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Data Miners Liken Obama Voters To Caesars Gamblers

timothy posted about 10 months ago | from the you're-just-a-line-in-a-database dept.

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theodp writes "As Steve Wozniak publicly laments how government used new technologies he introduced in unintended ways to monitor people, the NY Times reports how the digital masterminds behind the Obama Presidential campaign are cashing in by bringing the secret, technologically advanced formulas used for reaching voters to commercial advertisers. 'The plan is to bring the same Big Data expertise that guided the most expensive presidential campaign in history to companies and nonprofits,' explains Civis Analytics, which is backed by Google Chairman and Obama advisor Eric Schmidt. Also boasting senior members of Obama's campaign team is Analytics Media Group (A.M.G.), which pitched that 'keeping gamblers loyal to Caesars was not all that different from keeping onetime Obama voters from straying to Mitt Romney.' The extent to which the Obama campaign used the newest tech tools to look into people's lives was largely shrouded, the Times reports, but included data mining efforts that triggered Facebook's internal safeguard alarms. ... 'We asked to see [voter's Facebook] photos but really we were looking for who were tagged in photos with you, which was a really great way to dredge up old college friends — and ex-girlfriends.' The Times also explains how the Obama campaign was able to out-optimize the Romney campaign on TV buys by obtaining set-top box TV show viewing information from cable companies for voters on the Obama campaign's 'persuadable voters' list. "

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166 comments

This wouldn't be a problem (2, Insightful)

mozumder (178398) | about 10 months ago | (#44077803)

If humans weren't so predictable.

Each one of you could be modeled as a computer program.

LOL @ people that think they have freewill.

Re:This wouldn't be a problem (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about 10 months ago | (#44077821)

Is it a problem now? Is it the kind of problem we didn't have in the past?

Re:This wouldn't be a problem (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077921)

If Martin Luther King Jr. could have been shown the future and seen the criminal thug wannabe niggers we have today in every inner city.. he wouldn't have bothered.

Re:This wouldn't be a problem (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#44078343)

Dude, if the founding fathers could see what came out of their dream, they'd probably go "why bother" too.

And you better don't ask "What would Jesus do". I'm pretty sure it would be along the lines of "get nailed up there for THOSE idiots's sins? Dude, I'm Jesus, but there's even limits to my compassion!"

In other words (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 10 months ago | (#44077885)

'keeping gamblers loyal to Caesars was not all that different from keeping onetime Obama voters from straying to Mitt Romney.'

The day the computer AI become totally unpredictable is the day we human kiss our ass goodbye

Re:In other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077953)

'keeping gamblers loyal to Caesars was not all that different from keeping onetime Obama voters from straying to Mitt Romney.'

The day the computer AI become totally unpredictable is the day we human kiss our ass goodbye

mozumder did not write the text you quoted. I don't understand how can you put words in another user's mouth like that; you should try to develop some ethical integrity.

Re:In other words (1)

zidium (2550286) | about 10 months ago | (#44078463)

He was quoting the article, idiot.

Re:In other words (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078549)

I love sucking cocks, idiot.

He was replying to mozumder, dipshit.

Re:This wouldn't be a problem (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077993)

No, no we cannot. People can be predictable, a person not so much. It's the aggregate that they are working with and using large numbers to make the return acceptable. The reason it works is that the decisions made by the majority of a given grouping, in a known situation, will be similar to the decision made by their peers if you get the grouping right. This averages out over a large enough population. A single person will deviate from the norm in wildly unpredictable ways, medical conditions, past traumas, formative experiences, familial connections and many more unknowns will cause a person who seems outwardly to fit the grouping, to suddenly veer off the predicted course of action for no known reason.

Re: This wouldn't be a problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078345)

That's why I roll dice for all my important decisions!

Well, yeah. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077813)

People who vote for either of the two main parties are incredibly idiotic, so this isn't much of a surprise.

Re:Well, yeah. (1, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about 10 months ago | (#44077915)

you think so, until you find out the massive operation put in place to keep them compliant, and how good it is meshing facts with fiction, and discrediting/sabatouging opposition.

While its easy to laugh at people inside the bubble, be aware they have no easy way out as their political landscape has become a house a mirrors, set up by google.

Re:Well, yeah. (2)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078001)

be aware they have no easy way out as their political landscape has become a house a mirrors, set up by google

your tinfoil hat is tight enough to cut off the blood supply

Re:Well, yeah. (1)

pecosdave (536896) | about 10 months ago | (#44078289)

Your rose colored glasses are only good for reading the charts on the old G.I. Joe action figure packages, you should take them off now.

Re:Well, yeah. (2)

The Snowman (116231) | about 10 months ago | (#44078013)

While its easy to laugh at people inside the bubble, be aware they have no easy way out as their political landscape has become a house a mirrors, set up by google.

Your post actually made sense up until that point. This has been going on far longer than Google has existed.

