Neuromarketing – How to Focus the message on YOU

Yet another reason to ensure you’re using Adblock.

I’m betting this won’t work for broadcasting, except in those very rare cases where there is a genuine consensus, like, say, the desirability of living long and prospering. In the more typical scenario, where beliefs and opinions are divided, sometimes bitterly, any neuromarketing broadcast to the population at large, will be as likely to alienate as motivate. Mind you, I concede that provoking such polarization will occasionally be the aim and yes, it will work in that context.

But when they start narrowcasting with these techniques, we’ll see some really serious social, commercial and political manipulation made relatively scalable and trivial. And targeted web advertising is right in the centre of their sights as we speak. It’s whole point is narrowcasting, where they know, already, what mindset and beliefs the target holds. Armed with that insight it is clearly going to be pretty easy pretty soon to pick the symbolism which will most profitably leverage that knowledge.

You’ll even persuade yourself you wanted to do it.

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Iran to crack down on web censor-beating software

This is the front line in the battle between We The People and the Authoritarians. Don’t make the mistake of smirking that you’re not involved. The Iranian authoritarians are merely trying out the techniques which will be used increasingly against those of us to like to think we live in more “liberal” countries.

Check back in ten years time, after it’s clear whether they’ve succeeded or not. See how this comment reads then. If they did succeed, I suspect your first problem will be finding this comment or others like it.

The American Authoritarians are the key. If they decide to go down this road, we’re about to enter the new “dark age”. If they resist, we’ll still have the rest of the World to deal with but at least we’ll have a firm homebase to start from.

The signs are not good. The sheer extent of their illicit untrusted surveillance on their own citizens (not to mention those of us who aren’t) makes the Stasi look both primitive and restrained. With a budget in excess of most National Budgets, the American panopticon is well beyond the control of the politicians and has essentially become a law unto itself.

This is about as dangerous as the State can ever get. We are now at the mercy of the motivation of the current generation of spooks. If they’re the “good guys” they no doubt consider themselves to be, then we might be relatively lightly controlled. But I guarantee the Stasi thought of themselves as being the good guys too…

Flying like a bird | part 14/14 – YouTube

Inspirational. Even if it’s NOT real…

The web is currently divided between sceptics and believers. The sceptics are whingeing that it’s physically impossible. That’s because they’re assuming it’s human-powered flight. It isn’t. And no-one is pretending that it is. It’s servo assisted with battery-powered engines and controlled by Wii interfaces. All entirely plausible, subject only to the amount of battery power he needs and can carry – which would explain why he can only manage a couple of hundred metres – though that is about 3 times as far as the Wright Brothers first flight.

Clever stuff and the result of an engineering graduate’s 8 month R&D project. The whole 15 part story is on youtube. Well worth watching. This is the final part – the successful flight that made it all worthwhile.

I’d say he’s scored an A there…

If, that is, it’s real. And this story has become more interesting to me because it’s hotly disputed and yet impossible to either verify or refute. A classic Trusted Surveillance case study. It wouldn’t be an issue if he had a fully documented audit trail open to examination if disputed.

On the Up side, the project is plausible, as confirmed by the interview with Prof Bert Otten. I’ve been able to check him out and he really is a Professor of Neuromechanics at the University of Groningen.

On the Down side, Jarno Smeets is a pseudonym (hardly something I’m going to complain about) but one without any previous history. Like it was invented purely for the purpose of this project.

On the Up side, if it is a fake, I’d give him an A for that. The sheer amount of effort that has gone into it, fake or not, makes it, at the very least, a work of art.

On the Down side, if it was real, why on earth would he be so reluctant to repeat it, in front of the world’s cameras?

That last, for me at the moment, is the most significant fact. I can’t believe that anyone who had done that for real would be so reticent about repeating the feat. Indeed, failing to respond to the obvious demand would be bordering on the psychotic – given the huge appearance fees he could probably command, not to mention the obvious range of product endorsements he could subsequently select from. He would quickly and easily become a multi millionaire, which would in turn, fund his other no doubt equally ambitious projects. What kind of nutter would reject such an opportunity?

But even that’s not a clincher. He’s Dutch and the Scandinavians are notoriously prone to anti-commercialism. Think Linus Torvalds, ferinstance, who created Linux for free. Yes he has done well for himself as a result of the reputation that earned him. But that’s the point. He earned it. That could be the motivation of Mr Smeets…

Invisible Children | Kony2012

Damn! This looks like it could actually work. Let’s see if we can help it along a little.

It certainly takes care of this year’s PFL battlegroup, we usually lend ironic support to some villain or other. We broke with tradition last year and chose the hero who started the Arab Spring (Mohammad Bouazizi). Time to get back to where we belong, with the bad guys. And they don’t come much badder than the medieval style arch-criminal Joseph Kony.

What particularly struck me about the video is the intelligent construction of the message. There is nothing that anyone (apart, possibly, from the target, Joseph Kony) can take issue with. At one stage, I thought the narrator was being a bit heavy handed with his own kid, Gavin, but when he made the point that kids of Gavin’s age are among Kony’s victims, it made the scene utterly justifiable.

Also I’m impressed that he hasn’t demanded blood – which would be more eminently justified in Kony’s case than any other criminal, political or private, alive today. This alone sets an enormous precedent. As would a positive result arising from an inspiring web run campaign based on true consensus. We ALL want to see the bastard stopped and brought to justice. We ALL want to see, as far as possible the enormous damage he has wrought, reversed.

No one’s going to argue “on the one hand this, on the other, that”. From the Westboro Baptist Church (who might argue that Kony represents God’s punishment for our tolerance, nay, encouragement of Sodomy) to the Government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Korea (who might argue that Kony is a natural consequence of Capitalism and its selective morality) we ALL want the same thing.

That’s VERY rare. Almost unique. It might even be enough.

And, if it is, you’ll have played your part in what the world may one day come to see as the first act of REAL Global democracy. That’ll be something to tell the grandkids.

So watch it and weep. Then sign up and join the movement…

KONY 2012 from INVISIBLE CHILDREN on Vimeo.

Invisible Children | Kony2012.

Invisible Children | Kony2012

It would be excellent if a web based campaign somehow provided the solution to this, so far, intractable problem, where the international community has so spectacularly failed…

Invisible Children | Kony2012.

What do you think of the new StumbleUpon?

This page provides a textbook lesson in how to REALLY fuck up your Social Network. Makes Facebook’s occasional user-baiting look positively amateurish…

What do you think of the new StumbleUpon?.

Collusion

if you haven’t already, download and install “Collusion” into your browser now. Assuming that is, that your browser is Firefox. The rest of you must, I’m afraid, continue to live in blissful ignorance. At least spend a few minutes on this site to see what you could be learning about what the “owners” are already learning about you…

Collusion.