The algorithm horse is out of the barn and galloping around the globe.
Rather than building firewalls monitoring data mining from their massive trove of public information, tech companies like Facebook and Google have made billions selling it to advertising and political campaigns and other, more nefarious, enterprises, including Russian operatives skilled at targeted propaganda messaging designed to incite political and ethnic divisions with the aim of opening a back door to power for authoritarian voices around the world and here in yet another Presidential election.
Nationalists are rising in Europe, Buddhists and Hindus are attacking and killing Muslims in Asia and India, and Donald Trump has aroused the abiding white supremacy of America’s “Manifest Destiny”. Anger, uncertainty, fear, and stress have been shown to physically alter how our brains function and how we perceive the world around us. A shared acceptance of truth and reality is being so deeply undermined and eroded that putting the world’s ills back into this newly opened Pandora’s Box is beginning to feel impossible, as may well be finding a balance between Western free enterprise, exploitive corporate capitalism and Xi Ping’s increasingly totalitarian control of thought and information in his projected new Han Dynasty.
And, as always, chaos combined with fear is ever the breeding ground of tyrants.