And a more thorough debunking: http://civichall.org/civicist/will-the-real-psychometric-tar...
With this quote: "I have described them as the Theranos of political data: I think they have a tremendous marketing department, coupled with a team of research scientists who provide on virtually none of those marketing promises." :)
But on a second thought. Planting this story is a masterpiece of promotion - and isn't this kind of similar to promoting a politician?
One reason I didn't end up applying is, though I lean to the right politically, I'm not at all a Trump supporter and couldn't bring myself to work on getting him elected. The second reason is that, even if I was working on a non-Trump project, it wasn't clear that their product added that much value. Some media references to them agreed with this, pointing out that, e.g., their model requires campaigns to create multiple adverts targeting different personality profiles, but most don't have the resources.
"Kosinski has observed all of this from his office at Stanford. Following the US election, the university is in turmoil. Kosinski is responding to developments with the sharpest weapon available to a researcher: a scientific analysis. Together with his research colleague Sandra Matz, he has conducted a series of tests, which will soon be published. The initial results are alarming: The study shows the effectiveness of personality targeting by showing that marketers can attract up to 63 percent more clicks and up to 1,400 more conversions in real-life advertising campaigns on Facebook when matching products and marketing messages to consumers' personality characteristics."
Those are very real and do play a role in influencing targeted voters in elections, but the question is not about who do what and how it works. It is about how this way of campaigning is changing the way candidates convince voters ( I was gonna say democracy but there are no actual democracy anywhere right now ).
I think this whole pro-data story is incorrect. Trump's huge unpopularity right now shows that what happened this election was Clinton messing up her own campaign by religiously following data and not doing basic things like visit Wisconsin. And from the journalism end, the NYT telling readers that Clinton had an 80+% chance of winning, sending a loud and clear message: Stay home if you wish to protest vote.
Even after massive, massive predictive failures, fortune-tellers always manage to give excuses and stick around.
His disapproval rating has eclipsed 50% in record time for a modern president - 8 days. 42 vs 51, approve/disapprove
President Obama had an approval rating twice as large following his inauguration. 84/14
Over 3 million people marched against him just two weeks ago and continue to mobilize.
I can't find any evidence that there is some silent majority supporting him. I'm more inclined to think it's a vocal minority.
Maybe if it mattered he would have campaigned differently. You can't judge on a metric that isn't the target.
> His disapproval rating
> I can't find any evidence that there is some silent majority supporting him
He won the election...
And Trump actually got amazing positive opinion polling 6 months ago. Now that it's not in his favor, though, ignore?
And you can absolutely win an election with both minority vote share and a lack of popularity.
I've never payed attention to them. They seem to be used more for the political purpose of manipulation, than for producing an innocent, yet unnecessary, prediction of results
> And you can absolutely win an election with both minority vote share and a lack of popularity.
No, you still need a certain amount of voter popularity, with the right distribution; unless you are talking about something else.
He didn't even get more votes.
YC made a request for startups targeting news and democracy the other day. I'd like to propose additional underlying unmet societal needs:
Emotional resiliency & nonviolent communication.
No, this shit needs to be regulated into the ground. No more of this opt in bullshit, no more selling data that was never yours to sell, we have to cut out immediately. We MUST limit the amount of datapoints that can be used for advertising and we must limit access to that data with much stronger privacy laws by outlining EXACTLY what data is being collected, providing consumers access to that data, and not allowing business to sell data that to other business. Internal use only, that has to be the rule.
Freedom of thought is at stake, we have to act fast or we are totally boned.
Static pages would help loads.
The gas turbine does the same thing the ox does, at scale.
Mustard gas does the same thing a bee does, at scale.
Scale fucking matters.
Does this mean we should pass a law against salesmen, and just general interpersonal persuasion? If not, why not?
A key element that's lacking seems to be the principle of charity: seeking a sympathetic understanding of an idea presented, and interpretation of ideas in their most persuasive form.
I don't believe I've ever seen you do that. You might care to give it a thought.
I'll through your questions back at you:
How is Greek Fire unlike a hydrogen bomb? How might considerations of these be different? What else that shares elements of what a hydrogen bomb is, or does, still substantively different in a way that would not require some sort of regulatory treatment?
Why is it we pass laws, generally? What are the hallmarks of a good, or a bad law?
If I convince you to harm yourself, that's a predatory action.
