CNET's Farsighted takes the long view on Election Day (Farsighted, Ep 1)
Welcome to the d'view episode of farsighted on scene I'm you're host Eric mak.
In Taos, New Mexico and also joining us today here in the studios in San Francisco we've got Terry Collins from CNet.
And we've also got Bonnie Burton and Kelsey Adams and Stephen Beacham behind the board and as well from Hillary Clinton's headquarters here on this election day in New York City, Tech Republican Dan Patterson is going to be joining us in just a Minutes.
But, to start things off, I should let you all know we're gonna be talking about the election.
What got us here exactly?
What got us to this day in history?
What role did technology Play and getting us to historic election and what role is technology going to play in our democracy going forward?
If you wanna join the conversation as it unfolds, we're on Twitter at CNet and I'm at Eric Semap.
We'll be monitoring those tweets.
There's also a couple of chat rooms if you wanna get in on the conversation at livestream.com/cnet/farsighted And also at youtube.com/cnet.
There's a chat room there as well.
But to get things started, I'm going to take a little bit of a point of privilege as the host.
And do a little introductory rant here to set up our discussion.
As the future of our democracy.
Hangs in the balance.
So I'm gonna start with a prediction, and then a couple of anecdotes, and no I'm not going to pick a winner.
Instead, what I'm gonna say is that this election is historic for a reason that isn't yet being acknowledged.
Yes, the candidates are historic.
But when we look back on the insanity of 2016, we will realize, I think, that this was the first truly online election.
I mean past campaigns were defined by online fund raising.
Sure, social media started to play a major role in 2012.
But this has been a pivotal election in which I submit what happened online mattered just as much, or more, than what happened offline.
Whether it was the conversation and organizing around social media.
Viral videos featuring the likes of Ken Bone and Billy Bush.
Or even the really weird role played by WikiLeaks and apparently, Russian hackers.
Whatever it is, this election has been driven by the internet.
A really weird thing happened in 2016 in my personal life as a result, a lot of my favorite shows, maybe you guys experienced this, suddenly became less enjoyable.
House of Cards and Black Mirror were a little less entertaining because the truth of this election has been even stranger than those fictions.
20 years ago, it seemed like the internet was destined to be a unifying force that would bring humanity together.
Instead, it seems it's allowed us to build ultimate universes and be more divided than ever.
Today we're going to talk about 2016.
Whether or not you guys agree with me that it's the first election to really take pre-place online.
Later, we'll look forward to future campaigns.
You guys see where I'm going here.
Let's say hi to everybody.
Give everyone a chance to say hi.
How we doing there in the studio?
We're doing good.
I brought my Hillary Clinton prayer candle.
I made a. I figure at this point, I will do any kind of crafting that will generate positive vibes towards.
Towards one candidate in particular.
I tried to be objective, but I'm sorry.
Well, one of you guys at the poker table has to show your cards, I guess.
To get things started, let's kick it out to Dan Patterson really quick, if you can do that for me, Steven.
Cuz he's at the Hillary Clinton headquarters there in New York.
We want to find out what's going on there on the ground.
As we're probably about the get the first results back in an hour or so.
Alright so I at the Jacob Davids center here in Manhattan and it's a crisp night.
We can from the west side here we have this view through the glass building Of the Empire State Building and the New Yorker Hotel.
And if I pivot a little bit here, you can see me doing kind of an antsy stand up here.
I'll show you everything except me.
We're on the second mezzanine level and you can see there the media is, my credential stop at that door, the media is preparing to do full on broadcast that starts in about an hour.
Behind me here you can see stand ups from most major news organizations.
We are the press, reporters are down there in the press file.
But for right now we're up awaiting, it sounds like we're awaiting some early ballot closures here in about 15 minutes.
Hey Dan, what's the vibe like right there?
Are people excited?
Are they tired?
What's going on?
Yeah, so the vibe is as you can hear the background, it's noisy and I wouldn't say it's excited.
It's a different vibe from the DMC.
There is a sense of relief, there is a sense of Jubilation.
Here there's a sense of tension but also kind of professional- you know the whole campaign, the Clinton campaign has been very machine like.
They've been very efficient.
They've done everything from GEO TV, that's the get out the vote ground game stuff, all the way to the big data stuff that we've been covering over at [UNKNOWN].
They've done all those things very efficiently and I would say- This is no different.
It's vastly different than the scene at Trump Tower.
I was over there earlier today, and forget about accessing that building.
It is literally barricaded off by massive dump trucks full of sand.
It really feels, and I'm not taking a partisan position when I say this, it feels like the end of days up there at Trump Tower.
Wow Down here it kinda feels like, well the city is sparkling over what may be an early night here.
I think everybody kinda hopes that.
It's so weird to see the Javits Center without cosplayers.
Because I only go there for New York Comic Con, Ss when you show that view, I'm expecting to see at least one Batman.
Is anyone dressed like Hillary?
That's exactly right.
You know, the last time I was here I checked in on Facebook to a DC Comics panel and I think to a Green Lantern event and man, I kinda wish I was checking into that same nerd event.
A different kind of nerd here tonight but it's There's different cosplayers too.
Everyone is dressed up with a different type of costume.
Yeah, I hope there's at least one pantsuit.
