Sunday, August 16, 2020

Learn To Code Episode 3: Project 1: MineSweeper, Part 2

In this video we continue with the MineSweeper project. We construct some new unlit materials and create our MineSweeper tile actor prototype.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=egkq4oHIU7I



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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Wednesday, August 12, 2020

Slowly, But Surely, Alberta's Stark Reality Dawns

In January I wrote a post titled "The Stark Reality Albertans Face", in which I tried to briefly describe the true reality facing us. Since then as the UCP's efforts to liquidate Alberta have accelerated and the impacts have been felt across the population more and more groups are starting to take action.

I've been interacting with a lot of first time politics followers, there is the rise of the MD war room and the newer Wall of Moms and Dads, inspired I assume by Portland's Walls of Moms and Dads standing against the police which is itself ironically mired in some leadership drama at the moment which somewhat mirrors an issue they encountered today.

Mistakes like this kill movements and are seized upon by the system which has no such moral qualms in its organization or execution. It happened to Occupy. It's happened to Black Lives Matter. To Indigenous protests, and it can happen to the movement against the UCP too. The more people opposed, the more people united, the more chance for conflict.

Those in the system operates in small groups and don't care if their agendas completely align so long as some of their objectives do. Accomplish the objective and deal with the fallout after. You can't fight every war at once.

Political movements, and the partisan left in particular however often fall in to a trap of trying to fight every battle at once expecting perfection and nothing else. This doesn't exist as much on the political right where those of opposing internal factions, find it easy to unite under a common banner even if it doesn't align with their agenda completely. They take a "it's better than nothing" approach.

They also fall in to the trap of trying to get everyone to rally under unified banners rather than individuals pushing a unified message. It's the classic "democratic" way but always runs on the assumption the other team is playing democracy.

What if they aren't? What if they're just holding out until you make your inevitable mistake?

Political movements require momentum, and it's not infinite. Sooner or later if a movement runs up against a stonewall the momentum will slowly die out as the lack of progress puts more emphasis on differences. People start looking for explanations why such and such isn't working. The system simply has to hold out until self-doubt reigns and the internal conflict (which they will likely covertly amplify) tears the movement apart.

It happens time and time again.

Momentum comes in a wave and the movement is it's most powerful at the peak of this wave but it can be challenging to identify before it passes. It is in this window of time that change can be demanded and voices may be really heard.

Obtaining critical mass is really only half the battle and I find very little thought is ever really given to how to deploy it once it's obtained. Yes you can have rallies, make signs, and hope the government "listens" but that's usually where political action ends. A hard reality to face is that even if a government is actively undertaking efforts to attack your quality of life and effectively your future few want to sacrifice their remaining quality of life to get it back. 

This of course results in a situation where movements don't go far enough to address the true situation opting instead of superficial corrections and token reparations that don't actually change anything of importance. The unfortunate reality I have found is that by the time you figure out how bad it is, it's actually worse. Only a fraction of the criminality is ever visible at any given time most of it is hidden, potentially to be discovered in the future, and potentially not. But there is always more than you know. Always. In effect the people are always fighting the last battle they already have lost they just don't know they've lost it yet. By the time they discover they have they've already lost several more. A steady decline.

When a government is pushing through "record amounts" of legislation fighting 1 or 2 policies doesn't cut it. The UCP has lots of legal battles on the go and it's not stopping them from passing more. It's death by 1000 paper cuts, even if you prevent a few the rest will get ya and it will never be as good as what was. It keeps people on the defensive, rather than offensive.

Instead of fighting bad policy, you should be fighting the fact you have to fight bad policy in the first place. That's the real root of the corruption. Who is writing these policies? Who are they working for? Would you have to be on the defensive all the time if the government had any intention of good faith? Look at all of the effort the AMA has put into trying to negotiate with a government that never had any intention of negotiating with them. Look at all of the leverage they've lost and actions they can no longer take they once could because they wasted their time being lead around naively thinking that if they just played ball, and even agree to *everything* the government wanted in the first place, that the true reality would not take hold.


The government had already won and they didn't even know it, and that was a failing on their part. They discovered they had lost the battle and the next day the government launched a website that would have taken months to develop and polish all ready to go. Now the true agenda is coming out and I'm certain more waits behind the curtain, will that be underestimated too?

