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How Cambridge Analytica manipulated the Trump voter.

Once upon a time in a career a long time ago, a computational chemist with an interest in informatics took a short course in data analysis from a company in NJ that had developed an application that made it easy to take a bunch of descriptors, a desired outcome and make predictions. The chemist had an interest in politics and an imagination that tended to act like a kid on chocolate frosted sugar bombs running around with a pair of scissors.

“This thing is really cool. But can it be used in elections? You know, to figure out how people will vote? And if you could do that, could you do some design of experiments to make people vote for one candidate over another?”, she asked, just musing aloud while her inner kid’s shoe laces untied themselves as the kid was picking up speed and careening around corners.

The data scientist looked at her horrified. “No, I don’t think it could be done.”, he said in his lilting Swedish accent. “Why would anyone want to do that??”

The chemist saw that he avoided her for the rest of the week. So she put the brakes on the inner kid and tried to concentrate.

And they all lived happily ever after.

Until Cambridge Analytica unleashed its own inner kid:

I’m sure they didn’t stop with manipulating users on Facebook. Once they had a personality profile, they probably figured, what the heck, let’s see how well it works on Fox News viewers. They seem like the fearful, closed, neurotic types.

(I’d just like to point out that Cambridge Analytica used psychometricians who were experts on personalities. So, if you didn’t think the person who voted for Trump would ever vote for Trump, maybe you don’t know that person as well as you thought. The internal wiring for that vote has been there all along.)

But wait! There’s more.

Remember the Steele Dossier? Christopher Steele was hired by a conservative group to do opposition research on Trump in Russia. Then after the primaries, the Clinton campaign paid to fund the same research. Steele was so disturbed by what he found, he contacted the FBI. And what did he find? He thought that the Russians had potentially blackmailable material on Trump.

Turns out that the FBI was already on the case.

And who might have set those politicians up for extortion? If you said, Cambridge Analytica, you are correct. This is how they do it:

And the rest is history.

This is going to be an interesting week. Mueller is getting closer to Trump, the BBC Channel 4 is opening the kimono on Cambridge Analytica, and the whole thing will climax on Sunday with the Stormy Daniels interview, pun intended.

MoveOn just texted me. Protests may be imminent. Text “ALERT” to 668366 to get notified.

Pass it on…