Few could have estimated that the type of jeans they bought, or the music they listen to while buying them, would serve as a clue to their stance on women’s changeable rights, or immigration. Yet, in 2016, this is just the type of data Cambridge Analytica poured over in attempting to sway ambivalent voters.

Christopher Wylie, the bigmouth who brought the Cambridge Analytica aspersion to light, appear today, at a British appearance conference, that preferences in accouterment and music are arch indicators of political interest.

The data, he admitted, was analyzed and used to create circuitous profiles of the American voter. Voters near border towns, for example, were apt to pay appropriate absorption to letters about immigration. Rust belt voters would be most absorbed in accomplishment jobs, which have been in steady abatement for more than a decade. The affluent would seize on any befalling to talk about tax breaks, and the abeyant shelving of an estate tax they feel punishes accouchement when inheriting passed-down wealth.

This data was later weaponized, agriculture differing avatars of the American action back to the voters who most needed to hear them. The Trump attack had, for the first time, found a way to run a multi-faceted attack with laser-targeted letters sure to bell with the specific types of people it was targeting.

In Montana, voters apparently had little absorption in immigration, a botheration more than a thousand miles away. But those same Montana voters could be worked into a frenzy with targeted letters about the allowances oil pipelines, or an abiding charge to advancement the Second Amendment.

Cambridge Analytica provided the button; Donald Trump pushed it, both in online announcement campaigns, and offline rallies.

But where do your jeans fit into all of this? According to Wylie, it’s all about the story.

America’s oldest brands spend millions to create a anecdotal you’ll accessory with their product. Wrangler jeans adjure visions of a Texas ranch hand lasso’ing cattle before branch in for a hearty dinner and maybe patching that fence under the light cast by his trusty pickup.

Carhartt invokes images of America’s blue collar workers: those decrepit by dust in coal mines, roughnecks manning adopted oil platforms, or thick-bearded, flannel-clad loggers in the Pacific Northwest.

Brands like Wrangler and L.L. Bean, Wylie said, were acerb associated with bourgeois voters. Another accepted denim maker, Kenzo, he says, was more often associated with liberals. These access exist everywhere once you start looking. A 2017 Standford study, for example, used bogus intelligence to actuate a neighborhood’s political leanings based on what cars were parked in front of their homes.

Most worrying, however, is the idea that aggregate we buy, every Facebook Page we like and collaborate with, and every bulletin we put out into cyberspace could one day be used to accept our intent in ways that we, as humans, may not even be able to.

In the age of political theater, this type of advice is used to sway votes and hijack elections, but it’s hard to shake the activity that backroom might be just the beginning.

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