While the rising numbers are great, a recognition I'm still waiting for in the Alberta political landscape is that the fuckwad UCP are in fact listening. They're listening intently. They're just not responding how you want them to respond. Their own actions, and now their internal correspondence show they are listening. But what are they doing in response? Devising propaganda tactics to counter it.

They know their policies are going to be unpopular and they really don't give a fuck what you have to say about it. They hire people using your tax dollars to convince you you're wrong. That's it, that is the extent of how much you can ever expect them to listen.

If the momentum peaks, and the anger becomes unbearable, they will throw you a bone or some hand sanitizer to quell the anger but don't mistake that for "listening". They heard you the first time, and the second, and after all of the energy expended they did the bare minimum possible just enough that some of the anger subsides. You don't see them re-hiring those 25,000 EAs who could really help with all this though, do you? Death by 1000 paper cuts, congrats on getting some crumbs.

They're listening, rest assured, given their entire presentation is public relations that must be designed and broadcast. Countering the UCP must be done with the assumption this is the case. They are not a government, they are hostile. No government working for the people would want their future decision making to be "prohibitively expensive" to escape.

However bad you think it is, it's already worse.


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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Thursday, July 23, 2020

"Near Normal"

Well Alberta Wars was fun eh? I quite enjoyed writing that. The series will continue again as we near the events I anticipate are coming and have mapped out for the remaining 4 episodes. But for now I need to refocus my efforts.

I have been writing about Alberta's deteriorating situation for nearly a decade. This insight has allowed me to isolate myself from changes I knew were coming and realities i knew would soon be here and I hope those from Alberta that were reading my blog were able to act similarly.

However, you can't isolate yourself from everything. Items like insurance premiums, attacks on health care, and the complete lack of effort regarding the safety of our children returning to school is unavoidable. Maddening even.

I've been seeing a lot of chatter on Twitter of people convinced that the fuckwad UCP government's lack of effort regarding return to school is a deliberate, calculated attempt to defund education and push private schools and/or home schooling.
Now, it is totally true that their lack of concern or empathy is definitely making a lot of parents consider home school. There is no doubt there. But despite this fact I do not think that is the direct intention of their lack of effort. Or the direct purpose. Allow me to explain why.

There is a major flaw in the theory which I think is getting lost among those that have far reaching platforms: home school or private school isn't feasible for the vast majority of people. Myself, my ex, and her husband all work good jobs and share parenting responsibility and even for us though homeschool is a consideration it is extremely logistically difficult. Did I mention I work from home too? It doesn't matter, I'm on conference calls alot of the day, my job despite me being at home simply doesn't allow to divert attention.

We are in a better position than most.

In fact I believe that COVID-19, or no COVID-19, the UCP would be relaunching schools almost identically. I think they would have found another reason to lay off the EAs (my kid's school is down to 2, from 12, and the 2 remaining can only be accessed by special needs kids).

An extension of this theory is that COVID-19 has been used by the fuckwad UCP to accelerate their agenda. I don't agree, if anything I believe that COVID has significantly hampered the fuckwad UCP's agenda. For example: Would there be as much opposition and outrage to the UCP's school re-opening under current funding with no COVID? I doubt it. The rage is driven by the concern of the safety of the children, and this is a concern the UCP is trying very hard via their numerous PR outlets to alleviate.

The UCP doesn't want COVID on your minds, the UCP wants us back to "near normal" because so long as we are all in pandemic mode their actions are blatantly obviously corrupt and not in the service of Albertans. It's been a spotlight on their government, with daily updates, and special measures. With the lack of sports and activities everyone's attention is on what the UCP is doing.

A push for homeschooling now, so early in their term, will be a constant reminder of the pandemic. That is not "near normal".

There is a much simpler explanation: the UCP simply does not care. They have no desire to govern and find this whole pandemic thing quite annoying. They have made virtually no changes to the school relaunch, to be frank if they wanted to encourage home schooling they would place restrictions and simply not provide the funding. Class sizes of 15? Well I guess if you can't find a spot in a school you're homeschooling eh?

Now I am aware that the UCP does want "choice in education", I'm not saying they don't, what I am saying is.. this isn't it. This isn't the grand plan to make it happen. Any side-effect that works towards that goal is simply a convenient side-effect.

