled psychograms for all adult US citizens, 220 million people, and have used this data to influence electoral outcomes.
Cambridge Analytica divided the US population into 32 personality types, and concentrated on only seventeen states… Cambridge Analytica found that a predeliction for American-produced cars is the best predictor of a possible Trump voter. Among other things, this kind of knowledge can inform Trump himself which messages to use, and where. The decision to focus candidate visits in Michigan and Wisconsin over the final weeks of the campaign was based on this manner of data analysis. The candidate himself became an implementation instrument of the model.
Perhaps it is time we start asking the Five Powerful Questions:
Don’t forget to check out the link to original post is:
2016 was a terrible year… the beginning of a long decline? 2016 was a rough year, but [it might be]… the beginning of the end [of a long decline]… we’ve been 40 years enduring a process of de-civilisation…
This de-civilisation grew out of an ideology which… championed “righteous selfishness…” this unrestrained individualism has [produced] huge wealth inequalities [which] make a mockery of democracy.
Last year people started waking up… [many] grabbed the nearest Trump-like object… Meanwhile there’s been a quieter but equally powerful stirring: people are rethinking democracy [and] society… what we need to make them work… most importantly [people are] thinking out loud, together…
This… will involve engagement: not just tweets [etc.], but thoughtful, creative social and political action. It will involve realising that… If we want good reporting and analysis, we’ll have to pay for it… if we want thoughtful politicians, we should stop supporting merely charismatic ones.
Inequality eats away at the heart of a society, breeding disdain, resentment, envy, suspicion, bullying, arrogance and callousness. If we want any decent kind of future we have to push away from that, and I think we’re starting to.
There’s so much to do, so many possibilities. 2017 should be a surprising year.
This Saturday (28/1, 10am), Conway Hall, London, Brian Eno, myself and others will launch DiEM25 UK.
Join us in a three hour event to discuss taking our countries back on the basis of a progressive agenda. Here is a teaser of what Brian wants to talk about.
by Brian Eno
The consensus among most of my friends seems to be that 2016 was a terrible year, and the beginning of a long decline into something we don’t even want to imagine.
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A clash of two insurgencies is now shaping the west… Donald Trump’s inauguration marks [one], the other… an insurrection by the global technocracy whose purpose is to retain control at all cost… the unholy alliance of Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the surveillance apparatus in the United States are its manifestations.
After the [economic collapse] of 2008… the establishment no longer cared to persuade the masses that its way was socially optimal. Overwhelmed by the collapsing financial pyramids, the inexorable buildup of unsustainable debt [etc.], the establishment’s functionaries set aside the aspiration to persuade or to represent. Instead, they concentrated on clamping down.
In the United States, both parties promised drastic cuts to social security spending. During our deflationary times none of these policies helped stabilise capitalism at a national or at a global level. So, why were they pursued?
Their purpose was to impose acquiescence to a clueless establishment that had lost its ambition to maintain its legitimacy… the idea was to maintain power via calculated humiliation. Similarly, in America the establishment habitually blamed the victims of predatory lending and the failed health system.
It was against this insurgency of a cornered establishment that had given up on persuasion that Donald Trump and his European allies rose up with their own populist insurgency. They proved that it is possible to go against the establishment and win. Alas, theirs will be a pyrrhic victory which will, eventually, harm those whom they inspired. The answer to neoliberalism’s Waterloo cannot be the retreat to a barricaded nation-state and the pitting of “our” people against “others” fenced off by tall walls and electrified fences.
The answer can only be a Progressive Internationalism that works in practice on both sides of the Atlantic. To bring it about we need more than fine principles unblemished by power. We need to aim for power on the basis of a pragmatic narrative imparting hope throughout Europe and America for jobs paying living wages to anyone who wants them, for social housing, for health and education. [excerpt]
Mr. Varoufakis’s concern today is not merely the health of Greece. He worries about the survivability of the EU and the euro zone in the post-Brexit era. Indeed, the EU is under siege. Britain is leaving. Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s xenophobic, anti-EU National Front, could win the country’s spring presidential election. In Italy, the Euroskeptic Five Star Movement, already the biggest opposition party, could easily win the next election. The grand European-integration project seems dead. The challenge is to keep what’s left more or less intact.
by Eric Reguly for The Globe and Mail
Having lost the old fight over Greece’s financial future, Mr. Varoufakis is focused on a different cause: preserving the European Union
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¡ ¡ ¡ F R E E ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS N O W ! ! !
Barack Obama has commuted the sentence of Oscar López Rivera, a victory for the Puerto Rican independence activist who is considered to be one of the world’s longest-serving political prisoners. And, Chelsea Manning, the US army soldier who became one of the most prominent whistleblowers in modern times when she exposed the nature of warfare in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who then went on to pay the price with a 35-year military prison sentence, is to be freed in May as a gift of outgoing president Barack Obama.
WHILE we gladly accept these two acts of humanity by President Obama, we still await the proper action for many, many more political prisoners not the least of which is Leonard Peltier and Mumia Abu Jamal, Guantanamo hunger strikers, Ricardo Palmera (Simon Trinidad), Jalil Muntaqim (Anthony Bottom), Mutulu Shakur, “Sonia” Omaira Rojas Cabrera, David Gilbert, Russell ‘Maroon’ Shoatz, Sundiata Acoli, Assata Shakur and no doubt many, many others who are nothing more than political prisoners, a class that should not exist in a free and open society. None of this is to mention the desperately needed exoneration of John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake, Sibel Edmonds, William Binney, Coleen Rowley, Jesselyn Radack, Thomas Tamm, Cathy Harris, Julian Assange and Edward Snowden who are acting in the interests of all humanity for without their courage and the courage of others like them we, the people, would never have a clue what is being done in our names. These two men and many like them deserve our greatest approbation, not our condemnation.
The current system tempts legislators who are well aware of the demographical relationships between certain crimes and the political affiliations of economic classes and ethnic groups. According to the The Sentencing Project:
•5,300,000 Americans have currently lost their voting rights as a result of a conviction.
•Of these, about 4,600,000 are men and 700,000 are women.
•1,400,000 African American men are disenfranchised, representing 13% of black men, a rate seven times the national average.
•In states like Florida which permanently disenfranchise ex-offenders, it is projected that 40% of black men may permanently lose their right to vote.
The goal of our justice system should be to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, and promote the general Welfare”. It should not be perverted into The goal of our justice system should be to “establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, and promote the general Welfare”. It should not be perverted into a tool to suppress the vote of those we disagree with.
Each and everyone of these individuals are valuable in the very essence of their humanness and that humanness should be honored in every person; thus, no one should ever have their voting rights denied them and the actions of politicians that refuse to address the needs of the political prisoners listed (and unlisted) above and the need for all citizens to have not only the right to participate in the selection of those who represent them in the halls of power (the right to vote or enfranchisement). Also, they and all their fellow humans deserve all the amenities capable of being afforded the richest and most powerful of society and until that is “a given” then we will be unworthy of being thought of as a FREE AND OPEN SOCIETY.
¡¡¡ F R E E ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS N O W !!!