Re:Well, yeah. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078095)

While it's true it has been going on for a while the information bias that comes with personalized searches increases the effect. Search for Obama on a right-wing person's computer and you will get different results than the same search on a left-wing person's computer.

Re:Well, yeah. (4, Interesting)

pecosdave (536896) | about 10 months ago | (#44078303)

During the elections I pointed out many times how my Google Plus feed was filling up with pro-Obama post on a regular basis from people I didn't know who weren't associated with people I did know. Sometimes these would only have a +5 and one or two reshares if even that. On the other hand I saw two or three Romney post come through the entire election cycle, and then only if they had something akin to a +70 and a dozen reshares or so.

To put it in perspective I thought they were both bad choices for the country, I was a Ron Paul/Gary Johnson fan and I'm a Libertarian who doesn't like either of those Bozo's. There was little doubt Google was really, really, trying hard to get me Obamafied and was almost upset it wasn't working.

Re:Well, yeah. (1)

rockout (1039072) | about 10 months ago | (#44079081)

There's a big difference between a Google+ feed and search results for regular Google searches. But thanks for conflating the two.

We don't have good choices (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078023)

People who vote for either of the two main parties are incredibly idiotic, so this isn't much of a surprise.

We don't have good choices because the ultra rich and powerful game the system so that the people that take care of them end up in the primaries. Then they just let the rabble choose who they "want" because regardless of who wins, they will be the One Percenters bitch - case in point: Obama - Hope and Change indeed.

Re:We don't have good choices (4, Insightful)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#44078365)

Hey, he said "Yes we can". I don't remember anyone saying anything about actually doing something.

You gotta read those promises carefully.

Re:Well, yeah. (4, Insightful)

cffrost (885375) | about 10 months ago | (#44078149)

People who vote for either of the two main parties are incredibly idiotic, so this isn't much of a surprise.

I agree, and I want to add that among those voters, the worst (in my opinion) are those who're able to abandon their own principles [washingtonexaminer.com] on a critical non-partisan issue based upon whether there's a Demoblican or a Republocrat in office. I can't wrap my head around it, but I find it appalling — they've got zero fucking integrity* and have no business in a voting booth.

* Just like the D/R candidates.

For those interested, here are the full results from Pew Research's domestic surveillance poll, showing additional demographic breakdowns. [people-press.org]

Re:Well, yeah. (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 10 months ago | (#44078321)

This is one of the main reasons I want this country to abandon its two-party system.

With three or more parties of nearly-equal size, you can't completely vote on party lines and expect a victory. You can't piss off everyone who isn't in your party and expect to get anywhere. Congress might have to, I don't know, think.

And the funny bit is... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078599)

Democrats are more likely (according to that study) to go with their party than Republicans... BUT... that's not even the best part...

This effect is under-reported by the paper's (false) pretense that the spying by the two administrations was the same. During the Bush years, Democrats were rabid over the typically mis-named (by politicians) "Patriot Act" which enable warrantless wiretaps and such on Americans if they were on one end of a conversation and the party on the other end was a terror suspect outside the US ..... But in the era of Obama, the federal government is spying on every single American (without a warrant, AND without probable cause in clear conflict with the plain text of the Constitution) and monitoring communications where the parties on both ends are NOT terror suspects and are INSIDE the US. In the era of Bush, companies like Google who were collecting data on everybody in exchange for use of their services (nothing in life is free) were in a separate realm from the government... but in this shiny new era of growing National Socialism, Google and the federal government are in bed together with employees regularly moving back-and-forth between them, unknown data exchanges between them, Google working to elect them (in exchange for power? money? regulatory "wiggle room"? help suppressing competitors via government oversight/regulation?) and no transparency. This government/big-business/one-party-allegience "partnership" experiment was run in the 1930's... it does not end well for the little guy (and the technology available for oppression now is far more powerful

My liberal friends who were shrieking expletives at Bush are now responding to Obama with {insert sound of crickets chirping}

TOTAL, unabashed, Hypocrisy

Re:Well, yeah. (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44079051)

I agree, and I want to add that among those voters, the worst (in my opinion) are those who're able to abandon their own principles [washingtonexaminer.com] on a critical non-partisan issue

A good portion of those probably don't consider it a critical issue at all, that's why they're willing to flip.

Don't think that because an issue is important to you, it is important to everyone.

Compulsive gamblers (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077851)

Yeah, the country's out billions but hell, put it all on red for another spin.

Re:Compulsive gamblers (4, Funny)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 10 months ago | (#44078017)

put it all on red for another spin.

No, the last two times they put it on black.

Re:Compulsive gamblers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078145)

Black, red, what difference does it make?

Re:Compulsive gamblers (3, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#44078379)

None. But the amount of times we get zero I'd somehow feel like that table is rigged somehow.

Re:Compulsive gamblers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078411)

Obviously it is time to bet on green!

And people thought it was just the NSA looking. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077869)

Hah. They're just the obvious snoops, and at least they pretend to care about national security.

Politicians wanting to be elected have even less scruples.