Much like Trump's push to get the pandemic behind the US, Kenney is pushing hard to get the pandemic behind us, its extremely difficult for him to move forward with his plan to redirect our public dollars to funding the risk of the companies leaving Alberta when the people are constantly demanding the government spend more to help protect them. Or you know, do the stuff governments are actually supposed to do. Not run war rooms on behalf of the industry and provide taxpayer backed loans to their buddies.

It also doesn't help their case trying to keep people in Alberta. They're walking a fine line and its important people stay here to pay for the liabilities he is offloading. They're already pushing a number of investment schemes like trying to create the Alberta Pension Plan, and trying to make it so Invest Alberta can use "financial tools" (read: stock market gambling) to manage their money.

The UCP is well aware what they are doing to people's pocket books, keeping a child home to school in good times is hard and today incredibly unfeasible. Creating an education market dependent on home school does not make sense, nor align with what I see as their objectives in using public money for private risk. They're obsessive with their propaganda attempting to convince you everything is fine. That is what they are trying to promote.

Stay in Alberta! We know the steak is cold but it's wrapped in plastic...


Click here to recommend this post on progressivebloggers.ca and help other people find this information.

Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Alberta Wars Episode V: Is The Economy Coming Back?

A long time ago
in an economy far far away...

ALBERTA
WARS

Episode V
Is The Economy Coming Back?

For the citizens of Harper's new empire the old Alberta Advantage was a distant memory. The great religion of the Alberta boom became more and more mythic by the day. Parents tell their children stories of the great booms that once roamed the land while counting the holy pipelines on their camping trips and to dare not praise the boom is all but blasphemy.

It was said that the boom rose from the work force and bound everything together. The rock, the tree, the lake. It flowed through the boreal forest. All of these things could be exploited with the boom, nothing was too big, too heavy, or cost too much.

Master job creators from far reaches of the galaxy flocked to Alberta for the boom and the work-force, always balanced in favor of the job-creators for they had mastered the work-force and risen above the fray.. Their Padawans would follow close behind sniffing every whiff of the splendor plopping out of the job creator's think tank.

But all that remained now were the abandoned wells, barely interesting enough for the Empire to count, and a thorn in the side of the Empire that was already working hard to convince Albertans that their pride and joy: the sludge factory, would bring the mythic booms back again.
Emperor Harper, and Darth Kenney knew something the citizens of their empire didn't however. While they had been in office of the Government of the Dominion they had released a secret memo outlining cost concerns and a weakness in their sludge factory: it cost too damn much. It had been estimated that it would cost $650 billion Dominion credits for the project to maintain it's momentum over the next decade and that was equivalent to all of the investment that had come before. In addition to this they faced a galactic trade war, the Health Star crisis, and a collapsing liquidity market. Alberta's sludge factory was fucked.

Instead of making this information public, and warning the work-force, they kept it a secret and continued to lie to the work-force hoping that the balance in favor of the job creators could be kept. But as each day ticked away the reality of the western Dominions situation was becoming more and more apparent. The layoffs mounted, the investment disappeared, just as the memo had foretold.

The true reality that scared the citizens into submission was that the booms may not return. That it in fact may not have been their culture of success, their genius, or their conservative budgets, but simply because they had the right market sludge, at the right market time.

The Twitter Storm Troopers held the threat of no more booms above the heads of the citizens, raining down bombs of despair. A new dogma was unleashed: dare question the sludge and Alberta will never boom again.

Citizens were forced to volunteer for service cuts and cost increases, all for the good of the Empire of course.

Captain Shandro of the Ministry for Virtual Health Insurance repeatedly changed the terms of the agreement with doctors, then tore it up all together. "I am altering the deal," he told them in his deepest reddest voice, "pray I don't alter it any further.". He instructed the Doctor's Order not to allow doctors to leave the new Empire just in case his deep voice didn't work,

Artists rendition of a McHealth facility
The empire hoped their swiftness and blitzkrieg attacks could keep the growing bands of rebels off balance and that the citizens would not notice the McHealth franchises popping up over the land. The Empire hoped to open a few McLearnStuffs too: empire and job-creator approved.

They intimidated and gaslit the concerned citizens. It was a full assault, they deployed their BS-BS talkers, and yet still the opposition persisted.

It was frustrating for the citizens, but with each sacrifice, each tax cut, the empire promised: the booms will be back.

Sooner or later the citizens were going to figure out that the booms were actually extinct, a relic of a time now long past. Emperor Harper and Darth Kenney knew this to be true as they had made the original analysis so working with their partners they doubled their efforts for a new fair deal and an isolated empire: free from critical thought. Only with the work-force completely re-balanced in favor of the job-creators would those job-creators be able to leave unscathed.