I've seen lots of pantsuits.
Yeah, let's see you.
We haven't see you yet.
Our audience wants to see who you are.
There he is.
The stand up.
I need a shooter right?
You can take the tech reporter out of the tech.
I'm still going to wear a hoodie.
I'm not going to wear a mammoth blazer and a college shirt.
I'm still going.
Steven, ask Dan to give his final thoughts of the role that the online world played in this election.
What are people thinking and feeling in Silicon valley.
Hey Dan, so Eric just had a question.
What do you think the final role of the internet played in this election this time around?
I think that in 2008 we kinda had this emergency.
This glimmer of a thing that we call social media today.
In 2012 there was this merging of big data and social media.
In Ohio, famously, the Obama campaign.
In southern Ohio in 2012, the kind of.
They almost knew they would win those last few counties there.
This campaign the role of the internet is paramount not just from messaging and communication distribution that we see in social media.
But with what's called micro targeting and GOTV Get out the Vote.
You know its If you live a swing state or a battle ground state You know the canvassers that knock on your door, you know the mail that comes to your, the direct mail that comes to your inbox, the email, the phone calls, all of that microtargeting, it's very old media kind of stuff, all of that is driven now by big data, companies like L2 Analytic L two let's me, not just look at a model of people like me, it let's me lookup me and see my income level, my social security number, my voting history, and with that kind of data, campaigns can target messaging for individuals, not just, excuse me, not just models of individuals.
So, the role of the internet is that Technology drives everything now and especially the big data.
Cool, anyone else have any questions?
It's funny cuz I was hoping with the Internet age, I would get less mailers.
And it seemed like every single day my mailbox was crammed with a ton of flyers for every single candidate, every single ballot issue.
And we've In California we pretty much covered the entire alphabet that we had to double up letters to get everything on the ballot.
JJ, KK, LL.
It was just, I was kind of hoping, okay, maybe in the internet age I'll just get emails and texts so that we won't have this, but nope.
Still as many mailers and it was kind of crazy how that old school Door to door policy with canvassers still happened so.
Yeah, and in fact it's amplified by big data and social media.
So when I say they can see a profile of you I mean they can literally, I can log in to L2 or another one, Cambridge Analytica that had Ted Cruz's data.
They also did Donald Trump's data operation.
I can log in to a dashboard and look up View.
So the mailing that comes to you, they think three seconds of exposure means enough so that a candidate or an issue becomes top of mind.
They're all about this thing called TOMA, the top of mind awareness.
And Just putting something in your hand, it's kind of the same thing as.
You know you can type a note in Evernote, and it's a little different than when you jot down notes by hand.
That like physical action kind of lodges stuff in your memory.
And the same thing with direct mail.
So the stuff that jams your inbox.
All of that stuff, they hope they get three seconds of exposure so that they can go top of mind awareness, so that when you go to the ballot box, you may not actually know what you're voting about, what you know that you're voting for something that you saw.
And Terri, it seems like more than ever with this election, you've been covering the role that Twitter and other social media platforms
It seems like whenever the campaigns or anyone wants to take the temperature of the electorate, these days the easiest way to do it is on Twitter.
Does that seem right to you?
Cuz how many of us, when we watched the debates, we had our smartphones or we had a screen?
We were on Twitter.
Yeah, we were looking to see what others were saying, and trying to get the pulse, it just became second nature.
We were group watching the debate<< Yeah, yeah.
Cause we weren't alone, we all had similar sentiments that we didn't have to really tweet if we didn't want to, because someone else, thousands, were doing it for us.
Yeah, at this point, I feel like we're group watching everything on Twitter, and Facebook live and whatever, so it's like<<
I don't even have to watch award shows because I know who won, based on what's happening on Twitter.
And same with watching season finales of shows like Game of Thrones or Walking Dead, or whatever.
And I think the big thing with this election and Twitter are that The hashtags that have come out of it, like the nasty woman and the bad hombres and all of these tags that come out, you know, just everything that Trump said.
Crooked Hillary before that.
Everything that Trump says or Hillary says in the debate has turned into some sort of hashtag t-shirt.
It's almost like social media is driving not necessarily the propaganda, but the bite size like, you know, sound points of everything that the candidates have said.
Look at, look what Trump did.
Trump won the GOP nomination using Twitter.
Twitter is set up and then by the time we got to the debates he was knocking the other candidates down, you know.
And then when he was done with that, he went back to Twitter and knocked him down some more and just.
Ironically, Trump has already like basically broken Twitter's terms of service when it comes to bullying and he still has a Twitter account so.
Right, Yeah I mean you think about it, pretty much right?
And then Twitter was big news story this week where his campaign made him get off Twitter for the last week of the election, he was banned from Twitter.
And then Obama's using Twitter, as like, if he can't tweet, if his own campaign can't trust him to tweet, how can we trust him to have nuclear codes?
So Twitter is like such a big argument in this whole election.
The Obamas have actually been talking about.
Twitter in quite a negative way.
I've watched several of their speeches and they keep saying, don't just tweet.
Do you trust a man who just tweets, as if that in itself were bad.
They spun it around on Trump, and I
I can imagine his campaign taking him off twitter, because we kind of missed out, because he would have been tweeting all night about hating everything leading up.
