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Archive for January 29th, 2008

I am data; politicians micro-target me to get elected

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I earn between $50,000 and $75,000 a year. I have three degrees. I teach at a small Catholic liberal arts university. I own several cameras. I have two vehicles, one four-wheel-drive, the other high-mileage. I belong to two environmental organizations. I commute more than 10 miles to work. I contribute to three non-profit organizations. I am single. I buy clothes from Lands’ End and L.L. Bean. I collect Rotring pens and pencils. I play guitar and piano. I read science and detective fiction, purchased mostly from Barnes & Noble and Amazon. I have two iPods, one computer and two TVs. I have several credit cards. I drink beer. I once owned a handgun. I have a mortgage. I have voted since 1964 as an Independent or Democrat.

To our presidential candidates, I am not Denny Wilkins, an individual human being: I am a set of data points, one of about 168 million sets of data points collected by both the Democratic and Republican national committees. They are interested in me only because I am an eligible voter. Democratic and Republican presidential candidates will base their direct-mail, push-poll, robo-call and volunteers-knocking-on-my-door messages on computerized analyses of me as data. I will be micro-targeted by candidates’ campaign organizations for the sole purpose of producing a vote for a candidate.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

January 29, 2008 at 6:47 pm

Posted in Uncategorized