The anger felt by the citizens promised booms by the department of false hope was palpable and an unwieldy rancor increasingly difficult for Darth Kenney to control with the power of the work-force. Doubt was in the air. Doubt leads to thought, thought leads to questions, and questions lead to answers, of which Darth Kenney had none.

Time also was not on Darth Kenney's side as the Health Star crisis had greatly accelerated the liquidity issues facing the sludge factory making capital increasingly difficult to come by. He had had a small victory putting the bankrupt job creators well liabilities on citizens of the Dominion but it was small fries compared to the risk he wished they'd take on.

The sun dawned another day, Darth Kenney put on his face, stepped out of the back of his rented RV cruiser and promised the citizens: the boom will be back.


Click here to recommend this post on progressivebloggers.ca and help other people find this information.

Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Alberta Wars Episode IV: A New Fair Deal

A long time ago
in an economy far far away...

ALBERTA
WARS

Episode IV
A New Fair Deal

Following the revenge of the separatists all of the pillars for Emperor Harper and his protege's new empire were in place. They had successfully directed the anger towards Ottawa and the vague conspiracy from the planet Krause. Their phone troopers with the help of the Manning Centre had grown into fully fledged Twitter storm troopers who in classic Star Wars style never seem to be able to hit anything while the growing rebel alliance annihilates them shot after shot. The time had finally come to begin shaping the beaten down western Dominion into Harper's new financial empire.

It had come to Harper's attention that the elder scholars of the Job Creator's "Calgary School" had prophesied of a great re-balancing of the work force back towards the "job creators".
Harper, in January of 2019 B.E. (Before Empire) informed the investor council of the prophecy. Despite the risks, they knew it had to be done.

Unfortunately and unexpectedly for the Empire the Health Star, along with new galactic trade wars blew up the poor planet of Krause, and now only gets a passing mention whenever a good off the cuff excuse is needed.
With Kenney's narratives nearing the point of complete dis-credibility a new narrative was needed.

Kenney, always working with what he knows, pushed ahead with the Fair Deal plan, moving the focus of the anger once again from the foreign funded environmentalists to the Dominion itself. The story being sold: Alberta needed a new fair deal, it was our only hope.

Kenney quickly arranged for some panels of confirmation bias, they got on their speeders and moved quickly fanning out across Alberta to provide legitimacy to the idea the Empire actually gave a shit. Once they returned the empire removed all wrong opinions from the results and then compiled a report with the rest.

"Not one dissenting voice!", Darth Kenney exclaimed.

Next Kenney handed the direction of the financial empire over to the regional corporate board of governors, featuring emperor Harper himself. They provided Kenney the response to the Health star crisis, though in reality - according to the empire - everything suggested was just an election platform promise and thus not actually a response at all.
Kenney wasn't worried, no one had ever accused him of consistency.

Albertans are going to get their new Fair Deal. Kenney is already pushing ahead on the clearly fabricated basis of the results he is choosing to respect. Of course its just a thin excuse for him to do what he was always going to do anyway. All of this has been the plan from day one folks, he needs this whole pandemic thing behind us so he can get on doing what he was parachuted in to do.

I've seen a lot of you from the Rebel Alliance saying Albertans need to fight and stay. No, they don't. I want to make it very clear what staying and fighting means: Alberta is going to be a have not province and from this point forward it is going to be increasingly difficult to survive here and the people that live here are going to be under constant threat of attack and change from their government. That is no way to live.

For those that do stay and fight, your sacrifice is appreciated. May the work force be with you.


Click here to recommend this post on progressivebloggers.ca and help other people find this information.

Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Alberta Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Separatists

A long time ago
in an economy far far away...

ALBERTA
WARS

Episode III
Revenge of the Separatists

In the strange alternative Star Wars plot Emperor Harper and Darth Kenney have concocted the dark side favors the separatists against the Dominion (our version of the Republic) which speaks to the counter-culture mentioned in Episode II and the narrative of victimization.

Of course "officially" to pander to the federalists and broader base the UCP position itself will never be separation. It's a carrot that is dangled in front of the hard-line WEXIT crowd to keep them in line via their more subversive channels.

