The Babel Fish

communication, propaganda

With the advent of agencies such as Cambridge Analytica it certainly seems pervasive and free communication is slowly showing its price. Somebody wrote an article about how Douglas Adams’ Babel Fish (easy communition) foretold this trend (misunderstandings, which somebody will find a way to exploit). The Guardian calls abusers of easy communication hijackers, but to hijack the US presidency or kidnap (?) the UK from the EU, that’s as malevolent as it gets. I wonder what time will bring…

Update: Today (29 june) Ars Technica posted an article about a study on the relationship between message quality and message popularity on “social” media. Turns out, due to the limited time and overload of information, quality messages do not survive. You can easily imagine how a system like that can thus be used to manipulate people on a very large scale (most homo sapiens with internet are on Facebook…): seed random shite and drown out the truth, which sounds very familiar. Fortunately, the study concludes with some possible remedies.