He'd probably be around the clock, campaign if he could, cuz twitter would have allowed him to do that.
He was tweeting at three in the morning or something.
And also you have to keep in mind.
I feel bad for both sides, like campaign People because especially the social media person.
I've been a social media person for different companies.
I know how sometimes companies think of that as an after thought, or a joke, or just an extension of marketing they don't really see it as its own thing.
And in this campaign, I always feel bad for the campaign managers
Who were part of the social media team that have to deal with this and they have to figure out like what's going on with Trump and whether or not, I think they have to keep in mind a lot of celebrities and politicians have an actual writers' room that
That's in charge of their social media.
Whereas Trump, I think it's a lot of just him tweeting.
Him and maybe a couple other.
And maybe a couple other people.
At night, yeah.
When he's lying in bed.
So instead of him thinking of his next business deal or whatever, he turned to Twitter for his campaign.
One thing, I think one of the most Striking things that I came across this year when we all were in Cleveland for the RNC, and I ran into Newt Gingrich.
And Gingrich just flat out said Trump basically won the nomination off social media, and that was something I would have expected to have heard from somebody younger.
Or even that younger, maybe a millennial or somebody like that, But to hear it from Newt Gingrich, it was striking.
And that's one of the things that stands out to me how Trump used the platform, used social media to his advantage.
Well and also-
Terry, I think what you just said Terry is
Such, it illuminates how the candidates really used technology and the web.
Trump would just Tweet by himself in this really raw emotional way.
Where as, the Clinton team had what they called the snack size or bite size.
They had teams that were creating vertical social media for specific platforms.
Just a moment ago, there was a team that was creating Snapchat videos, Instagram pictures, and tweets were real tightly composed as though they were from professional writers.
Because they were by professional writers.
Whereas Trump was just crude and raw and visceral.
Yeah exactly that.
But that's also like part of Trump's charm though for a lot his supporters.
They think he tells it like it is, that he talks off the cuff, he doesn't have things pre-written.
Like some of us, his non-supporters are like yeah that makes him sound crazy.
You know there is something to be said about not having a writer's room.
Like having a politician say what they actually think is kind of a novel idea.
Because most politicians have spin doctors.
Most politicians have writers.
Most politicians don't write their own speeches.
So I think for a lot of Trump supporters it's this is part of his appeal is that you what you see is what you get and that could be good or bad, but there's not a lot of like Spinning going on on his Twitter account.
Exactly, he forced Hillary Clinton to respond back on Twitter.
She had to respond, whereas some of the Republican candidates were hesitant, and by the time they thought about doing it.
It was too little, too late.
He also gave her one of her big social media successes by calling her a nasty woman in the debate.
Suddenly everybody was like, yeah, we're fired up, we've got a hashtag.
It worked a lot better than things they had tried to create.
How quick did that turn into a-
Dan, do you remember that night when It was like did he just say that?
And we had to go back
We were doing a story, and make sure that was said.
We looked and it started trending.
He's like I need to go back and capture that and put it into our story, to make sure we reflected the moment, cuz if you have a good setup you can do so much Nasty one like what?
I was watching at home and I was retweeting that in seconds.
I bought the t-shirt in ten minutes.
[LAUGH] It's just so funny how much merchandise has been made just based on twitter hashtags of this campaign.
Twitter can't make any money off this stuff too.
It's funny because he also got in a lot of trouble for tweeting stuff like
And the past like years ago, right, coz he even said things like the Chinese are a, global warming is a whole part of the Chinese.
And then in the debate he's like I never said that.
I never said that, I never said that, and then everyone is like yes you did here's your Tweet.
That happened to him a lot of times.
The internet is forever I think that's why a lot of politicians are not that interested in posting things on Twitter.
Because they know it might come back and bite them.
Like later in a campaign or something.
But it was almost like I felt like sometimes with Trump it's like watching live action Nixon tapes or something.
Like he's saying stuff that most of us wouldn't think politicians would say, but again, like I said with Twitter, I think he's just writing things off the cuff and he doesn't really necessarily think.
But then again, people really want honesty, and maybe that's what they perceive as honesty.
And Terry, you covered the HillaryForPrision hashtag, you remember that one?
That was an interesting case.
and I looked back, make sure that wasn't a misspelling, too.
But then you started seeing, it was just exploding throughout the day and just And it's capable because they were just trying to find another way.
See if they could take aim, take shots at Clinton.
Look at creativity that Trump supporters are anti-Clinton backers.
The lens that they went through, this is what social media.
Because I really don't remember seeing this four years ago with Obama and Romney, to this level.
[UNKNOWN] You know just really, for lack of a better word, just flat out mean.
From 2012 I remember binders full of women and that was kind of the one thing that took off.
But this time around it's like every single day and the one you were just talking about, the story if I'm correct was they were trying to get the hashtag Hillary for Prison to trend but Twitter had flagged it.
And so then they deliberately misspelled it and got that to trend instead.
Yeah, that's what happened and it turned
Had a good run.
I don't know if you guys have experienced this.
But it feels to me like this election cycle.
We're in the media, so we're probably on social media and different media outlets more than anyone.
But if you go and talk to kind of a normal person who's not in tech or not in media.
I have noticed that after this election the gate keeper for their information about the election is not really the networks or the editors of any particular media house at this time around.