Directing the anger of Albertans is at the core of the UCP's strategy to justify change. As I wrote back in Alberta's Great Panderer:
A constant war footing. One war, on to the next, and the next, and the next. There will not be a point in time where the UCP isn't at war with.. something, during their term. Their legitimacy and support depends on it.
War is how Kenney rallies his support through his various overt and covert separatist leaders, like Count Dookie and others that have planted the seed of inevitable separation if Canada doesn't do things our way.

Then on the other side you have the "Fair Deal". An appeal to the Federalists while still targeting Ottawa in an attempt to keep the separatists in check. Both are wars in various forms.

Kenney also has his war against environmentalists, doctors, teachers, unions, really anyone he can go to war with. It's done with a bang, it's done to illicit anger, it's done because the blitzkrieg speed and misdirection is what provides the support. Kenney is also on a tight timeline, with just 3 years now to complete the selloff of Alberta, and protect the rich providing an avenue of escape.

Kenney must also disable Albertans ability to effect any reversal of what he is doing so that Alberta remains obligated to repay the debts that are being illicitly placed on us. This I believe explains the power grabs.

I am still of the opinion Kenney is not here for the long term. He didn't come here to build a mini-empire as I'm seeing the new prevailing theory become (as it becomes more obvious he is not aiming for the role of PM). I maintain that Kenney aims to be out of politics following this term, he did not drop from Federal to Provincial to deal constantly with the problems he is causing. He does not intend to be here to clean them up, or be accountable for them.

In addition, with the fracturing of Alberta's WEXIT believers turning against Kenney I do not believe he would gain popular support federally now. No, he will leave.

However, emperor Harper's network will remain. It is the financial interests that want the power.

The separatist threat of course provides momentum for aspects of Kenney's agenda he does want such as robbing Albertans of their pension money:
As you can see the UCP utilize their typical games, via their typical channels. 81% support for this is astronomically high. It's ridiculous, but so long as the right closes themselves off to any other sources of information at the behest of their "rebel commanders" they'd never know it.

I just discovered Lauren Southern has returned to the political arena. She's done a write-up of her reformation from the "alt-right" and I very much suggest you all read it:
You see the manipulation derives from just a very simple thing: a lot of people are suffering and just want it to end and those types are very easy to lead with easy solutions, external enemies, and strong-man antics when they've got bigger holes to fill.


Click here to recommend this post on progressivebloggers.ca and help other people find this information.

Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Alberta Wars Episode II: Attack of the Phones

A long time ago
in an economy far far away...

ALBERTA
WARS

Episode II
Attack of the Phones

  1. Size, ownership, and profit orientation: The dominant mass-media outlets are large profit-based operations, and therefore they must cater to the financial interests of the owners such as corporations and controlling investors. The size of a media company is a consequence of the investment capital required for the mass-communications technology required to reach a mass audience of viewers, listeners, and readers.
  2. The advertising license to do business: Since the majority of the revenue of major media outlets derives from advertising (not from sales or subscriptions), advertisers have acquired a "de facto licensing authority".[5] Media outlets are not commercially viable without the support of advertisers. News media must therefore cater to the political prejudices and economic desires of their advertisers. This has weakened the working class press, for example, and also helps explain the attrition in the number of newspapers.
  3. Sourcing mass media news: Herman and Chomsky argue that "the large bureaucracies of the powerful subsidize the mass media, and gain special access [to the news], by their contribution to reducing the media's costs of acquiring [...] and producing, news. The large entities that provide this subsidy become 'routine' news sources and have privileged access to the gates. Non-routine sources must struggle for access, and may be ignored by the arbitrary decision of the gatekeepers." Editorial distortion is aggravated by the news media's dependence upon private and governmental news sources. If a given newspaper, television station, magazine, etc., incurs disfavor from the sources, it is subtly excluded from access to information. Consequently, it loses readers or viewers, and ultimately, advertisers. To minimize such financial danger, news media businesses editorially distort their reporting to favor government and corporate policies in order to stay in business.[6]
  4. Flak and the enforcers: "Flak" refers to negative responses to a media statement or program (e.g. letters, complaints, lawsuits, or legislative actions). Flak can be expensive to the media, either due to loss of advertising revenue, or due to the costs of legal defense or defense of the media outlet's public image. Flak can be organized by powerful, private influence groups (e.g. think tanks). The prospect of eliciting flak can be a deterrent to the reporting of certain kinds of facts or opinions.[6]
  5. Anti-communism/war on terror: Anti-communism was included as a filter in the original 1988 edition of the book, but Chomsky argues that since the end of the Cold War (1945–91) anticommunism was replaced by the "war on terror" as the major social control mechanism.[7]

Manufacturing consent in Alberta however requires a much different tone.