We have laws of various forms making these actions illegal. They may not be federally regulated, but could probably stand to be, especially when it's done at scale.
Who needs protection of the law in those situations? The emotionally exploitable or the unethical salesman?
What we are talking about is passing a law that says your data can't be used against you.
The idea is to create a human programming language to encode activities for learning/practicing principles found in the book Nonviolent Communication and publish that before publishing the language as a way to protect oneself.
"Nonviolent Communication" - Marshall Rosenberg
"Mindsight" - Daniel Siegel
I've also been working on a new mathematical model (rooted in category theory) for how our brains, bodies, and minds work together with the goal of developing a natural language based way to generate practices for the sake of improving myself in targeted ways. I only just finished reading Mindsight & have been practicing some of the techniques in the book by accident for months prior after coming up with the practices myself through my model. I've found my other attempts at programming myself using the model also develop my ability to focus & direct my attention, as well. As a result, I've had initial successes with learning echolocation and learning a form of synesthesia I haven't heard of (seeing a stick figure that moves with my body), both in under 10 minutes of my first attempts.
I'm not an expert in any of this stuff. I'm an information addict in recovery who saw connections among various recent research findings in different fields and started making connections. If love to collaborate with any Neuroscientists or Category Theorists. My contact info is in my profile.
Your self improvement is related to the future too. Do you mind if I ask, what kind of tigers do you run from?
BTW. Thank you for the info, this might be worthy of a detour :)
As for the future, I consider this year the start of the neural age because it'll be the first year in which a general programming language for the brain/mind/body will be available.
Truth is, I don't know who I am. Where I end and you begin.
Cya around friend.
How do we move to a less centralized internet and is it too late?
What big players could have an interest in this and why?
Big players don't necessarily have an interest in this, but some do. It's always a balancing act between too much centralization (single target/point of failure) and too much decentralization (impossible to control).
I don't understand why you think decentralization is a balancing act. What do you mean by "impossible to control", and why would that be bad? What would "full" decentralization even entail? A network of sentient computers doing whatever they want, except using supernodes "too much"?
(My definition of supernodes: nodes that transfer significantly more traffic than others structurally, in practice nodes that accept incoming connections, like servers or BitTorrent supernodes, but also AS's.)
They're also interested in having centralized control so the various components of their organization are not running rampant and in conflict with the others.
It's a delicate balancing act. Look at the US as a whole: If states are too independent they might get into wars with the others, not unlike The Holy Roman Empire. If they're too much under the thumb of the Federal government they'll feel oppressed.
The Bitcoin blockchain is an example of something that's a complete contradiction: It's a highly distributed highly centralized system. There's only one Bitcoin block chain, and everything must be recorded there for it to be valid. If, for example, Iran is cut off from the greater internet then that means you can't use Bitcoin in Iran.
BitTorrent is a much better example: There's no central authority, it's truly distributed, and highly fault tolerant. If Iran was cut off for some reason, all the Iran-hosted seeds of any content would still work.
Data collection like this still occurs without the internet. In addition, decentralization of the internet does not necessarily prevent targeted ads. IE, now instead of buying an ad from facebook that targets everyone with interest x in geographic area y, now we buy an ad on a local website for interest x in geographic area y.
At least one core problem is that no one wants to read primary sources and make decisions themselves. We seem to prefer an illusion of independent thought when we're actually choosing from a set of prepackaged partitions that are neatly presented to us.
(sadly, cheep.com is already taken or I'd be on that like white on rice...)
Network effects and there's nothing out there better than Facebook.
Freestanding sites lack this, and it turns out that behavioural costs matter.
The who really knows what is fake news? And what about the filter bubbles that keep the full picture hidden from you?
(Although I think the correct abstraction is not "search engine", but "decentralized content index" + "decentralized content ranking" with tweakable parameters.)
Its possible to be immune for such manipulaions, I believe. If you subject you thoughts to strict formal rules of rational thinking, than it would be hard to manipulate you.
But the first and most important thing is constant questioning own motives. So you are on the right track. ;)
If the brain was fundamentally a linear processor, you might have a chance. But the brain is almost entirely a pattern-machine, and linear, logical thought is mostly an artifact.
Humans can be programmed like any AI. It just requires the correct stimulus.
Oh great, divide et impera.