Re:And people thought it was just the NSA looking. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077897)

I love Facebook's engineers' response: sigh and tell them not to keep digging through the data after the election.

I'm glad Facebook is there to protect my data and my privacy.

Effectiveness of all of this (3, Interesting)

m00sh (2538182) | about 10 months ago | (#44077871)

When Netflix furor broke out about being able to identify a person by the ratings they gave, it turns out that it was only possible when a person had rated an obscure movie (and had cross rated the same movie over different websites).

When Target furor broke out out predicting pregnancy, it was based largely on if you bought a certain type of cream.

I know data mining and such is an attractive but most times it just boils down to some obscure identifier over all the data. Optimizing this and balancing hundreds of factors, does that even work?

Yes, it does (4, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | about 10 months ago | (#44077927)

The real reason people are scared of big data is because the more and more we study it, the more and more it is proven that most people are very, very predictable. It's gotten to the point that companies optimize the color placement of objects in the background of their advertising to appeal to people they are targetting.

The thing that amazes me however is how some companies can still get things so outstandingly wrong/backwards in this day and age. Take the recent Microsoft Xbox One fiasco. I find it hard to believe that a company like Microsoft would not have known this reaction was coming. Any trivial study of online sentiment data would have shown this in advance.

Re:Yes, it does (1)

m00sh (2538182) | about 10 months ago | (#44078019)

The real reason people are scared of big data is because the more and more we study it, the more and more it is proven that most people are very, very predictable. It's gotten to the point that companies optimize the color placement of objects in the background of their advertising to appeal to people they are targetting.

People are very predictable until they are not.

Taking the example of movies, some movies become huge hits even when they aren't that good. For example, Hangover. Now, Hangover 2 and 3 are essentially the same movie remade and it doesn't have the same impact.

If you see something as a predictor and start using it, there is no guarantee that it will last. We have no idea of what the predictor really means and it could be wiped out by exploiting the predictor even the smallest bit.

I find it hard to believe that a company like Microsoft would not have known this reaction was coming. Any trivial study of online sentiment data would have shown this in advance.

XBox 360 suffered from massive piracy because they could be modded easily. PS3 can now be modded but it enjoyed at least 4-5 years of relatively no modding. The phone home every day policy seems perfectly justifiable to combat modding.

Re:Yes, it does (3, Insightful)

brunes69 (86786) | about 10 months ago | (#44078041)

Big data is not about using 1 thing as a predictor. It is about using the analysis of 10,000,000 different things about groups of people analyzed as an aggregate as a predictor. And it is right a lot more often than it is not, when applied properly.

Re:Yes, it does (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 10 months ago | (#44078375)

Agree, data mining is about finding relationships you didn't know existed but the Obama campaign is not a great example of that. I have .au at the end of my email address because...well...I live in Oz. Somehow Obama's super computer got hold of my address, miss-identified me as an American voter and started trying to sell me tickets to their convention, at first they were signed by various mayors and governors, then Michell. and finally Barrack in a last ditch attempt to extract $5 from me. Not spotting the .au makes me think their last effort was not a great deal more sophisticated than simply spamming commercially available email lists.

Re:Yes, it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078155)

Movies are a bad example since Hangover was awesome because we had not seen a movie like that in a long while. H2 was a given in Hollywood based on the huge success of the first one. They just hit print on the Xerox machine, as they are apt to do sometimes. It was not as amazing the second time since we new the formula. The one thing did right in the second movie is to have more Chow, he was the best part cause he was crazy and unpredictable.

Think about other big movies that would not be able to make sequels, Gladiator, Usual Suspect, Sixth Sense. These movies WERE either the journey or the turn.

Re:Yes, it does (2)

retchdog (1319261) | about 10 months ago | (#44078057)

that's what's funny about it. culture has become more diverse, not less. the machine is scrambling to keep up and maintain what was fucking trivial in the 1950s. it will mostly succeed, but taken over all, uniformity and predictability is no worse than it ever was, and quite likely has improved.

Re:Yes, it does (2)

aNonnyMouseCowered (2693969) | about 10 months ago | (#44078631)

"culture has become more diverse, not less"

I have to disagree. Culture is increasingly being homogenized. I mean, the differences in lifestyle between say a person in China or Russia and a person in the US, while still great, is less today than in the past. Why? Probably because even with country-wide "firewalls" enough foreign "culture" filters through from one country to another. Even if you're living in some Middle Eastern theocracy, porn is just a click or tap away, although, of course, you may need to take more precautions than looking over you shoulder.

Re:Yes, it does (1)

bondsbw (888959) | about 10 months ago | (#44078337)

No, and it can completely turn off people.

My wife and I have been struggling with infertility for a few years. Target's nice little data mining algorithm evidently thinks we are getting pregnant, all the time. We aren't, and Target is a constant reminder of the fact (and typically at just the wrong time, like when we get a negative test).

Re:Yes, it does (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078503)

I'm in the same boat as you, but we are a tiny minority, so the net effect is still beneficial to companies like Target. Remember, they don't have to be right every time, they just have to be right more often than then are wrong to win, just like a casino.