Item 1, is not effective in Alberta, as the propaganda narratives rely on manufacturing a consensus that all mass media is liberal biased (when in reality it is monetarily biased). The counter-culture "conservative" aspect of Alberta and it's perspective of victimization make a more subversive information channel more effective. In the end though as the revolving door of personal between Rebel Media (that had a booth at the UCP AGM), the CPC, and other Harper aligned movements shows the influence on these "media" organizations to be the same.

Item 2, isn't as effective in Alberta either for the same reason. You can't have your narrative advocate #DefundTheCBC and also rely on tight licensing restrictions. Thus the need to co-opt the alternative messages as I discussed in 'The real war is the information war and it has very much begun'. Instead Alberta is faced with "alternative sources" like Danielle Smith, and Rebel Media  given additional broadcast boost by the UCP and restricted selective interview access.

Item 3, is where things start to mesh up. Preferred access? Oh ya. You see, Alberta's counter-culture calls for a counter-media. But it's simply a different means to the same ends.

Item 4, Flak. This along with Item 5 (which for the purpose of Alberta is "anti socialist NDP" instead of just communism or war on terror - though communism gets its fair share of mentions too)

And now with the age of social media I would personally add another item: Item 6, the manufacturing of critical mass on social media.

This last one is interesting as we saw recently what can happen when this power is utilized by the people when teens from around the world convinced Donald Trump via pre-ordered ticket sales that far more people were going to be attending his first campaign speech than actually did. It's not a perfect example, as the manufacturing of the perspective he had more support than he did was aided with the help of his pre-ordered tickets but the effect was the same, and very visual for all to see.

The UCP utilizes this tactic as well. During the election a Federal investigation found that there was a coordinated campaign of fake accounts pushing UCP support. The accounts all supposedly originated in Alberta but if you know anything about how botnets work you know the "origin" of something means nothing as there is nothing stopping me from logging in to a server in the United States from here in Canada and then operating as though in the United States. Same thing works for hacked desktops, there are many "botnets for hire" that consist of remotely controlled hacked desktops providing the illusion of numbers from numerous locations. These can be easily filtered to show connections from anywhere one would like if they have enough hacked machines under their control. I highly suspect the IDU had a hand in orchestrating this campaign for reasons I describe in Alberta's Great Panderer.

Fake accounts, even if easily identified, are very effective at giving the illusion that the numbers behind an idea are larger than they appear. This gives confidence to the idea and makes it more likely other people will take it seriously strengthening it's reach. Instead of one voice, you hear a chorus of voices which naturally makes one more susceptible to the message. Indeed the UCP often brags of it's "historic mandate", how "Albertans fired the NDP", etc. They pull out the "numbers" card often.

Their Twitter propagandists are quick to Like/Retweet everything to give it the illusion that what is being said has more popularity than it does.
I see a lot of folks on Twitter mention that Twitter does nothing to propagate change. The UCP often say Twitter doesn't matter. They know it matters.

It's true that the audience on Twitter is small, but it's the audience on Twitter that is engaged. I'm sorry to break it to you folks but the giant chunk of people you're worried about not reaching, are reached via those that are engaged. They're just parroting the opinion someone they trust more on these matters told them. Seriously.

I focus explicitly on Twitter for this reason. I don't want people to parrot my words, or gain a following, or any of that shit. I actively work to suppress my reach and focus on my targets. I have faith in my readers to read between the lines, to absorb every link, to watch every video, because every post I write aims to provide as much pertinent information as possible in as many ways as possible for those able to make decisions with it.

The UCP knows this, too. That is why they focus their propaganda on Twitter yet post their videos to Facebook. They know what audience is where and their strategy is designed for each one. The UCP uses fake accounts and other means to create the illusion there is more support for them and their agenda than there truly is, this can have the effect of convincing the parrots there is critical support when in fact there is none thus in fact creating the support where none existed prior. The UCP then uses this confirmation bias in their arguments to justify why their policy is legitimate and mandated.



Click here to recommend this post on progressivebloggers.ca and help other people find this information.

Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.