Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Scott Adams — Russia Hacked our Election! (So what?)


Pretty well summarizes my thinking on the matter.

Adams makes an important observation about democracy and the Internet, too.
But something much larger than government-on-government influence is happening, and I’d like to call that out in this post. We keep talking about physical border security, but what about influence security? Any country with widespread Internet access is susceptible to the same kind of fake news and other social media influence that we suspect Russia of doing. And every citizen can play this game. For example, if I were highly motivated to influence an election in Great Britain, I’m sure I could move a few thousand votes in any direction I chose. Could it be said in that case that America is trying to manipulate a foreign election? Yes, unambiguously so. And I believe it is totally legal, even if I use fake news as my persuasion.
From 2017 onward, the democratic process in any country is open to “voting” by the entire world. The foreign “votes” will come in the form of social media influence on the local voters. There is no practical way to stop any of that from happening. And that means political power will migrate from the traditional triumvirate of politicians, rich people, and the media, to individual persuaders who are good at it. In 2017 and beyond, the best persuaders in the world will be influencing democratic elections in every country. And those persuaders will be from anywhere on the globe. Borders can’t stop persuasion.
While you were watching the news coverage about physical borders between countries, and physical immigration, the democratic process in each country became global. We can (and do) influence politics across borders now, bigly. And fake news is part of the soup, unfortunately.
What Adams leaves unsaid is that TPTB will attempt to control this to their advantage, using censorship if deemed needed. However, they will likely prefer use the Internet for their own propaganda, disinformation, psyops, and other fake news, rather intervene directly with censorship or shutting down venues, which would be perceived as illiberal.

So we are likely looking forward to a more gaslit world.

Scott Adams' Blog
Russia Hacked our Election! (So what?)
Scott Adams, creator of Dilbert™

3 comments:

Salsabob said...

Back in the day, Little Scotty would probable be okay with Tokyo Rose and Axis Sally as well - it's just radio waves, and you can't stop radio waves.

Bob said...

Foreigners are welcome to hack a Canadian election. Don't forget to wake the voters.

djrichard said...

Hence China's great firewall.