“It should be possible to detect the potential emergence of Ponzi schemes and the like within complex networks of transactions that might otherwise fool even those who designed them.” Jaron Lanier
Blake Steele was down in his basement, going quietly crazy. He knew working for Pretendident Thump was never going to be easy. But this! He was out of control. Blake had offered Thump a powerful ^hexphrase to use during the convention. “I’m the one…”. Simple. Fits in a lot of contexts. And it reinforces the subservient desires so many voters hold— as Freud’s seduction theory would have it— as a result of years of unconscious abuse from media, school, family, and church. All forms of worship, all the way back before the pharaohs of Egypt, have used the same technique— triggering and directing the subconscious wish to be dominated toward “ the one” whether it be a religious figure, a romantic idol, or a totalitarian leader. It was a fine hex, indeed, though coming up with it had cost him blood and sweat both. And Thump told him he loved it. It was beautiful. Easy to remember. Perfect.
But Thump seemed to like it too much. Perhaps in repeating it, he had fallen under the spell himself. Now Thump has decided “I’m the one” means he’s supposed to be the only one. He’s decided to speak on every night of the ^repo convention. If he’s the one, Thump had texted Steele, then why should anyone else be on screen? It wasn’t really a question, and now Steele had to work with it. Oh my, oh my. That’s going to be a PR disaster in every way. What to do, what to do? Steele wasn’t prone to panic, but he could feel its stirrings somewhere deep in his gut. Or was that just the black coffee he’d been pounding since he woke up to this news on his D-pad. “I’m on it, sir.” he had replied instantly. Then glanced at the time. 4am. Panic time.
Blake Steele was working at his basement desk, surrounded by the familiar icons and talismans that had brought him so much inspiration and success. He looked up at the pictures hanging on the adjacent wall: his Darlin Gyrl, his three kids, Joey the older boy, now 6; Reni the girl, just 4 sweet years; and little devil Allie, his moon-child, his 3 year old mischief-maker. Steele loved his children more than anything else in the world. He reminded himself that all of his work was really for them. His great purpose. He looked at the wall to his right. His heroes were there, and those faces gave him strength to stay with his task. Thump, he had to remember, was not a problem to be overcome, but rather an opportunity. A lemon for him to make into some lemonade. Steele’s greatest personal hero, the central face in that gallery of past ^poetwizards, stared down at him. Steele gazed into those hypnotic eyes, admired the high forehead and the thin, unrelenting lips. That face always gave Steele inspiration. After all, he had had to work with very similar difficulties. And, rather than avoiding them, he had used them, what seemed to be weaknesses, madness even, and turned it all into strength, until the thing that might destroy him became the actual source of his power. That was the key.
Steele could do that, too. He would turn weakness to power, irrationality into his most potent strength. There on Steele’s desk was a long report from DARPA summarizing the results of a 5-year study into the techniques of narrative control. For Steele, access to this classified material amounted to a sort of revelation. A technical revolution in the PR industry, which was still struggling to incorporate the wave of changes that had come in the wake of the internet and the growth of social media. A number of technologies had been experimented with, and several of them had been shown to work effectively under the laboratory conditions. Given the unfortunate circumstances, Steele would have to go all in with this new tech, unproven in the actual conditions of a national election campaign. But they might give him just what he needed to shape the narrative to his advantage.
He laid out a few parameters. 1. Thump didn’t have to actually win, just reduce the landslide loss to an arguable level. 2. Thump’s speaking style with its random transitions and almost surrealistic juxtapositions of thought provided an excellent, background for the sonic and visual cues he could embed subliminally. 3. Pretendident Thump did have some oratorical aptitude for timing, and his incoherence actually helps him drop in the selected ^hexphrases more often and repetitively than a logical progression of thought would allow. 4. The confusion and boredom produced by Thump’s nightly rambles provide an excellent near-hypnotic state of mind for subliminal injection. 5. Finally, people would be drinking and taking a lot of dope while watching Thump’s show (being designed, as Steele understood it, by some excellent reality TV directors). That would put them in an even more suggestible state of consciousness.
Steele’s feelings of panic and despair began to subside. He could do this. Just follow the road.
He knew it was a little risky, relying on a new technology rather than the tried and true tools of his trade. But so was relying on new military techniques, like the blitzkrieg attacks that were so successful in WW2. No one was ready for that. No one had the right protection. The image in his mind of Stuka dive-bombers and the overwhelming, crashing charge of Panzer tanks made Steele feel powerful, irresistible. He reminded himself that he was strong, a first-order, final degree candidate of ^darkpower. This DARPA tech would give him the advantage he needed. Steele wouldn’t be swept under by Thump’s weaknesses. He would use them and gain from them. Let Thump talk to his frail ego’s content. In fact, the more the better.
Even Thump’s worst enemies would probably be watching him speak, so these new weapons of information warfare could be turned against them, too.
Z-anon-sensei says ^darkplan has had to react to changing circumstances vis a vis the DNC and the soaring popularity of the Beadon/Barris Democratic ticket. Raising the level of urban unrest is the chosen mechanism, and a tactical hit was ordered in the swing state of Wisconsin. The police shooting, predictably captured on video and streamed around the world, has predictably ignited a new wave of protest and violence. The video will play well at Pretendident Thump’s coronation this week at the RNC, while MOG’s latest technologies will be given their first real-time run.