Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Real Undocumented Immigrant Problem...

...Has nothing to do with people crossing borders without passports, or visas. In fact it's not really about people at all any more, but about phantoms created within the entire web of social media.

I'm talking about the bots that have been mobilized, or weaponized as Steve Bannon likes to say, to sneak into the new communities of interest, concern, or the simple need to know the truth. These electrified, soulless, collections of triggers and responses, set up with names, and backgrounds (if need be), and whatever else might be required to give them credibility, come into these communities pretending to be just like you, except on whatever particular thing their masters want you to now know is a mistake in what you think you know.

And so these "immigrants" go to work making content, clicks, and views, and positive reinforcing links (wherever such reinforcing needs to be) so that even search, "auto fill ins" are skewed to reflect the wave of substantiation that the masters of the bots know will influence you. Influence you to see that the new notion, even if it flies in the face of hard science, corrects the mistake in your old view of things.

Everybody who loves what the Web was intended to be. Everybody who has dreamed of what better connected people can do with the free flow of reliable information. Everybody who wants there to be balance in life; real dynamic balance that keeps any one extreme of thought, or action, or imposition of norms, to not get out of hand. All of you so like minded need to start considering what's at stake in what has become an undeclared war on social discourse. A war where one of the main theatres of operation is the Web itself.

I, for one, think that sites like Twitter, and FaceBook should be abandoned entirely. They have become so manipulated to date that one wonders why anyone would take anything appearing there seriously (why anybody would take discourse in 140 character chunks seriously in the first place has always been a mystery to me, but what do I know). But they, of course, are only one of the symptoms of what allowing what seems like a human voice on the web, where there is no reliable documentation of whether that voice is a person, or a #BotButtPumper (I'm going with that as it conveys, in my mind, the bending over one does when one takes Web "Likes," or "Clicks," or whatever else kind of trend metric seriously, and without scepticism).

What are we going to do to change the Web so that we can rely on one person, one voice? How do we document that kind visa? We certainly can't build a wall around it. Do we try to create some kind of block chain mechanism out of expression? I, obviously, don't know, but people a lot smarter than me should be getting very worried that so little attention is being given to the fact that the war exists at all, let alone that so little is actually being done about it. And people in the regular media still functional better wise up real quick. They need to organize, and coordinate, so that unified countermeasures can be figured out and instituted. Whatever those might be.

Listen people. If we don't get this right, and soon, it might not matter how true anything we say is anymore; no matter how many times we say it. The manipulators will simply drown us out with very convincing noise.

Robert Mercer: the big data billionaire waging war on mainstream media