The gate keeper for their information on this election is the Facebook algorithm and that seems to be determining what information people are taking in about this election.
Do you see that too?
Can I just say this.
I don't know if Dan's still around.
He can hear you, yeah.
So a story Dan and I did in Cleveland, what we saw was the transition of I guess what was
What was [UNKNOWN] like fresh row at the convention to like media row, and we saw how much big presence that Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google, how they all had.
So right now they're like working with the traditional networks on this.
Four years from now I swear to you, that Danny Greaves Facebook is gonna be its own network.
Alphabet is gonna be its own.
[INAUDIBLE] They'll call themselves something.
But they're going to be networks in their own right.
If it's gonna be small or if it's going to be the likes of how Fox first started.
I just feel four years from now they're going to have even more of an impact.
I remember you-
And a bigger presence.
I remember you saying that outside the, 4 years ago, it was called, and 8 years ago and actually, 30 years ago, you called it Radio Row.
You'd a, it's like this, a conveyor belt
Of radio station hosts who are all there to deliver the news.
And you know we have guests come in they go down like a conveyor belt.
Now it's called media row.
And I think, Terry, everything that you just said is kind of summed up by that shift that we will continue to see.
It is not just That the old guard might go away.
They're going away and the new guard is here.
They are at the door.
I mean we're glued to this.
I mean, we're not gonna be watching this on our television, it's gonna be on our laptops, our tablets, smartphones, it's gonna be so mobile and so portable.
So, it's inescapable now.
It's going to be more of the norm.
Like last night I watched Hillary's big event in Philadelphia.
It was like thousands and thousands.
I watched that on Facebook live, I didn't watch it on television, it was like staring at a boom watching it.
I mean it's just<< Just seems natural now.
Just how we get all our information, so.
Well, also, like you're saying, the gatekeepers are going away.
So, what's happening with the pipeline in the Native American tribes and all that I learned on On Facebook Live.
There wasn't hardly any media coverage I saw about that.
Seemed like the media jumped on afterward.
You also have to remember media is a company.
All these news outlets, newspapers, you've seen it, obviously we're all beholden to what will do well traffic-wise.
Also, you now have to remember advertising is still always gonna be important to all these people, so.
It is interesting to see how there's more citizen journalism going on, and because of that after it gets a certain amount of trending or buzz, then the major news outlets jump on it.
But, then again, that's kind of the world we live in now, where news is now driven by YouTube captures, and keeping.
Checks and balances with police and politicians and government.
All of this is happening because people are getting out their phones and recording video.
And they're capturing evidence of wrongdoing or evidence of what's actually happening in real time.
It's not doctored video.
It's live, so.
Yeah and so.
Yeah, we're gonna view the [INAUDIBLE] of this where.
You know, candidates can be debating, you're going to have unscheduled unsupervised debates.
Are they like pop-up debates?
Yes, they'll be squaring off with each other whether it be through social media or another media.
It's going to happen, You follow these candidates it's going to be a 24, seven job.
If you thought it wasn't, or you thought it was already enough, you know.
It's gonna be more, it's gonna take multiple people looking at them around the clock.
There was one stretch with Trump, just a few weeks ago where I didn't sleep almost because I'm like [UNKNOWN] the guy.
And on debate night [UNKNOWN] kind of just stayed up because When Trump probably thought he lost he was probably gonna run to Twitter and start saying something.
You know, to add on.
I know there's a lot of tired journalists out there.
I mean here's the thing, I think as a journalist and I think as a journalist and I think anyone that's watching this that's reporting for a media outlet or something, even a blogger.
You just know that it's kind of up to journalists to find the facts in the mess.
Because we're totally overwhelmed with information, with tweets, with interviews, with video.
And it's kind of up to us to go through it all and find out what the mean is.
The why as opposed to the who, what, where, when.
So I[m excited to see how this election turns out, but I think the reporting after the election is gonna be just as crazy.
To see okay, well what happens.
Cuz whoever wins there's gonna be a protest, maybe a riot.
it doesn't matter at this point, people are so amped on both sides that it'll be very interesting to see the outcome, you know, six hours from now.
Hopefully, we're not in an apocalyptic state but you never know.
So, I'm hoping it goes well for whoever wins I hope there's peace.
That's all I care.
I'm not so worried about any riots, any major riots at least but let's look a little further down that road that you were going there Teri in terms of where things are heading.
I mean, If we're looking at future elections now.
Four, eight years down the road, obviously, the mobile revolution and the social media revolution, the data revolution will continue to progress.
But on top of that, four, eight years from now, we could have some pretty interesting things, in terms of Machine learning and artificial intelligence and even weird robotics and genetic engineering.
I mean, these are actually technologies that are Nason right now.
How do things like that begin to play a role on our democracy and how we vote, even just four or eight years from now?
You're dealing [UNKNOWN] but I would go like this.
Candidates are gonna start having their own channel.
Trump is [CROSSTALK] experimenting right, so he's gonna think he's gonna be a pioneer.
Candidates are gonna have their own channel.
They're gonna go on whenever they want to.
They're not gonna have that sit down with [UNKNOWN] or any of the other media.
They're gonna thought and pontificate whenever they want to, and it's gonna be like, either you're on or you miss it, or you have to replay it.
