CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA AND ME – Marilyn Armstrong

I got a letter — a note more accurately  — from Facebook telling me that I was one of the people whose material was released to Cambridge Analytica. I do very little on Facebook except post my blogs from WordPress, so I figured they didn’t know anything about me that everyone else in the world didn’t already know.

What I failed to consider was that my posts include a lot more information and a lot of people who, in theory, they could track. I have absolutely no way to know what was or has been done with the information.

Check out this New York Times Article and draw your own conclusions. I don’t know what to think.


Who collected all that data?

Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Trump’s 2016 election campaign, gained access to private information on more than 50 million Facebook users. The firm offered tools that could identify the personalities of American voters and influence their behavior.

Cambridge has been largely funded by Robert Mercer, the wealthy Republican donor, and Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to the president who became an early board member and gave the firm its name. It has pitched its services to potential clients ranging from MasterCard and the New York Yankees to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


But for the past few days, I’ve had more suggestions that this “thing” going on with WordPress is some kind of takeover of our posts, trying to push to the surface material someone somewhere wants to see and push away stuff they don’t like, we being “that something” they don’t like.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I have never believed in conspiracies if there was any simpler explanation possible — and there always has been a simpler explanation. I do not believe the Russians have taken over WordPress. Or, at least I don’t think I believe it. I’m pretty sure I don’t believe it.

Maybe it’s the Republican Party or a pathological group of right-wing southern Christians. Possibly, it’s the DNC because we never sent them the $3 they needed to keep Trump from being elected. I mean … seriously … how many times did they tell me that ALL they needed was $3. I didn’t send them the $3 any of the thousands of times they asked me. Is this some kind of progressive punishment for failing The Party?

We are watching “Reilly, Ace of Spies” on Acorn. This epic miniseries tells the true story of Sidney Reilly, the legendary super-spy, played by Sam Neill makes James Bond look like a wimp. What makes this so … bizarre … is that it’s the real thing.

There was this guy, Sidney Reilly — original name Sigmund Rosenblum, (born March 24, 1874, Odessa, Ukraine) — died Nov. 25, 1925, probably by direct order of Stalin.  He played with the rise and fall of governments the way I used to play Scrabble. He made a lot of 7-letter words and across the triple word score, too.

Maybe it’s his fault.

Nah. It has got to be the Russians. Cambridge Analytica has all my information and is out to get us. It won’t give up until we’re buried.

Garry says if I keep saying this, he is going to believe it. The truth is, if I keep saying it, there’s a chance I might believe it too.

That is the scariest thing of all.

Author: Marilyn Armstrong

Writer, photography, blogger. Previously, technical writer. Retired! Yay!

17 thoughts on “CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA AND ME – Marilyn Armstrong”

  1. I never realised that I was so important. I live in my little corner of blogland and suddenly I have become a personality. My broken leg and my excursions in the wilderness have become news. Even Donald Trump interests himself in little me.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. So it’s a plot to marginalise all bloggers who have written anti Trump posts? I think I could believe that actually. Better tell Garry you need to round up an angry mob of grumpy old people.
    I haven’t seen Reilly Ace of Spies but I might need to check it out if I can find it as I’m a big admirer of Sam Neill who I think is a heck of a good actor.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Tas, we’re enjoying “Reilly”. The plot is sufficiently complicated to have me looking at Marilyn with confusion. I know the actual history but the “Reilly” stories are complicated as is history. I agree about Sam Neill. He always reminds me of a young James Mason. Neill has that perfect, subtle smile for a devious spy.

      As for the angry mob, they’re on standby. They’re always grumpy..and old. My people.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I don’t really think it’s a cabal against anyone. They just want more money and are trying to find a way to monetize a site that was never designed to make money. This was supposed to be creativity in action — and it is. But they aren’t making enough MONEY. Let’s go GREED.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Gordon Gekko had it right….as did Jerry MacGuire’s clients. IT is always about the “ka-chings”.

        Like

  3. So George Orwell was right and Big Brother REALLY is watching? I’m surprised nobody has yet shown up at my door at midnight and dragged me away to a secret bunker for being “Anti American” because I’m vocal about my distaste for that orange fool who plays with our country like it’s his own personal toy. It’s not just in cyberland that the conspiracy type of thinking is bandied about either. I went to lunch yesterday with a friend, whose husband is a nut and she began spouting his rhetoric about conspiracies running our lives. I said “If they ARE, why aren’t they doing a better job of it then? Everyone seems to be acting just like they did before, only with paranoia to make things interesting. ” She didn’t appreciate my thoughts, because she too (apparently) has drunk her husband’s conspiracy kool-aid. Me? I just plain don’t care. But I like being informed, so thanks! Cambridge Analytical huh? Hmmm. Maybe I should sweep my home for bugs (the monitoring kind…)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sometimes I really hope they are following me because I want them to know how teed off I am about certain things. I write letters to the editor of the Globe and Mail newspaper. (They are often published too)
    Leslie

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Tell me WHO has written that article? Not you?! (Not that it would surprise me….) I’m just glad that there ARE ppl out who still write and do something to counteract the things which are wrong in their opinion. I’m often thinking of G Orwell’s story – but also have to say that I thought of it already many times before (in the 90th etc.)

    Like

    1. I wish I could say I did more, but basically, there’s not much I CAN do — except think for myself. If we ALL thought for ourselves, the spin doctors and manipulators could not get us. That’s the bottom line. No one can manipulate a thinker.

      Like

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