A while back, in the series of posts about Cambridge Analytica, I pointed out that Cruz the banker’s husband was apparently, judging from FEC filings and the budget he started with from Hedge Fund guru and elite tax dodger Robert Mercer, getting the best psy-op firm in the world at yard sale prices. So now, I’ll explain a little more about the single most valuable commodity in the world–data.
Data Is The Single Most Valuable Commodity In The World.
Yes, that’s true. Now the nay-sayers will be saying “well, my Burger King receipt is data, what will you give me for it”? Well, for just your BK receipt, that depends. With an app like Receipt Hog, a few points. And when you have enough points, you can get cash! Receipt Hog is just one of hundreds of Reward programs that pay consumers every day. From grocery stores and drug stores, to the wildly popular WalMart app with the “savings catcher” that rewards you with egift cards if, when you use it, it finds a lower price on an item you bought at WalMart somewhere else in your area, reward programs can keep a steady flow of cash, gift cards, free samples, gas discounts and more streaming into your mailbox, email, and Paypal.
Even Bing is in on the game, and rapidly seizing market share from Google, because they pay you for your activity. Simply for allowing various companies to collect data on you, you can get anywhere from 10-100.00 or more a month between all the programs.
And every one of these programs gets a huge return on their investment in you. WalMart and your local grocery store, for instance, use this information with other data to determine display prices, to track performance of sales cycles for maximum profit, and to provide research firms with aggregate shopping data for overall consumer spending trends.
Bing uses the data to target sponsored ads, and also improve their search engine’s functionality. Google does the same with your data, but they don’t pay you for it. Receipt Hog keeps the raw data in anonymous aggregate form, and sells it to market tracking firms and also provides it to the companies that pay a fee to be included in their reward program.
But There Is More To Data Than Meets The Eye…
Take the Cruz app for iPhones–it’s a GAME! How Neat! In exchange for answering questions about yourself, talking to friends, playing games etc., you get points. Talk enough of your unsuspecting friends into downloading the spy app from Hades, and you win a super Duper Cyber Trophy! Meanwhile–your Facebook friends (Cruzers or not) start seeing all Cruz, all the time.
But more sinister–they start seeing different “regular ads” and “sponsored sites” than before. And some people have gotten email from the Cruz Crew, Facebook posts from the Cruz Crew, etc. This lovely tool will even (if you let them track you) let you know, wherever you are, when another Cruz Crew member is nearby, so you can meet them! To date, over 100,000 people have downloaded and installed this app, and a good percentage of them allowed the geo tracking option. I have to wonder about anyone who has no problem with ANY agency tracking where they are at all times to within 50 yards, personally.
Why? because that type of data, my friend, is the most valuable type, to certain people. Data that tracks human traffic flow is used for everything from deciding on delay times on traffic signals to determining the square foot lease price of retail space, by “innocent” businesses and municipal, state and federal governments. But it’s also used by people plotting lone wolf terror attacks. Just as it can be used to trace someone who has been kidnapped, this data also tells a kidnapper with a specific target where that target is.
Wait A Minute…Why Would I Be Getting Different Ads?
Well, about those yard sale rates we mentioned at the beginning of this article…
Cruz made a deal. A very interesting deal, where he gets discount rates for allowing Cambridge to copy all of his data from the app, and website, and anywhere else, for their two brand new U.S. storage hubs–one located, coincidentally, not far from D.C., and one in Texas. So while you’re playing games and answering seemingly innocuous questions, Cambridge is busily copying all that information, and more. If you read the terms (and most people don’t) you’ll find that by choosing to take certain options and agree to certaibn things, you’re also giving them far more access to anyone on your FB friends list–and your smartphone contact list–than you should be able to give.
Remember, this is the company that has fought off more than one ethics charge for flat out appropriating data, and for using misleading “polls” with 1.00 rewards to appropriate MORE data, from Facebook and who knows where else. So while you earn your virtual titles and virtual prizes and trophies, you’re giving these yo-yo’s access to everyone you know on any of your lists in your social media or your phone.
And about those “different ads”–well, Cambridge does still do some work with people other than politicians, so in most cases, you’re just receiving a copy of an ad better targeted for your demographic code. Which may cause you to spend more than usual shopping online.
But– that data also allows paid trolls and “social media/social perception managers” to begin posting to you, to pick up more intel on you as a person. And it also allows any firm currently running a large scale mass perception project to target you. Cambridge also sells data, to other firms like it that do strictly commercial PS, which is, I suppose, OK for some people.
Wow. So Much For Facebook! Well, It’s Just Marketing Information….
But it isn’t. Even when you don’t give them reasons for blocking ads, when you don’t file complaints, just your likes tell them a lot about you. And semantic analysis is also in there. Even when you personally don’t comment, your like gives you away. When you DO comment, your choice of words speaks volumes. Semantic analysis provides an entirely different level of sophistication when it comes to categorizing “you”. OK, so maybe Facebook itself doesn’t use semantic analysis and semantic weighting and scaling (though they might, for all we know). But they still collect that data and sell it to others.
How do you feel about Cambridge’s parent company, SCL Group, getting that data? How do you feel when you think about what “mass perception management” really means? If you don’t know what it means–in a nutshell, it’s psy-ops. but it takes the form of weeks, months, or years of slowly changing your opinion on an issue, or a demographic group, or a religion, or religion in general.
It can be something as simple as showing you nothing but positive Facebook sponsored ads about Islam, or nothing but refugee articles about sick children and exploited women (while the majority of the unvetted refugees coming into America from the middle East are young, healthy, men), to a years long, highly sophisticated project designed to convince you through changing the meaning of words and the contextual framing of real world events that there really is an epidemic of mass shootings, or cops murdering innocent people.
It can also be used by media people or alternative media that you trust, to feed you deliberate misinformation/disinformation…like long trusted talk show hosts trying to convince you to believe them, not your gut or your lyin’ eyes. Or people who are noted authority figures on gov’t psy-ops and false flags suddenly telling you to do things that have zero benefit for you or the country, but would give the gov’t they claim is out to get you and destroy America the weapons it needs to do so….
Knowledge is power. And right now, a lot of people are using the most valuable commodity of all, your data, against you. You can’t effectively stop them from getting that data. But you can learn to observe instead of watch. whether it’s a news program or a written blog page, you need to learn to observe the language, without emotion interfering. Language isn’t just words, it’s pictures, video, audio, and “optics”. So, in future posts, we’ll be looking at how to deconstruct what you watch, and point you to tools and ways you can learn to observe. Those tools and materials are out there, and everyone needs to make use of them.