I just you know not so much we're going to be the middle man, they're just going to have another platform to send their messages whenever they want to.
Dan are you still there cause I know you did a lot regards to what Eric was referring to in terms of the bot and the A.I and how that's gonna play a role.
Regarding candidates following a message, I think, maybe, this is the first campaign where we've seen that happen in force.
And, I think that like, as much as we joke now, like Trump may start his own TV network, they are kind of what I was talking about earlier with the Clinton campaign creating vertical social media.
Different, specific platforms.
Just like we saw convergence with the bikers, we will see more and more convergence with media types on platforms.
By that I mean like live streaming, and more immediate types of consumption.
And I think that not only.
Can that unify a base?
It can atomize a base.
And I think that we're seeing that right now with the Republican party, where there are just, and we saw that during the primaries with the Democratic party.
There are under served portions of the bases of both parties that were able to
I don't know, [UNKNOWN] isn't the right word, it's too hyperbolic.
But we heard, we looked under a different part of the rock, if we wanna use the rock metaphor.
And I think that we're going to hear and see things that we may not always like.
And once you've atomized something, can you congeal it?
Can you bring it back together?
Is there any way we can unify people?
Or are you just going to get, especially with algorithms and AI and stuff like, the UN is working with Google to work on more positive search results in marginalized places.
Facebook is doing similar stuff.
Are we going to see AI and algorithms have a dark impact in the future?
I don't know.
I think maybe it may not be as ugly as this election season.
But I think a tone has been set, how far candidates could possibly go, and they'll They'll do heat checks to see when to ratchet it up and when to tone it down.
I think that's where it's gonna go from here on, I think that boundaries are gonna get pushed and stability's gonna have a new term.
So here's a little insight into the dark side of.
Erick is talking sorry.
Go ahead Erick.
So here's a little insight into the dark side AI
Dan was mentioning there.
So this is a study that just came out this week from some engineers at the University of Southern California.
And they used state of the art bot detection algorithms, apparently, to analyze election related tweets.
From about a month period in September and October and they found that bots produced 3.8 million of the election-related tweets on Twitter were 19 percent.
That's like [UNKNOWN] in real life man.
[LAUGH] Just think.
Just think what's gonna be- From here on out.
Hey, so I mean-
Should we cut Dan loose?
Since he's walking around with the phone like this.
[LAUGH] Poor Dan.
Yeah and what are Dan's final thoughts?
Do you have any final thoughts Dan?
Well, this has really been a brutal campaign.
But let's [UNKNOWN] each other.
The only final thoughts I have is that CNET in collaboration with Tech Republic and DDNet, it was just a true pleasure to work with you guys.
Hosting this show with Terry, Andrew, and Maggie at the convention Laura on the cyber security story.
I mean CNET is most well known for technology reporting and I think it was really courageous of everybody to jump on something that is kind of outside of their wheelhouse.
And do just badass reporting all year.
So thank you guys for having me.
And Terry man, go Cubs go.
Thanks man, I appreciate it.
All right, it was a pleasure.
It's been a pleasure.
We're not done yet dude, so.
[LAUGH] All right I'll jump off here.
You guys take care.
All right, have fun.
Talk to you in a bit.
All right, thank you guys.
So, Kelsey, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on where you think the future of elections might be headed.
Well, one thing I've definitely noticed, is that getting my news from the internet, which is what I primarily do these days, is really eroding my sense of what's real.
Because I'm just looking at everything on Twitter.
I don't have time to research it all.
And I watch fake news programs, so I'm used to evaluating something as probably true, probably not true, dicey.
Look at that later.
80% true, but I don't care cuz I agree with them, so that's good enough for me.
And so the effect of that is I'll see something, I'll be watching a news program.
And they'll be like, well, Trump said this, here's this video of him saying this other thing.
And your first reaction is kind of like so it's a toss up?
No, you actually saw video proof of that happening, but we're becoming kind of more unmoored from reality now with this kind of national gas lighting.
But even, not just him, but jus the whole abstract nature of it.
But on the other hand, We did get used to Photoshop.
We did all kind of learn that a photo, just cuz you see it doesn't mean it's real.
And we learned how to deal with that and still make intelligent decisions, right?
So, I think we can adapt to this.
But it is kind of scary.
You pointed out to me, Kelsey, that apparently Adobe is working out an app that could make it easier to fake spoken words.
So it's like Photoshop for audio, like inserting.
Photoshop for audio, yeah.
Yeah, inserting words that people didn't say into like video clips and audio clips and stuff.
Which is, you know, anarchy on the way, right?
I mean Again, we're gonna have to find other ways of judging what's real or what is a sold news source.
Yeah, at this point it's like the only thing I consider real now is live.
So either I'm seeing it with my own eyeballs, and I'm a first person witness, or it's live on the internet.
Cuz I don't know if they've figured out a way to doctor a live video.
Well you can see something that happened earlier, and been represented as a live thing, but then somebody could add spoken words to that.
I feel like they're making it harder for us to determine what's real and what's not, and that's a scary thought, not just for us, but for the courts.
When video evidence is no longer gonna be considered real evidence.
Cuz obviously, doctored photos are always an issue in court trials.
So who knows what's gonna happen with that.
