"…the Internet is basically the equivalent of electronic telepathy. We can now communicate all the time through our little magic smartphones with people who are anywhere, all the time, constantly learning what they're thinking, talking about, exchanging messages. Of course, this magic works both ways."Edward Snowden

Data has become the defining economic and social heuristic in our brave new world.

"Data is the ultimate commodity because it capitalizes the market's most valuable resource. That's why it's called data mining. We are, quite literally, mining you and forging your data into unimaginable profit and power." Steve Bannon

Everything we do online generates data.

Every interaction, every A or B choice, every preference is recorded by our devices and data harvested by the corporate giants of the Silicon Valley.

This data was initially used to hone smart curation algorithms. Keep the users onsite for as long as possible, capture and captivate their attention.

Usage data grew exponentially. Machine learning developed to crunch and parse the big data through psychometrics pattern-matching.

The 'attention economy' was born.

Today, user profiling is so accurate and individuated, social media platforms know what keeps your attention better than you do.

Social media algorithms evolved into unparelleled microtarget advertising and global marketing spend shifted online, hundreds of billions a year pouring into big tech corporations.

“With advertising, the free market does not yield a neutral system in which final buyer choice decides. The advertisers’ choices influence media prosperity and survival.” Milton Friedland



Attention x Mental Passivity x Emotional Hook

Addiction is the secret heart of consumer economics. It maximizes the consumer's attention.

Informed by big data. Perfected by machine learning. Delivered by algorithm.

The most effective formula for addiction Receptiveness is confirmation bias and outrage.

Confirmation bias engages attention without disrupting passivity of mind.

Outrage is the simplest emotional hook, compatible with confirmation bias and universal engagement.

Addiction - or compelled attention - is woven into everyone's online experience.

But here's the bigger problem…

Addiction by algorithm is as effective at selling ideology as it is selling consumer advertising.

Institutional power has adapted to online propagation strategies.

Governments and civil authorities are now using their privileged position to source private data otherwise inaccessible to the tendrils of corporate profit.

In collusion with big tech, the personal space of every citizen has been invaded and commodified by deep data mining.

Individually-targeted propaganda is now being inserted into the everyday lives of citizens.

"Corporations are, theologically speaking, institutions of death. They commodify everything - the natural world, human beings - that they exploit until exhaustion or collapse. And what they want is for us to give up. They want us to become passive. They want us to become tacitly complicit in our own destruction."Chris Hedges