In this special podcast just for Pearse’s patreon subscribers (also available to my subscribers) we discuss all things Cambridge Analytica, Alexander Nix and Christopher Wylie. Fundamentally we ask whether their activities are new or unique, or merely the most well-known when dozens of other companies and government agencies do the same things. We finish up the conversation talking about whether democracy is a failed experiment, and of the necessity of building up defences against manipulation if any kind of electoral system is to succeed.
Tom Secker of SpyCulture.com joins me for a discussion of all things Cambridge Analytica. We start off by talking about the recent Channel 4 expose of the company. Tom and I talk about what Cambridge Analytica is being accused of (sexual blackmail, using MI6 agents, manipulating voters) and ask the question is this really anything new? We also focus on James Bond villain Alexander Nix, his mysterious background, and his role as a modern day colonialist. We use Nix’s role in Kenya’s recent elections as an example.
Later we move onto the the purple haired “whistleblower Christopher Wylie and truly begin our rant. We talk about the major ethical problems with Wylie and his role within CA. Tom and I talk about the perception being built around Wylie, and how this doesn’t fit with his actual actions within the data mining company. We close out by talking about the way the liberal media has covered this story. Tom and I discuss how groups like Channel 4 and Hillary Clinton seem to think that the majority of the public are idiots that need to be protected from companies like Cambridge Analytica. We talk about the need for people to actually build defenses against manipulators and not simply vote or buy a certain product because they are “too stupid” to make their own decision.