But, I don't-
Heavy pre-trial scrutiny.
That's a problem to with something that That is as important as an election.
you know I talked to my parents who aren't very tech savvy at all and I think that they get the majority of their facts from talk radio which is a whole other problem.
I don't even know if I should be saying that because we're kind of talk radio right now, so I'm being a hypocrite.
But everyone gets their facts from what they think is a trusted source, which may not be a trusted source.
It may be just a very opinionated slant.
But that's human, that's how we are.
So it's an interesting election to see how it's folding out on social media The problem too is that Hillary wasn't a social media star like Donald Trump was at the get go.
I mean Donald was already a reality TV star whereas Hillary was a politician.
And so it's basically seeing a politician go up against a Kardashian.
That's what it felt like for me at least.
Where it was public opinion and popularity were the mainstay of social media, not necessarily facts.
Public opinion coalesces so fast on social media.
We read stories on CNet this week, I think it was this week, about a goat that can predict the winner.
That's right, a Scottish goat.<< So, I'm kind of going with the goat.
I feel like at this point, I don't even want to trust the human, I'm just going to trust the goat, from the get go [LAUGH] From the get-go.
But the sharks picked Trump, though, did you see that?
I don't trust sharks.
I've seen all the Sharknado movies, I know what can happen.
Yeah, there it is.
The shark picked Trump, and the goat picked Clinton, so.
This is what we've come down to now, just talking about sharks and goats because we're jut overwhelmed with information and suffering election fatigue.
Bonnie, I assume you would support a robot funded.
Yeah, I said that many times.
I'm getting to the point now where I'm just fed up with humanity.
Like this is a whole other podcast we could be talking about.
But I you know, again mentioning AI And whether or not we should just give up and let AI take over.
I don't know like I honestly I at this point I'm so tired of the election I'd vote for a self driving car.
I'm just I think robots though are very logical they just don't have compassion but there's something to be said about Of being so desensitized to daily violence and daily everything that we're kind of robotic in a sense.
And we're either overly passionate or we've just given up.
So I don't know.
I don't want my last thoughts about the election to sound like such a downer, but honestly, I want it to be over one way or another.
And I think though seriously though in the near maybe not in the near feature.
Maybe mere black mare future we could see maybe possible elected that's not human that's a robot we just give up.
We just give up to the algorithm.
I know that sounds really futuristic and stupid, but at this point, I have no idea what the future holds and I think humanity better shape up, or we're gonna replace each other with robots that can do a better job.
Well, it better start campaigning in the next year.
Because that's how it's going now.
Candidates campaign for like two years.
So midway through someone's Term.
They're already campaigning.
Is there something we should look out for to see who's being set up for the future?
Can you predict any?
Don't say Kardashians.
No, I don't know.
GOP, maybe Ryan.
I think Ryan's gonna be pushed to Do something you.
He's gonna be like the last man standing.
I mean look at from the start of Obama's second term when the GOP can you think of?
You know what I'm thinking we're overdue for another actor
Cuz we, Ronald Reagan was an actor.
Trump wasn't, Arnold.
Arnold, an actor.
And I feel like-
You're spoiling my credentials.
Trump has a [UNKNOWN] card, I'm sure.
Here's the thing, well, I mean a real actor, not reality star.
I've been binge watching West Wing on Netflix, and I'm like,
God, I would have voted for him in real life.
If Martin Sheen ran, I would totally be.
And then here's a thing, we definitely joke about this, but Ronald Reagan, he acted with a chimp and he still got to be president.
I feel like a lot of people want to believe in-
Kill the debates
People that can make us believe they're president, and in a way, that takes a lot of acting and good acting.
And you have to be personable and you have to be able to have some charisma on camera And even all the way back to Kennedy it was all about charisma and camera.
So I think maybe-
That's why it would be tough for a robot to win, because they might not have charisma.
They might not have people qualities so.
Unfortunately that's the reason people hates Al Gore-
Is they thought he was too robotic.
So I guess that's a good point.
But like R2D2
Too has charisma and like a personality.
That's cuz no one knows what he's saying.
He's just beeping.
He's got attitude though.
Everyone just projects what they think hes saying.
I know that a lot of people wanted to hang out with, a lot of those Cylons, for quite a while.
Hang out, end quote.
That's why his
Like, did you think today too, there was a possibility that maybe some hacking could
Could derail things a bit.
I'm brushing off my high school Russian language books, just in case.
Like, I don't know what's gonna happen, but
I was honestly, I thought because remember the attack that we had a couple weeks ago, where the internet went down, I honestly thought that was a tes run for today.
I thought for sure we were going to be hacked, and maybe I'm jinxing it and we're about to get hacked right now.
Knock on wood.
But i honestly thought that we were going to get some sort of hacking action
Happening during election day.
But, then again, there was a lot of hype and scare tactics going around about that on the internet of whether or not hackers were gonna decide the election in a Mr. Robot kind of way.
But I don't know.
I haven't heard anything about it yet.
There was a headline earlier that
A lot of the voting machines in Utah were offline all at the same time so I haven't hear a follow up on that.
But those voting machines, a lot of those go down.
Utah's like a moderate swing state too so
Well there's a weird thing where they could vote for Evan McMullin the mormon guy who's
Well, all right.