Re:Yes, it does (3, Insightful)

thomst (1640045) | about 10 months ago | (#44078671)

brunes69 opined:

Take the recent Microsoft Xbox One fiasco. I find it hard to believe that a company like Microsoft would not have known this reaction was coming. Any trivial study of online sentiment data would have shown this in advance.

If you find that hard to believe, then you know very little about Microsoft's management.

Did you not notice the Vista fiasco of a few years back (not to mention the Windows 8 disaster, now playing at a computer store near you)?

Things were better (believe it or not) when billg was in charge. At least back then, the geeks actually had some voice in product decisions. Ever since that nincompoop Ballmer took over, it's been MBAs, all the way down.

MBAs don't listen to ANYONE - except other MBAs. Even then, they only pay attention if those MBAs outrank them. MBAs are specifically conditioned to focus exclusively on improving margins, cutting costs, and pumping up the stock price. Quality is not an issue that even registers with them. Customers are wallets with legs. Customer input is to be solicited only when unavoidable, and only on non-business-related issues: How do you feel about THIS commercial? Do you like the purple-on-green packaging, or the green-on-purple packaging better? Do you prefer the logo HERE, or over there?

Ballmer is a fool, who has surrounded himself with fools - all of whom have MBAs. But I repeat myself.

All of which is to say that the XBox One policies that caused such immense, and immediate backlash were ENTIRELY believable products of the Microsoft management environment. "MBAs are people who know the price of everything - and the value of NOTHING," (with apologies to Oscar Wilde).

Re:Yes, it does (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about 10 months ago | (#44078959)

How was it proven? Big data makes big claims, but there aren't any studies showing that their predictions are actually true. By default, you shouldn't believe anything a business says about their own product.

Re:Effectiveness of all of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078097)

So the only way to hide in the crowd is to be like everyone else and not to stand out by saying/preferring things that are different.

Re:Effectiveness of all of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078197)

one obscure element sure helps but the sum of many not so reveling elements make them reveling (the more factors you have, the more likely you get one that is helping you.... even weak factors helps (they can help you identify only a small percentage, but combined with other factors, they are helpful)

Re:Effectiveness of all of this (1)

khallow (566160) | about 10 months ago | (#44078341)

I know data mining and such is an attractive but most times it just boils down to some obscure identifier over all the data.

The more data you have the more obscure identifiers you have. But there has to be declining returns to this.

Even with perfect knowledge of your customers, you still can only get them to buy so much (after all, they get only so much money). And I think the customer base gets resistant to marketing techniques as well (especially given how unsubtle those techniques tend to be).

Re:Effectiveness of all of this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078403)

Effective at what though?

Bet this guy would have loved such technology.

  "Give me six lines written by the most honorable of men, and I will find an excuse in them to hang him."
Cardinal Richelieu

"You are what you eat." variably that old saying also includes what you don't eat.

Your pathing can be predicted by the GPS records on your cell/car and/or your cell tower connection history as where you used your credit/debit card to a lesser degree.

You have purchased ingredients for making a bomb. You may not know it but you have.

The list goes on and on and on.

Get this out of the way... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077875)

Insert comment 1: Since it was Democrats doing this there's obviously nothing morally wrong here...and shut up.
Insert comment 2: Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld did it first (somehow, someway) therefore Democrats were morally obligated to do it...and shut up.

Re:Get this out of the way... (1)

I'm New Around Here (1154723) | about 10 months ago | (#44078037)

So far, with 24 comments, nothing has those two arguments. Some justify voting for Obama otherwise, but not this tactic of the campaign.

so let me get this straight (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077881)

The guy who broke his public campaign financing pledge and keeps complaining about "money in politics" is using expensive, privacy-invading big data analytics to manipulate the public to elect him. And now the same guys are going to help corporations put their manipulative techniques to good use. OK, just remember that come next election.

That's not why Obama won (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077883)

1) The Democrats had the better candidate, in the sense of being able to connect with voters on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney made one gaffe after another during the primary season, all showing how out of touch he was, so his campaign staff deliberately kept him off the trail for an entire critical month before the Republican convention. One more slip during the fall campaign - the "we had binders full of women" boast during the second debate, even more remarkable because it was clearly a planned talking point - reinforced all the doubts the independent voters had about him.

2) Immigration. Romney made a tactical decision (not personal) before the 2008 election to pander to the Republican base on the issue, as a way of answering any doubts about whether he was a conservative. He stuck to that course in 2012. He lost the pretty close to the entire Hispanic vote in the general election; other groups, including Asians and African Americans, were also apparently turned off by what appeared to be Romney's and the Republican Party's whites-only strategy.

3) While the economy was still relatively weak last November, Romney's ability to capitalize it was neutralized by the Bain Capital attacks started by Newt Gingrich and continued by the Democrats, and of course the fact that the housing and banking crisis and collapse of the economy occurred during Bush's watch with Bush's tax policies and Treasury/SEC administration.