The original post is sensationalistic and massively overstates what's currently possible when it comes to micro-targeting.
> [Campaign] has also hired a firm specializing in big data and advanced intrapsychologic modeling. [Data firm] then takes data from Cookie Monster and analyzes it using their own proprietary Artificial Intelligence-powered (AI) algorithm, which allows the campaign to not only identify key voters, but to also identify key parts of their brains that are activated by certain messages.
> “Most campaigns only look at individual voters. We take it a step further and dig down into key parts of the voter’s subconscious. That way, we can say, ‘This meme penetrated a voter’s volitional association area of their prefrontal cortex — let’s double down on this message.’”
I'm sure Cambridge Analytica would love us to think they had an unprecedented impact. I haven't seen any actual evidence though.
You can read a more detailed description by an insider for the software Vote Leave used at his personal blog, here: https://dominiccummings.wordpress.com/2016/10/29/on-the-refe...
1) Trump outsmarted Clinton (and the presumed technology advantage she inherited from the Obama campaign apparatus) with psychometric local targeted propaganda / communication
2) Some of that communication may have been deliberately targeted at discouraging democratic voters by putting negative articles about Clinton in their social media feed.
This is interesting in the context that Trump only won by a 70K voter advantage split over three states.
While she won the popular vote by 3 or so million people, trump's message was very targeted to areas that mattered. A republican with the slogan 'your fired' ended up being the pro worker candidate in many areas. That takes very skillful image manipulation and a gullible electorate.
PS: Don't forget he was predicted to have around a 40% win chance. That's far from negligible despite what people where thinking.
I'm not sure this claim can be backed up by data.
Is some support for turnout being a problem. "Wisconsin tells the same numbers story, even more dramatically. Trump got no new votes. He received exactly the same number of votes in America’s Dairyland as Romney did in 2012. Both received 1,409,000 votes. But Clinton again could not spark many Obama voters to turn out for her: she tallied 230,000 votes less than Obama did in 2012. This is how a 200,000-vote victory margin for Obama in the Badger State became a 30,000-vote defeat for Clinton."
My thoughts where people would have been more willing to hold their noses and vote for her if they thought it was going to be a very close election. Few democrats in Michigan really thought the state was up for grabs at something like 78.9% vs 21.1% https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/2016-election-forecast/...
More support for this is new-hampshire (70-30) was predicted as a closer state than Pennsylvania (77-23), but ended-up very comfortably with Clinton. Remember, Pennsylvania (20) + Wisconsin (10) + Michigan (16) + 227 = 273 and a win.
Now, I am not saying the effect was huge, but in tight elections it does not take much. Further, both the Senate +2 and House +6 shifted toward democrats though maintaining republican leaning.
Many in Clinton’s campaign viewed these voters as Trump’s base, people so committed to the Republican nominee that no amount of visits or messaging could sway them. Clinton made no visits to Wisconsin as the Democratic nominee, and only pushed a late charge in Michigan once internal polling showed the race tightening.
Bill Clinton, advisers said, pushed the campaign early on to focus on these voters, many of whom helped elected him twice to the White House. The former president, a Clinton aide said, would regularly call Robby Mook to talk about strategy and offer advice.
But aides said the Clinton campaign’s top strategists largely ignored the former president, instead focusing on consolidating the base of voters that helped elect President Barack Obama to the White House. In the closing days of the campaign, Clinton targeted young people, Hispanics and African-Americans with laser like focus, casting Trump as a racist who only sought the presidency to benefit himself."
He almost was forced to make his voters believe in an alternative reality in order to actually go out and vote.
If you like or are neutral to candidate X, and dislike Y then voting even if it's pointless still feels good. So, win or lose voting still feels good.
If you dislike X, but dislike Y more then voting feels painful. If you think it's close then you are more willing to go though that pain. But, if you think X will win and you don't want to vote for them then there is little downside to staying home. On the other hand, if you think Y is going to win then you can say to your self it's not a vote for X, it's a vote in protest to Y.
Granted, if you dislike X, and hate Y or have something else you care about, like voting in every election, and are in the booth anyway then that's another story.
Now, this is probably not a huge effect but, in states that where within 1% it still matters.
And that's not about Trump specifically, it gets asked after every election.
Things would be different if we actually voted for policies instead of oligarch strawman.
And then they just keep doing this at each election or referendum and claim each time to have been influential?