Christopher Wylie – Mindf*ck

For the first time, the Cambridge Analytica whistleblower tells the inside story of the data mining and psychological manipulation behind the election of Donald Trump and the Brexit referendum, connecting Facebook, WikiLeaks, Russian intelligence, and international hackers.

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Evening Standard

Mindf*ck goes deep inside Cambridge Analyticas “American operations”, which were driven by Steve Bannons vision to remake America and fueled by mysterious billionaire Robert Mercers money, as it weaponized and wielded the massive store of data it had harvested on individuals – in excess of 87 million – to disunite the United States and set Americans against each other. Bannon had long sensed that deep within Americas soul lurked an explosive tension. Cambridge Analytica had the data to prove it, and in 2016 Bannon had a presidential campaign to use as his proving ground.

Christopher Wylie might have seemed an unlikely figure to be at the center of such an operation. Canadian and liberal in his politics, he was only 24 when he got a job with a London firm that worked with the UK Ministry of Defense and was charged putatively with helping to build a team of data scientists to create new tools to identify and combat radical extremism online. In short order, those same military tools were turned to political purposes, and Cambridge Analytica was born.

Wylies decision to become a whistleblower prompted the largest data-crime investigation in history. His story is both expos and dire warning about a sudden problem born of very new and powerful capabilities. It has not only laid bare the profound vulnerabilities – and profound carelessness – in the enormous companies that drive the attention economy, it has also exposed the profound vulnerabilities of democracy itself. What happened in 2016 was just a trial run. Ruthless actors are coming for your data, and they want to control what you think.

Author: Christopher Wylie
Narrator: Graham Halstead
Duration: 11 hours 49 minutes
Released: 19 Aug 2010
Publisher: Random House Audio
Language: English

User Review:

beer definite

You have to remember when listening to this book the story is told from a single point of view. This situation and topic is far more complicated than Christopher Wylie gets into, but it’s a good start. My only criticism is that the political rhetoric is a bit off-putting. At times Christopher sounds like a guy that kicked the ball in his own goal, and won the game for the opposite team. He’s complaining about manipulation through “team” dynamics, yet he is doing that himself. We need to hire the best person for the job, no matter what team they play for.