Obama certainly had better IT, but that was far down on the list of factors.

Re:That's not why Obama won (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077963)

4. The IRS effectively silenced grass roots opposition by quashing their ability to raise and spend money.

5. Massive voter registration fraud

6. Massive voter fraud.

Re: That's not why Obama won (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078687)

We all remember what happened in 2004. I think the article covers what happened in the last election.

501c(4) is reserved for non political entities. Although a union can work under a (4), they exist to do more than get some guy elected while hiding the donors names under a tax scheme.

Re:That's not why Obama won (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077967)

They had the "candidate" (read: meaningless distraction puppet) who was better at LYING.

Post-election, they are EXACTLY the same, since they are "electoral property" owned by the exact same abusive feudalistic companies.

INB4 gullible believers in the system (= the opposite but just as crazy extreme to conspiracy theorists) being in denial.

Re:That's not why Obama won (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#44078413)

Owned by the exact same abusive feudalistic companies... it's not true, and you know it ain't true. The parties are owned by very different abusive feudalistic companies, you have the free choice which corporations you want to rule you and rip you off.

Re:That's not why Obama won (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 10 months ago | (#44079093)

Did you vote in your last local, state, and federal elections? Did you vote for a third party candidate? If not, don't complain about "candidates being owned by anyone".

Re:That's not why Obama won (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078033)

Mitt Romney made one gaffe after another during the primary season, all showing how out of touch he was[...]

I'm pretty sure that all politicians make this kind of "gaffe": they tailor their message to the audience they are speaking to, and tell that audience what the audience wants to hear.

The actual difference in this last election was infiltration and filming of Romney's messages to nominally conservative groups so that theoretically select group messages were surreptitiously recorded, and then those recordings were made public at strategic points during the campaign.

This was a technologically enhanced smear tactic, and it worked. If the Republicans had thought of it, and used it too, then it would have worked against Obama as well.

Re:That's not why Obama won (4, Insightful)

nojayuk (567177) | about 10 months ago | (#44078313)

Some politicians believe today they can speak privately to groups of supporters and those words will not be recorded and released to the world, or their secrets revealed by well-connected insiders. In the past this was true; either there was no cheap easy method to record their words and deeds (phone cameras, fifty-buck video recorders etc.) or the gatekeeper press would simply not report what they knew (FDR in a wheelchair, JFK's medical problems, Reagan's Alzheimers etc.) The world has changed and successful politicians are aware of this. If you don't want what you say made public then don't say it to anyone.

Governor Romney deluded himself that his supposedly private fundraising speech would never be revealed to the rest of the world. That's part of the reason he lost the election. His own campaign's efforts in data collection and analysis and Get Out The Vote was as big and as complex as President Obama's but it was incompetently implemented (first live-fire test of a complex multilevel data delivery system involving thousands of operators on the day of the election? Really?) The only good thing that came out of that expensive fiasco was that several of his friends and colleagues made a lot of money out of it.

Re:That's not why Obama won (2, Insightful)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#44078579)

Governor Romney deluded himself that his supposedly private fundraising speech would never be revealed to the rest of the world.

Also, an overwhelming percentage of Big Media (meaning not just 'media bosses' but the rank-and-file reporters, etc.) were out and out Obama supporters. So any gaffe that Romney committed was instantly in play and out there. Whereas there are huge holes in the public's understanding of Obama and his private life and past yet today. There are even polished and well-recognized slur-names to refer to those who point this fact out.

Re:That's not why Obama won (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078637)

That or anything you say will be taken out of context by those in power. Give you a hint, FOX is just a distraction; they carry the same messages as the rest of the media.

Re:That's not why Obama won (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 10 months ago | (#44079101)

So you're saying Obama didn't win on the issues or his record, he won because he had a better organization.

Re:That's not why Obama won (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078431)

off the top of my head:

- to a heckler at a campaign rally: "Corporations are people too, my friend." (Apparently in reference to a Supreme Court ruling)
- while visiting the London Olympics: "I must say that the lack of a security infrastructure here is very disconcerting." He became the London tabloids' clown boy for a week.
- he told voters in Maryland that "I remember back in the days when I worried about getting a pink slip".
- in New Hampshire he pretended to have been pinched in the butt by two middle aged ladies standing behind him. Then he explained that "everyone thought it was a great joke". The two ladies were offended by it, so I guess Mitt's buddy in prep school pulled it off better
- after eating one of the baked cookies laid out on table by his staff in Pennsylvania, he told the crowd "We should be able to do better than this. These are the kinds of cookies you'd get at the 7-Eleven, not the home made kind, right ladies?" Turns out they were from a well-liked local bakery
- in the infield of the Daytona 500, he tried joshing with racing fans who were wearing ponchos, saying "looks like everyone brought out their high end rain gear"
- responding to a question, he said that he didn't get a chance to watch many NFL games, but he's good friends with some of the team owners

And this isn't counting the famous "dog on the car roof" incident and the two times in the early 2000's he was busted by local newspaper reporters for having undocumented immigrants tending his lawn and tennis courts (!) in Belmont MA.

