Butterfly Collage

THE ELEMENTARY CONCEPT OF ETHICAL MANIPULATION

A gentle load of some theory and illustrated guide into definitions.

Give me but a firm spot on which to stand, and I shall move the Earth, said Archimedes. Well, he didn't live in the information era. Today, he would say: Give me a piece of information with a sufficient volume of variables to see its structure, and I shall move the people on Earth. Information is the key to power. It doesn't mean a greater volume of information makes greater power. A person keeping a massive volume of information is called a geek, not a leader. The craft in using information for our needs is given by recognising which information is essential and relevant, sort the information, define their structure, conclude the direction they aim and work with the system without wasteful focus on particular information values.

Sounds too nerdy? Don't worry; it looks more complicated than it is. ;)

THE BASIC PRINCIPLES
 

"1. The reality is structured, with elements entering various interacting patterns, exchanging momentary values. 

2. The reality is changing in time into many different directions determined by the causality inside patterns. The conclusion aimed by the pattern movement is called the vector. 

3. The tool to observe reality is information. In our cognitive processes, we constantly evaluate the information that we can percept at the moment. We cannot perceive and assess the reality itself, being entirely dependent on information about it.

4. The knowledge about this gives us a powerful capability to perform reality hacks when working with information about the reality stored in human minds and not with the reality itself. Mastering the input - information - we also control the output: reality patterns and their feasible conclusion.

5. We can also analyze any information or conceptual system by deconstructing its hidden internal assumptions and contradictions and subvert its apparent significance or unity.

IMPORTANCE OF PERCEIVING SUFFICIENTLY RELEVANT INFORMATION INPUTS
 

I will illustrate the crucial need to gain a sufficient volume of relevant information to define its vector. We are investigating a simple task:

WHICH OF THESE TWO PERSONS WE CAN EXPECT TO BE ALIVE THE NEXT YEAR

THIS IS MIKE

Mike is in a perfect health condition.

22 years old.

Doesn't smoke or take drugs.

Doesn't drink a lot.

Single. Studies at university.

Not much into sports but likes freediving.

THIS IS PAUL

Paul suffers with digestive and prostate problems.

80 years old.

Smokes 10 cigarettes daily.

Loves a good wine, drinking daily.

Married to 77 yo wife. Pensioner.

Considers to quit driving due to deteriorating eyesight.

No one wonders if we choose Mike to have better chances to enjoy living on this planet the following year. However, we are not ordinary members of the herd. We feel something is wrong with our trained perception and intuition, and we need to dig deeper to gain the whole picture - a sufficient volume of relevant information revealing the vector in the sum of dummy information. 

LOOKING MORE THOROUGHLY, WITH A BIT OF INVESTIGATION, WE ARE FINDING MORE ODDS:
 

There are endless flames about Mike on social networks. A group of trolls is keeping to post fake news about a sudden illness. Some of them are convinced it was an injury.

Internet elves are fighting with them, using rational and scientific arguments, declaring his perfect health with public records of a freediving competition.

One of the elves suggests it's maybe his mental state that worsened but is immediately blamed by other elves for being manipulated by fake news and accused by elvish activists of being politically incorrect.

You follow Paul on the street and catch him entering a building that belongs to the Academy of Sciences. Pretending you are a security guard, you ask Paul what is he going to do there. Paul jokes he is going to use the bathroom there because he needs to pee badly. You cannot resist the old man. 

You discover a dragonfly species carrying Paul's name.

You find Mike's posts on social media suggesting he is pretty emotionally unstable.

A secret intel brings you the name of Mike's former girlfriend. It seems they broke recently.

There is no evidence Mike and Paul know each other.

HACK 003: THE CONSISTENCY
 

The intuition of "something being wrong" I mentioned before is usually initiated by perceiving the CONSISTENCY. Intuition is a fastened perception of a situation with automated checking of being consistent. Intuitive people are even often unable to name the element that alarmed their attention. However, you can also use the CONSISTENCY as a validation tool being fully aware of this. The feeling there is something wrong is now even more potent. We don't know which information is valid and which is not, and that's why the structure matters. And we can see it's somehow inconsistent with the presumption of Mike being the surviving favourite. We have new hints of directions our investigation should follow now.

I don't want to kill the joke for good, so I am bringing the final picture we get after we finally analyze all findings:

THIS IS MIKE

Mike is in a perfect health condition. 22 years old.

Doesn't smoke or take drugs.

Doesn't drink a lot.

Single. Studies at university.

Not much into sports but likes freediving.

Mike is falling from a high-rise building, committing his suicide.

THIS IS PAUL

Paul suffers with digestive and prostate problems..

80 years old. Smokes 10 cigarettes daily.

Loves a good wine, drinking daily.

Pensioner. Former professor, an expert for dragonflies. Often invited by other scientists to help with insect species recognition. 

Considers to quit driving due to deteriorating eyesight.

Going to buy flowers for his 105 yo mama, who is returning from a hospital, and take her home to his house, where she lives with him and his 77 yo wife.

I wouldn't bet on Mike now, would you? The vector of his situation is very, very bad. On the contrary, Paul's health problems are not so bad, according to his age. They have longevity in the family, and he is still somehow active in his profession. He is cool and well-tempered, making jokes about his age. I think he will be with us the following year.

