One of my aphorisms in speeches is “If you live long enough, things change!” It always gets a laugh, but damn it’s true, and it’s happening faster and faster. So as I study the arriving future, I’m starting to feel like the severely windswept trees in the photo above. It is not pleasant, because how would you plan any campaign if all the rules were guaranteed to keep changing?
The thing is, as extraordinary new things become possible, it’s increasingly impossible to anticipate the risks and threats. But the changes aren’t stopping.
Massive abuse of big data – skillful and undetectable.
Did you see last month’s new TED Talk about the Welsh journalist who figured out how Cambridge Analytica data was used to brilliantly throw off the Brexit vote? Far more clever than anything I imagined – if you care about what I’m saying here, take 15 minutes and watch this – the woman returns to her home town in Wales, which had the strongest “leave the EU” vote in the country. Look what she found:
Cambridge Analytica and the Brexit vote happened in 2016, and was only exposed a year ago. As you’ll see, this happened because of covert use of exquisitely accurate analysis of data, in exquisitely clever ways. (Watch the TED Talk.) (If they hadn’t been good at it, the attack wouldn’t have worked! But they were – very good.)
We never would have known what happened it if weren’t for one pink-haired programmer who blew the whistle on Analytica. And even then, we never would have known what they did with the data (shown in this Talk) except for a campaign finance law violation. It was all, brilliantly, invisible.
More and more stuff like this will be happening, in politics and all of life. The bottom line is that big, important, hard-to-stop changes are happening faster and faster.
Eventually this line of thought will come back around to healthcare – what they have in common is the right to autonomy and self-determination in the pursuit of one’s life. More to come on these environmental changes, mixed in with healthcare posts.