If you were following the primaries you would have noticed a trend: ten days before each primary, with Romney outspending his opponents 5 to 1 with radio ads, Mitt would be up by double digits. Then as voting drew nearer, Santorum would narrow the gap and ended up winning many of them.

Re:That's not why Obama won (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 10 months ago | (#44078565)

but its hard when your opponents technology campaign is run pro-bono by the nation's biggest tech companies

Re:That's not why Obama won (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078113)

Oh, pleeeeeeeeeease.....

"The Democrats had the better candidate, in the sense of being able to connect with voters on the campaign trail. Mitt Romney made one gaffe after another during the primary season,"

Obama is a gaffe machine... he said he thought he'd been to 57 states and had one more to visit... he clearly did not know what a navy medic was... he has repeatedly gone to ceremonies honoring dead people and announced that he saw many of those he was there to honor in the audience... on and on and on.... but if you get your news from the mainstream media or comedy central you do not know this stuff because they hide his gaffes just like they hid JFK's numerous affairs and his drug use and just like they hid Bill Clinton's proclivities when he was a candidate (something Chris Matthews admitted on TV during the Lewinski affair). Democrats ridiculed VP candidate Palin for writing a couple words on her hand as a reminder prior to a speech, but there have been repeated events proving Obama cannot give a speech w/o the full text on a teleprompter or on paper in his hands (Reminder: Palins entire 2008 convention speech was off-the-cuff and w/o notes... the teleprompters failed as she walked onto the stage)

"the "we had binders full of women" boast during the second debate..."

Democrat politicians all over the country also have binders full of women, and blacks, and hispanics, etc (people they have pre-screened to some degree to have a head-start on political appointments should they win an election to an executive office... one of the biggest jokes of the 2012 campaign is that democrats twisted that comment into fake outrage and cheerfully implied the comment was somehow related to placing women in bondage

"Immigration. Romney made a tactical decision (not personal) before the 2008 election to pander to the Republican base on the issue, as a way of answering any doubts about whether he was a conservative. He stuck to that course in 2012. He lost the pretty close to the entire Hispanic vote in the general election;"

Republicans have a long tradition (all the way back to Abraham Lincoln) as a party (though admittedly not all of their candidates) that does not have different policies for different groups of people based on their skin color. Democrats, who for their entire history back to and including the KKK and slavery have always been fixated on skin color. Over the past few decades, Democrats have twisted this into all-out pandering to racial groups and they claim that Republicans who refuse to pander are racists. No matter how hard a Republican candidate tries to break-out from his party tradition by race-pandering, he can never out-pander a Democrat (Even when George W offered Amnesty, 60% of the hispanic vote went to the Democrats who offered amnesty with more hand-outs

"the fact that the housing and banking crisis and collapse of the economy occurred during Bush's watch with Bush's tax policies and Treasury/SEC administration."

Ahhh yes... The congress went to the Democrats in 2006 and they used their power to block the Bush admin attempt to stop the risky home loan activity at Govt-run FannieMae and FreddieMac. Leading Democrats like Senator Chris Dodd and Congressman Barney Frank ridiculed the idea that anything bad was happening and that there was any danger in the home loan marketplace. Then Democrat senators Joe Biden and Barack Obama both voted along with ALL democrats in the senate to stop Bush from preventing the disaster (Bush himself had no vote and, without senate approval, had no legal authority to intervene) Bush was FAR from perfect... but he was less to blame for the meltdown than the Democrat congress (and the Clintons... who during the 90's had kicked all the risky home loans into overdrive as a national policy that "everyone deserves" to own a home...)

"Obama certainly had better IT, but that was far down on the list of factors."

Actually, Obama HAD competent IT... Romney had none... and that's one of the reasons I would never support a venture capitalist (who like to wrap themselves in the "entrepreneur" cloak) for an executive position if an ACTUAL entrepreneur was available. Romney proved he was NOT an entrepreneur (and was just a money man) by proving he did not know how to hire the right type of people to run his IT... a REAL entrepreneur would have known how to hire competent IT guys

Re:That's not why Obama won (1)

stenvar (2789879) | about 10 months ago | (#44078453)

Obama certainly had better IT, but that was far down on the list of factors.

Quite to the contrary: being able to tell each audience the lies that audience was vulnerable to, and being able to discredit Romney with just the right accusations for each segment of voters, was why Obama managed to get a second term. Objectively, based on his record and the contradictions between his promises and policies, he should have been kicked out and lost badly.

Romney wasn't as good as Obama at lying, that's why he lost. (It might also have made him a slightly better president.)

First president to really listen to the people. (1)

trout007 (975317) | about 10 months ago | (#44077907)

You get the "leaders" you deserve.

Re:First president to really listen to the people. (1)

garyoa1 (2067072) | about 10 months ago | (#44077943)

Listening and doing are two different things. Seems anything anyone proposes in congress anymore turns into a Mexican stand-off. And no one deserves that.