I made my example being surreal to point to another validation tool, the TIME FRAME. As we can see, the time frame is INCONSISTENT with the situation. There wouldn't be enough time for us to investigate everything during Mike's suicide jump, of course. But we are still a bit touched with Paul, right? :)

SORTING THE DATA
 

Mind hacks have inspiration in today's more and more widespread melting of psychology and cybernetics. In the intelligence world and forensic psychology, they call it PSYCHOLOGICAL MEASURES, PSYCHOLOGICAL OPERATIONS or shortly PSYOPS. We are not going to use this name because of their specific purposes in those fields. In ""edutainment"", you can find it as the DARK PSYCHOLOGY. I'm not fond of this name much. It suggests psychology can be dark. Of course, it can, but we don't say DARK ENGINEERING of nazis using industry infrastructure in the holocaust, DARK COMPUTING because they force data centres to provide data retaliation, or DARK CHEMISTRY because chemists can poison people, do we? Yet I admit the great corrupting potential in this kind of research; I think the name should suggest using it to make our life better, with the full knowledge of the potential to make someone's life miserable.
 
Looking for inspiration in ethical hacking, I propose the name ETHICAL MANIPULATION or ETHICAL REALITY HACKING. People with purely evil intentions are usually pretty dumb. If you start to learn some skills, craft or knowledge, you soon realize the relation between your growing and responsibility. I don't say there are no super-intelligent sick minds in this world, but they are scarce. Usually, all those successful corrupted leaders and organized criminals use the only available reality hack for anyone, including idiots: BRUTE FORCE attack. The brute force is always successful with the only necessary condition applied:
being brute enough.

For my articles, I define my terminology, borrowing some terms from IT, and inflect them for our needs. To be honest, you don't need to know any science to perform mind hacks. As a spooky child, I have been using some kind of mind hacks. Almost every person tries to manipulate people around with varying success. Some people even try to advise their methods to friends, but they usually fail to share their experience - because they measure other beings according to their viewpoint. They don't reflect different needs, experiences, character specifics, pathologies and expectations. Here comes the science to help, developing the research system, analyzing tools and validation principles to make it universally usable.

THE ENHANCED PERCEPTION SCHEME
 

STRUCTURE
is built by elements interacting with each other in a realm we perceive through gaining information about it.

PATTERN
is a part of the structure represented by elements with a shared relation we examine. Patterns may work as a reality program code. (Coders, don't kill me please, I am speaking about reality hacking, not coding. Name it modules, if you like it more). We can analyze patterns to predict their change in time and describe the vector's character and flow. Pattern and vector may be presented as synonyms, but I will use the potential of another variable working with both terms.

Example: She has an observable pattern in her behaviour; going to puke after every visit to the director's office without being criticized inside, but looking perfectly stern and focused after receiving some constructive advice there. We also see a slow change in this - the vector - as she sometimes tries to prevent her puking, staying off consuming any food during her working time with a growing number of days without eating each weak.

VECTOR
is a direction to a presumed future undertaken state of the pattern we examine.

ELEMENT
is a nameable part of the pattern. Element can take variable values. Elements are usually called variables, but we will also need to work with elements not typically considered variables; let's not confuse people who use it in their professions in an exact way then.
 
VALUE
is a display or arrangement of an element in a particular way. It's called array in IT. Unlike in IT, our VALUE might not have a defined range. On the contrary, it often creates a range with its displays. Value is the only informational input perceived by people without any ability or interest in our field. The outputs are given to confront disputed values only, without any attention to elements or patterns holding them.

VALIDITY
is a binary variable. It's called a boolean in IT and can be true or false. Performing any mind hacks, we always prefer to work with the true validity to construct our technique or a narrative to be not easily breakable. Successful manipulators work with elements of true validity injected into corrupted correlations. People usually tend to use lies as too uninventable or lazy to build stronger narratives that survive the fact-checking.

NARRATIVE
is a presented scheme of elements we build with an intention to be perceived in a particular way. Identifying artificial elements in a narrative, we can "hijack it", transform it or move it in any way we like.

Example: A gangster keeps a different narrative about his life story and personality for his grandma, his gang fellows, his wife, and the police.

EXPLOIT
is the weakest or let's say the least consistent element of a pattern. We can use it to hack the pattern.

TAG
is a part of the constructed pattern that is characteristic of a person who built it. It can be created for a purpose or without conscience about it.

Example: Sometimes, you can easily guess a writer of a novel or a composer of a song without previous knowledge of a particular workpiece. "

THERE MIGHT BE A NEED FOR US TO ARRANGE MILLERS FAMILY NOT TO LEAVE THEIR HOME IN THE SUMMER.
EXAMINE THE SITUATION.

PATTERN: Millers family. Their family also performs a value of the "family" variable.

VECTOR: Going on a vacation in summer. A sea resort is planned.

ELEMENT VALUE:  Dad.

Plans the vacation.
Considers the sea resort to fit family vacation needs to be the best option.
A strong force in the vector.

ELEMENT VALUE: Little sis.
Cannot wait to enjoy the see for the first time in her life. Both parents are happy taking her there.
A strong force in the vector. Probably the strongest. Even her brother didn't reveal his stance to not spoil the vacation for her.

 ELEMENT VALUE: Mom.
Supports the vacation but prefers city sightseeings personally. Adapted to supposed family needs.
Possible EXPLOIT in the consistency of the chosen vacation place in the given family pattern.

ELEMENT VALUE:  Son.

Doesn't support the idea of any family vacation at all. Would love to spend all summer cycling with a friend and looking for a girl to date. Didn't reveal his true feelings to the family.

Accused of spreading bad moods, when refused to support the narrative about the great vacation to visited relatives.

The weakest element in the whole structure.

EXPLOIT found.