I forgot I had an account with Photobox. Or rather, I forgot I had any photos stored there. Photobox reminded me today. They wrote to tell me that because it was such a long time since I last logged in, I needed to do so or I would lose my photos.
What photos? It turns out I had four photos stored there. I can’t think how long it is since I last logged in – maybe ten years.
Among the photos is this one of the fruit inside a Winter cherry, otherwise known as a Chinese lantern, otherwise known as a Japanese lantern, otherwise known as a ground cherry.
I like Chinese lanterns. I like the shape and the red colour, and especially the way the sides of the lantern disintegrate in the late summer and autumn, leaving a delicate filigree.
Now I have to look for one, buy it, and watch it dry out and the filigree appear.
Meanwhile, here is a Wikipedia image – although I have never seen a Chinese lantern so well preserved.
The image is creative commons subject to attributing the author who is thought to be User:TeunSpaans
Netflix showed a documentary about what went on in the campaigns to change people’s viewpoints in the US election and the EU referendum.
Christopher Wylie, the data scientist who worked for Cambridge Analytica said:
Cambridge Analytica are not a data analysis company: They are a data propaganda company.
About an hour into the video, Alexander Nix of Cambridge Analytica said:
We are a behaviour change agency
Brittany Kaiser, who worked for Cambridge Analytica, said they used the data they got from those who did Facebook quizzes – which also gave them access to the data of those people’s friends.
Armed with that they profiled millions of US voters and then targeted those who were ripe to be persuaded – the ‘persuadables’ as they called them.
They sent them ‘news’ (real and fake) until, as she said:
…they saw the world the way we wanted them to see it.
The parent company of Cambridge Analytica is/was SCL, which started out as a military contractor contracted to use research to influence behaviour of hostile audiences.
SCL was granted provisional “List X” status by the Ministry of Defence until 2013, giving it access to secret documents.
In 2014, MoD officials worked with SCL Group on “Project Duco” to analyse how people would interact with certain government messaging.
Guardian article 28 April 2018:
The UK Foreign Office, in 2008 signed a contract with Strategic Communications Laboratories, the former name of SCL Group, the parent company of Cambridge Analytica, for a project to help tackle extremism by providing research and surveys into public opinion as part of an initiative to help Pakistan deal with extremism and radicalisation issues that could affect the UK.
From the UK Government website:
“List X contractors are companies operating in the UK who are working on UK government contracts which require them to hold classified information. This information is at ‘Secret’ or above or international partners information classified ‘Confidential’ or above, and is held their own premises at a specific site.”
Don’t hold me to it, but I think the allegation was that SCL passed their data to Cambridge Analytica, who used it to influence British voters in the EU referendum.