In Other Words (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077945)

Complete Fucking Morons.

Thanks all you morons for electing this turd. About the only good things is that he screwed you over too. Do us all a favor, the next time you get all googely eyed over some fake ass candidate...kill yourselves.

This is the creepiest thing I've head all week (3, Insightful)

davydagger (2566757) | about 10 months ago | (#44077957)

Somehow we talk about campaign donations being the be all and end all, but we are obviously missing something:

pro-bono work done by media and technology experts that other canidates would have to pay for. This by-passes all donation contributions. In an ideal system you wouldn't need campaign finance reform, because people would make informed decisions, and no amount of money spent could change that. Thats not true. Money can buy votes. We all know this, but HOW is rarely discussed, because the people taking the money are the same people reporting the donations.

They buy you, by buying the "favorite celebrities" they already sold you previously. They overhype their strengths, and they downplay the really creepy and criminal things they do. They then go out of their way to let you know what bad guys the people who don't like celebrities are, and how you'll be social outcast if you give up on your favorite celebrities.

In the new digital age, there is also facebook. Once they know everything about you, it makes it easier to push your buttons. What if they find some dark sexual secret? Find out your weaknesses, exploit them. Since they already know who your friends are, they can tell them, or let them know subtly.

They can manipulate the girl you always had a crush on into sleeping with you, or dating you, because now they know. They can do all kinds of things to her as well.(mabey she spies on you?).

Since they know all your personal informaiton they can pretend to be an old long lost friend and use their credibility to bombard you with propaganda.

Speaking of propaganda, they can easily bypass your intellectual guards by finding out what pushes your buttongs and tailoring propaganda specificly to you.

All this is done pro-bono. This is what we know their capabilities are because they BRAG about them. Now it gets better, what if they want information about the opposition? What if they want to target organizers, donors, and leading voices opposing canidate XZY? What if they used the information to conduct smears of the opposition?

What if they targeted and harrassed campaign organizers and leaders. with information like this they'd be able to do with almost without being known about.

They aren't going to tell you that. Its not beyond their capabilities. Your a fool to think they never considered it.

Re:This is the creepiest thing I've head all week (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 10 months ago | (#44078039)

I'm nominating you for Tin-Foil Post of the Week.

Just a pedantic point, you're misusing http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pro_bono [wikipedia.org]

Re:This is the creepiest thing I've head all week (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078305)

The "tin foil hat" argument no longer applies. If we've learned anything in 2013, it's been just how invasive and aggressive the US government has become against its own citizens.

Re:This is the creepiest thing I've head all week (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#44078449)

the sad part is that with all the things we get to learn about just HOW invasive our governments are, 2013 is likely to become the year of "it's not whether you're paranoid, it's whether you're paranoid ENOUGH"...

Speak of the devil (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44077979)

What ever happened to Curtis Armstrong, the moonlighting brother of our former brother, Cmdr Taco?

Fantastic Analogy (4, Insightful)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | about 10 months ago | (#44078011)

Sometimes people just don't realize the full implications of their own analogies...

Ceasar's Palace exists for one reason and one reason only - to extract as much of money out of their customers^h^h^h^h^h^h suckers as possible. They (and all of the other modern casino/resorts) pioneered "Big Data" techniques to figure out just how much they could squeeze out of every person that comes into contact with them. They've got official policies on paper to deny it. but they are happy to manipulate and exploit addiction [telegraph.co.uk] to get all of the money.

Re:Fantastic Analogy (1)

Megane (129182) | about 10 months ago | (#44078231)

Also, while they're bleeding you dry, Free booze! Comp hotel room! Comp buffet bar!

Re:Fantastic Analogy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44079035)

Also, while they're bleeding you dry, Free booze! Comp hotel room! Comp buffet bar!

And they are so much better than what the other guys that are bleeding you dry are giving you: food stamps, public housing, and prostate exams (both at the airport and at the doctor's).

Wozniak and Snowden are just political dissidents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078035)

And what exactly is the difference between them vs chinese dissidents who are sentenced to jail for exposing government corruption or similarly embasessing things. I think USA is nowdays just an another non-democratic police state. Sorry for having that opinion.

Re:Wozniak and Snowden are just political dissiden (2)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#44078465)

Well, people laughed at me when I complained in 1990 about how we're losing something important when the USSR crumbled and how it protected our freedom by proxy.

Because as long as there have been those evil commies with their lack of freedom, our leaders needed to keep their white hats shiny so we knew who were the bad guys. Today, why bother with it, it's not like you have any other system you could run for.

Re:Wozniak and Snowden are just political dissiden (1)

davydagger (2566757) | about 10 months ago | (#44078607)

at the same time, they had the USSR to make an excuse on why they need to get their hands dirty, and the realpolitik took over with regards to restricting rights.

like it did with terrorism, and goth kids, and every other cooked up threat.