We'll see, I mean at the end of this election whoever wins, the other person's probably gonna say it's rigged, so we'll find out [LAUGH] But yes the internet and like all streaming TV showdown for half an hour, picture the panic.
Or maybe the com.
Cuz we have one hour of no one yelling at each other, but I don't know, like I
During the debates I kept posting animated GIFs of cats being friendly, because I just couldn't stand all the constant bile that was happening on social media back and forth, so I dunno.
Speaking of which, I can bring up real quick, a story I'm still working on today about.
But if social media can call the election.
Still waiting to see on that we've been working spread path insights to get a sense of based on social sentiment from voters can we get a better sense of which candidate may win and One of the things that they've pointed out that this has been kind of like the anti-election and it's been kind of like all this negative sentiment.
We've all been kind of reading stories that are negative.
Suddenly the tide has turned where it's all positive sentiment today because people were voting for the person that they want and the bashing has kind of like subsided because Just I guess you approach a candidate.
And that maybe something will catch on and if they're undecided maybe they'll vote for them too.
I think it's also going to have to do with relief
I will say there was a positive article going around last night that I noticed that was trending on Facebook and Twitter that
Susan B Anthony's grave.
The cemetery kept the cemetery open late because people were putting the I Vote stickers on her tombstone which I thought was so poignant and lovely and cool that a cemetery was like, yeah let's keep it late, open late and let people do this to show their appreciation.
Cuz obviously have a female candidate for President Really resonates with especially us of the female gender because a hundred years ago we weren't allowed to vote.
They were live streaming it too.
Yeah they were live steaming great.
I'm looking for it right now.
So that's actually, I dont know if we're covered on CNET.
But it definitely, do we?
We covered it on CNet but yeah things like that, like I like seeing positivity of just.
Being appreciative of democracy in general instead of having it just be bashing from both sides.
So hopefully we'll see more articles like that of people celebrating the fact that we can even have an election where there's still countries out there that are through so much turmoil and corruption they can't
I found the live stream, I found it.
538, or, for instance.
In terms of?
Have you been looking, like do you have a favorite model for prediction?
You know what.
It's the goat, isn't it?
Honestly, I glanced at both, Sunday, because the Sunday news shows, Nate Silver.
But I've been inundated, now I'm come off [INAUDIBLE] so.
I've been inundated from all the platforms, enemy, stuff and using them in the stories, and things like that.
I kind of relied on them because, they've ben accurate.
They've been accurate since like in with the debates, this thing with Trump.
And then on the Democratic side You know with Bernie Sanders.
And they were kinda like spot on.
And some of that stuff was resonating with voters.
They were doing what they were saying.
With Trump, he was winning.
And he wasn't winning, like, by, it was landslide.
Stuff was playing out in the debates and it was playing out on social media and you thought conversely it was gonna happen maybe to a degree with Bernie.
It did for a little bit but Hillary overcame, pulled it out.
But on social he was winning left and right, you know, the debates in a lot of people's eyes.
It didn't translate to Vote.
But he also woke up voters too.
And I think to that end, the Democratic party is realizing, I guess, what they need to do if they want to try to stay in office.
So these prediction models are taking into account both
The online world we're all participating in.
And more ground based, phone poll based, other factors and other [CROSSTALK].
Yeah, I think they're better than the phone polls, I think this is just pure raw emotion.
Cuz they're telling you directly no middle man.
I mean they're going to Social media.
That's the gift and the curse, maybe, of Twitter, is that you have at such disposal, where you just let out how you feel, right then and there.
And sometimes you may think, why'd I just do that.
But a lot of people were doing it, and it was just changing.
It was impactful, and the only reason why we're here.
I said, I don't know.
When covering the first debate in the fall of last year, and seeing where it's gone now, it's like, God, how did this all kinda happen?
We saw it happen, but didn't think it would just go this far as what Eric said to lead off this show.
You know how you know campaigns are never going to be the same again because we're going to voting is like the the very last step to several steps.
In to campaigning now.
It feels like the worst episode of America's Got
American Idol ever.
Like the worst season.
Cuz I mean, a lot of people are saying too, wouldn't it be great if we could just vote via text?
Why do we have to stand in these long lines?
Even mail voting, sometimes people forget that they're, they can mail in ballots.
They don't do it the right time, whatever.
And we've become a country that we vote via phone.
So quickly that we want everything streamlined like that.
So for me it feels like, I know election is a crazy year depending on how funny Saturday Night Live has become.
Cuz it feels like when I was watching the debate, I was like, okay I know exactly what Olive Baldwin as Trump is gonna do Especially the hovering behind her during the debate and getting close and then people adding the Jaws theme song and I feel like people were starting to watch the debate, not to glean some sort of political evidence of what the candidates stand for, but for pure entertainment value.
And it was, people were watching the debate just to see what hash tag will come out it.
So, it's almost become more of an entertainment reality show which Trump already has mastered with the Apprentice.
There is an actual serious election, like it felt very much like Am I watching SNL or am I watching real life?
And we had that problem with Palin, for sure.
Where Tina Fey was actually doing Palin better than Palin.
I don't know if Alec Baldwin has done Trump as best, I think Trump's still better at himself.
But it's just interesting to me how we deal with stress through comedy.
