About MARGIN OF ERROR WAR
I started writing the concept for this book 12 years ago, and now it’s literally ripped from today’s headlines.
My professional career was almost 50 years in marketing and communications research, investigating how information influences ideas, expectations and behavior. The more benign applications are advertising and traditional news; the negative connotations are propaganda, ideology and prejudices and of course the new benchmark of “fake news”
My original book concept was about how an adversary of the United States began a long-term plan to infiltrate our businesses, economy, media and communications to sway opinions, influence political policies, and obtain technical/industrial knowledge. A plan that evolved and accelerated with global trade and the new communications technologies.
I’ve designed or managed thousands of studies about consumer and economic markets, communications influences and future trends. I’ve worked for consultancies and global marketers, used Big Data and predictive analytics. And I paid attention to the research I did. I learned to identify the methods and patterns of information success, and also the inherent flaws in all research.
While I was Executive VP of one of the world’s largest marketing research firms, in the late 1990’s, I led some of the first development of internet-based research systems. I marveled at the new ease of communications, response time, and the flexibility to construct unlimited varieties of information quickly, discreetly and at little incremental cost. The internet offered many ways to improve research methods, such more direct access to and targeting of customer audiences Net-based marketing could use micro-tailored messaging, and with near instant feedback continuously recalibrate message content to market segments, to nudge them in the desired directions. The leap to political applications was not hard.
I did not have to invent the concept, there were plenty of clues and factual evidence. But I thought I had a twist about how our adversary was going to be clever and subtle and manipulate the flaws of the United States and Western societies and get away with it. I did not write the book then, but now that fantasy has become a reality. A new war of information terrorism will escalate and destroy unless we take actions, now. Our institutions and governments can now see the adversarial activity, are certain of the perpetrators, but they don’t really understand how the United States became so vulnerable, and almost intentionally oblivious to what was going on every day. As we’ve learned in recent years, Internet-based information can be used for good purposes or for malicious activities; 24/7 information capabilities are far ahead of our systems to control them. . If the people in charge don’t truly understand how and why our adversaries succeeded in manipulating the United States, then the countermeasures and remedies will not be effective.
The goal of my book is to present the historical facts about the decades long war against the United States and Western society by primarily Chinese and Russian governments. But the focus is on the decisive turning point that enabled and accelerated their success that culminated in 2016. Our adversaries learned how to manage our mind and behaviors, all within the margin of error. Our enemy’s success was spectacular. Fortunately, I believe the countermeasures are readily available and simple if we choose to make them a priority with our traditional creativity.