In other words: Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078065)

Oh, never mind. That is just one word.

Information is political power (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078071)

It shows you that info is power. If you have info on a country you can leverage that into votes and into power.

If there's one great thing Snowden did that, its to protect us from President Keith Alexander and his NSA Presidential Campaign crew.

You're a f*ing hero Snowden.

Also, WTF are you GCHQ guys taking orders from the head of the NSA? We voted in Cameron, he promised to end this surveillance culture, you are acting against your elected government in favor of a US General gone rogue, why?:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/jun/21/gchq-cables-secret-world-communications-nsa

US law is clear, UK law is clear. RIPA did not make you into an agency to spy on Brits for the benefit of the CIA.

there could be no other possible explaination! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078251)

'keeping gamblers loyal to Caesars was not all that different from keeping onetime Obama voters from straying to Mitt Romney.'

yes. there could be no other possible explanation than brand loyalty and marketing, because as we all know, the only humans in this country capable of thought and self-determination are marketing hacks and the algorithmic wonderboys which they employ.

what a condescending load of horsecrap.

Keep on hating the advanced tech GOP lovers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078301)

It's GOOD that you luddites are so angry at what ever Obama does and always do the opposite no mater what.

Keep up the good work!

Re:Keep on hating the advanced tech GOP lovers (1)

Opportunist (166417) | about 10 months ago | (#44078469)

Yeah, because we're so much better off with him in office.

Face it, the US politics is a bit like AvP. Whoever wins, we lose.

Anyhoodles (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 10 months ago | (#44078317)

There was a study where they asked people if they could put small signs in their yards for something innocuous. After awhile, they came back and asked if they could put a slightly larger sign in. Most said yes. Then they brought in larger and larger signs, until eventually these giant, obnoxious signs were in peoples' yards, signs that nobody accepted if approached with them to begin with.

This was people making an "emotional investment" in something, and refusing to give up on it. This is heavily involved in casinos and gambling, too. People will continue to throw good money after bad.

Now take this and put it in the context of getting people to support a guy who's petered along with a terrible economy for 4 years.

Magnificent job by his people. I suppose. Umm, congrats?

Re:Anyhoodles (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 10 months ago | (#44079041)

Then they brought in larger and larger signs, until eventually these giant, obnoxious signs were in peoples' yards, signs that nobody accepted if approached with them to begin with.

Did they actually test that with a control group? Because otherwise the study is useless.

except...Romney wasn't the problem: apathy was. (1)

acroyear (5882) | about 10 months ago | (#44078349)

The Obama concern was never that 2008 Obama voters would "stray" to Romney. The Republicans moved so far to the right that even Romney was having trouble following his base (and that was one reason he lost: he showed clearly that he would follow the conservative base, not lead the country).

The Obama concern was that 2008 Obama voters *wouldn't show up at the polls*. Turnout was key. If those that disliked Obama (but disliked Romney more) just decided to stay home, he would have lost. In fact, in some regions he DID lose vs. his 2008 wins for that very reason, such as Lynchburg, VA.

Caesars Gamblers (1)

rossdee (243626) | about 10 months ago | (#44078383)

Gamblers were loyal to Caesar? I must have missed that part in my sttidies of ancient Rome.

(Or is this about a later Roman Emperor rather than Julius, Augustus or Tiberius...

BTW I remember John Hurt's acting as Caligula in the British miniseries I Claudius - I am sure he will make an excellent Doctor.

dear steve, don't feel bad. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 10 months ago | (#44078571)

It's taken over 30 years for the industry to turn that bucket of wires and melted lead of yours into anything usable.
Nobody blames you.

Voters carry much of the blame (4, Insightful)

pesho (843750) | about 10 months ago | (#44078617)

The Obama campaign treated voters as consumers, because the vast majority of voters treat democracy as a supermarket. Instead of being informed, listen to each other, actively voice their position in petitions and protests, and generally be involved in governance, modern voters just switch to the other brand of soap. To carry on with the metaphor, some of them abandon soap altogether and choose not to shower. This "exit" strategy has reached particularity absurd level in the United States where a number of voters (the so called "independents") bounce as ping-pong balls between the two parties every four years. These voters are never satisfied with the government they just elected, yet they cannot be bothered to actively push this government to fulfill promises or address their grievances. So, if you approach democracy as market, the politicians will treat you as shoppers. You got what you asked for, why are you complaining? (Disclosure: These are not my ideas, I stole them from a book called "In Mistrust We Trust: Can Democracy Survive When We Don't Trust Our Leaders?" [amazon.com] .)

Boycott (1)

Bing Tsher E (943915) | about 10 months ago | (#44078659)

I could see this backfiring for the entities that are trying to play us with it.

'Conservatives' (capital-C, sadly, but that's how it works) have a pretty well-organized network. They should actively oppose and boycott businesses that choose to work with Analytics Media Group. Everybody already says 'fuck Google. fuck Big Data' in private to all their friends. It's just a matter of helping people figure out what's going on and making it a public thing.

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