He's going off script!

July 14, 2020

Adjust the algo for full sarcasm. Sprinkle some self deprecation and leave the brutal truth where it is. I want these out the door as quick as he drops them. This is going to get messy.”

The room was abuzz with political satire. The junior campaign staff worked quickly to capture the real-time pulse of the social web, feeding that emotion back into the system. Tags flowed from the scrapers giving the staff plenty to feed to meme machine. Surreal memes, dark humour, classic tropes. The machine created them all. As soon as the memes were spat out, the team would approve or scrap them, training the machine how to adapt to the situation. Here’s your brief before the meeting.” The virtual assistant added a range of insights to the lenses in her glasses.

Approved memes were fed to a campaign bot manager and sent on their merry way to dilute the conversation about the candidate. They softened any conversation, flooded the chatter with jokes, destroyed any analysis of the words the candidate was really saying. All the memes worked on the basis of ongoing campaign narrative, mixed with the folly of the moment. The memes were more of a candidate than the meat puppet at the podium. The memes disseminated the narrative of the campaign in the language of the people. The memes controlled the masses.

Shawn Cole 2021
Strategic Foresight, Research & Design