Author: Manipulation Watcher

PRISM manipulations

Much of the web is alight with the news of the NSA’s PRISM program that came to light a few days ago. It is the cover of the Guardian , USA today,  and others. In other words, it is a Big Deal. And it is a manipulation of truly epic scale, so we would be remiss if we didn’t cover it here! Especially since our last post was about government spying! Go to it now and refresh yourself, ‘cos we’re going deeper! So let’s summarize what we know at this stage (there’s likely to be more later, so we...

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I spy with my little eye…

Spying is usually the business of governments. After all, this is what has given us Casanova and Bond. But, on sheer volume, the biggest spies of today may not be working for governments at all… Take the FBI, for example. Nominally, it is a federal police, created to address crimes that cross state boundaries. Increasingly, though, it seems increasingly focused on trying to outdo MI6. To be fair, the FBI is pretty open about its program of spying on Americans. The agency is particularly interested in being able to intercept communications that are slowly supplanting email: skype, chat programs,...

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A walk up the Manipulation Pyramid…

Corporations are manipulative. Not all of them, and not all of the time, but it’s truly surprising how often corporations are drawn to manipulation. It makes sense, if you think about it: corporations are full of people who are paid to find innovative new ways to take money from its customers, and some of them stumble, eventually, on good manipulations. And since corporations are rarely punished for their manipulations, the penalty for indulging in some borderline behavior is very strong… If we ranked the corporations from most manipulative to least, you’d have a fairly steep pyramid. At the top,...

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Manipulative US Presidents, part 1

So here’s a question that is not often asked. Which US president has been the most manipulative? It’s not an easy question to answer. Some US presidents have been rated poorly by history. Others have become mythical in stature. But which one was the most manipulative? Which one bent the rules the most to secure an advantage over his opponents? Some tapes that have recently come to life , as revealed by the BBC and The Atlantic, make a compelling case that Richard Nixon should be a front runner in the Manipulative President Award. Why Nixon? The tapes recently...

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Manipulation – the town and county edition

The best manipulations often involve obscure practices, small changes and large volumes. One of the best places to find all three of these elements are municipalities across the US. And those that have learned to manipulate them have made billions from their skill… Municipalities are the towns and cities that make up the entire country. They run municipal services like garbage removal, road construction, police and fire service, zoning, and most of the local rules that actually affect people on an everyday level. Municipalities need money for all this, money they can raise through taxes (that’s what your property...

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