And sometimes comedy Gives us more information in the actual candidates.
You had mentioned that you watched fake news shows with Stephen Colbert, and I missed Stephen Colbert.
I wish he hadn't gone straight.
He was still doing comedy, because now I just go to other [INAUDIBLE] [CROSSTALK] No no no [INAUDIBLE], no no no I love him [CROSSTALK] But I miss that political angle because he was kind of like the conservative father you know.
And then, we do have like other shows clearly but,
I should have asked more people to consider [INAUDIBLE]
Yeah, I guess I missed when you.
Sometimes humour and comedy can bring out the facts.
You know they can bring out things that we didn't think of or different point of view, so Thank god we have comedy going strong full force during the election.
Because not only does it take off some of the stress, but it also gives us insight into our own human behavior.
But yeah, it's been a crazy election to the point where I'm glad it's gonna be over soon.
People are scared.
People are scared.
I mentioned the apocalypse, in a fun way.
But I mean, I don't know what's gonna happen after the election.
I just hope that people know that this is a democracy and what happens happens because of people voting.
Did you see Merriam Webster's website?
No, what happened?
Or the Twitter header, I guess.
Steven did you see the Marian Webster twitter header?
No I didn't
Their word of the day is [INAUDIBLE]
what is that>>> Basically what apocalypse.
What do they know we don't?
That's an algorithm that picks that word of the day, right?
So, everyone was kind of like, thanks for the help chilling out, Merriam-Webster.
Well, I've kind of got some words of, I've got some words of reassurance.
Some final thoughts but Steven and Kelsey, do you guys have anything else, any final words to add before we go or before democracy ends?
[LAUGH] No I just can't wait for it to be over.
Yay it's almost over
Yeah, a lot of people keep saying that too.
How about you Kelsey, final thoughts?
No, I'm done, I'm out.
Well, I guess
So, my final words for Far Sided today, I guess, are, it does sometimes seem that the internet has not turned out to be the unifying force for global understanding, enlightenment, and prosperity that many gen-xers or senior millennials like myself thought it was going to be back in the 1990s.
I mean, so the internet has always had its Sketchy and more disturbing corners.
But in 2016, I feel like those corners really went main stream, like we've been talking about.
It's like that really terrifying scene in the Ring, and all the internet crazy has crawled right out of our screens and become flesh and blood.
And a couple of quick stories.
I saw this on both sides of the spectrum, when I was in Cleveland, along with Terry for the Republican National Convention over the summer.
While I was there, I spoke with a man who was selling Truckers for Trump t-shirts
Outside the Convention.
He told me about a cabal of secret Muslims running DC, provisions for imprisonment and Obamacare, all kinds of easily demonstrably false assertions.
But you can look this stuff up online, he would tell me.
It's all right there on Google.
And he's right, it is.
But the very next day, I was speaking with some activists associated with Black Lives Matter.
Matter is we're definitely not Trump voters and one of them quickly stirred the conversation toward another vein of easily falsifiable assertions including the conspiracy theory that the world is flat.
And again it is all right there on Google.
So, these are two of the people who are in Cleveland at the convention, playing an active role in our Democratic process today.
And they are being misinformed, reaffirmed of their misinformed opinion and organizing real world actions around those opinions.
And it's all happening online.
And this is to say nothing of the other multitudes of people on the internet, they are just simply trolling, harassing and threatening one side of the other all day long.
And after those two encounters in Cleveland I actually lost a lot of sleep, I mean I was really worried that the internet might be destroying democracy.
So, but then On the final day of the RNC, I just was kind of milling around downtown where the protesters were on both sides.
There actually had been worries in Cleveland that there was a contingent of Bikers for Trump who were showing up to do security.
And there were worries that they might clash violently with some of the anti-Trump protestors.
But there was a massive police presence.
And there were a lot of no-shows by the protestors.
So, to be honest, it actually produced a kind of chill atmosphere in the protest zone.
And so on that last day as the sun set behind Cleveland the minor skirmishes and shouting matches that had gone down had all subsided.
And I was actually drinking a beer at a sidewalk cafe, and watching one of those bikers for Trump play a friendly game of ping pong with and anti Trump protester.
So ironically, after two decades of being a booster of everything online like I've been, I realized That as the online world might be threatening democracy, the truly decent people that most of us are offline may be what saves us.
So one last thing I wanna say.
We're going to get through this day.
We're going to get through this election whatever the result is.
Because it's a lot harder to troll someone offline face to face.
Our offline superego will save us from our online id this time around.
But, we've got to figure out how to clean up our online behavior.
Otherwise, the 2020 race, and here's the candidate's bunny.
The 2020 race is coming between Kanye Race and Clint Eastwood is going to be even more ugly, than this was.
Yeah, I'm already writing in R2-D2
R2-D2 is my Bernie.
All right, so that's Far Sighted everyone.
If you didn't vote, and you're on the West Coast, you might still have a chance.
So, get out and vote, it's probably too late on the East Coast.
So, that's far sided, I hope you enjoyed it, we'll be back next month for Terry Collins, Dan Patterson, Bonnie Burton, Steven Bachman, Kelsey Atoms there in the studio and we also miss you Jeff Sparkman we'll see you next time I'm Eric