The other day, I was musing about what my personal theory of everything might encompass. I contemplated that it would embrace everything about everything until the end of time and would be fully contained in a perfect computer model. Would not it’s contents then have to be immutable and unchangeable? If so surely it would no longer then be just a theory since it would by definition comprise only empirical facts? As a believer in the Almighty and in the existence of free will I cannot believe that everything from now until the end of time is inevitable and theoretically capable of forecast. Pursuit of a theory of everything comprising only empirical facts must surely be a fruitless endeavor.
With this in mind I recalled that “Brief History of Time“ author Stephen Hawking considered that every event since time began was a result of previous events capable of explanation by science – with one possible exception. Big Bang was a singular event which, for a while, he thought might possible evidence the existence of the Creator. Eventually he embraced other possible explanations and became a complete atheist again.
Did Hawking believe that Big Bang was the only the singular event amongst all events ever —from something as major as the Holocaust down to something as minor as a butterfly landing on a leaf?
Edward Lorenz of Chaos Theory fame considered that a butterfly landing on a leaf in one country creating only a minor turbulence could still have atmospheric repercussions that weeks later lead to the major event of a tornado thousands of miles away. This we now call the “butterfly effect”. If a minor event can lead to chaos how can it be excluded from a theory of everything?
As a human with much greater brain power I believe it is open for me to decide whether or not to take a particular action; which decision might give rise to more major effects than an action of a butterfly. However if why I made that decision is to be capable of precise scientific explanation surely this means that I have no real choice and my belief that I am making a free will decision is illusory.
Am I right in assuming that Hawking would have considered my actions and the actions of a butterfly and their consequences are inevitable?
If any free will at all exists in any living creatures, in my opinion, a theory of everything has to encompass the eventuality of a particular butterfly landing on a particular leaf or not landing on that particular leaf. It would have to encompass both a tornado and no tornado.
A long time ago I was at a debate with Richard Dawkins (author of “The Selfish Gene”) where he maintained that he would need to be shown proof of miracles for him to accept the existence of an Almighty. He gave as an Illustrative example of proof he would accept, a hook in the sky attached to nothing from which, say a truck, was suspended. As he considered that as there was no comprehensive evidence of any miracles ever there could be no Almighty. He has since become in my opinion a evangelical atheist trying to convert everyone to atheism. He recently admitted that belief in religion does improve some people’s behavior but otherwise has not changed his views.
If I now drop a glass bottle on the floor intentionally would Dawkins and Hawking both consider this an exercise of my free will and not predictable in advance with 100% certainty given prior knowledge of everything?
If Hawking would admit it was or could be an exercise of my free will and not inevitable and my decision not explainable by science with full knowledge of all preceding events then all my free will actions are also open to the possibility of having been influenced by the Almighty. If so, Big Bang was never the only singular event that would allow Hawking to admit into his theories the possible existence of the Almighty. For there to be free will there must be no inevitability about my decisions. In my opinion my decisions and of everyone who ever lived are Dawkins’s skyhooks because they were not inevitably connected to any preceding event and could have been influenced by the Almighty.
In any event, I do not consider that only singular events are evidence of the Almighty’s existence. The order in the universe is a miracle in itself and “evidence” for me of the existence of an Almighty. I consider that it is a miracle that some of the particles exploding in Big Bang have billions of years later become conscious me.
Pascal, a mathematician and adviser of wealthy gamblers in the 17th century became one of the founders of Probability Theory. He saw no downside in believing in the Almighty. In modern parlance if you bet that He existed, and He does, you win credits with Him. If He does no, what did you lose?
In summary I consider that theories of everything should acknowledge a degree of uncertainty resulting from the exercise of free will. A butterfly landing on a leaf can cause a tornado and the actions of a few lead to a Holocaust.
If all actions of humans minor and major that have ever happened are a result of the exercise of any degree of free will, a theory of everything would have to be subject to some material qualification in this regard.
Probability and Free Will
I absolutely believe free will exists but is under increasing attack. Ironically these attacks are partly resulting from advances in Probability Theory. Some two centuries after Pascal it led inter alia to improved weather forecasting and enemy submarine location in World War 1. In World War 2 the need for more efficiency in the application of Probability Theory led to the use of the Enigma Machine for decoding enemy communications.
70 plus years later, computer models using algorithms to take account of uncertainties are everywhere in programs for forecasting weather, improving health or combating sickness, forecasting oil prices and almost everything. The algorithms employed may enable predictions to have say a 80% probability of being right. As time passes, new data arrives and the quality of modeling in some applications improves and probability of predictions being accurate increases to say 90%. This reduces the requirement for decision making by humans. Humans are freed to concentrate on the most probable hand in hand with the computer. The continuing data fed into the computer changes the probability landscape and varies predictions and suggests revised human actions as appropriate.
“Chaos” by James Gleick has added much to how I look at everything. He considered that if we are able to understand chaos theory we can understand everything.
With his ideas in mind when faced with the need for decisions I have become used to imagining that I am a Martian observing a particular problem from afar so I can better see the bigger picture and dismiss the irrelevant and then cater in my decisions for an unexpected chaotic event.
Sometimes to help solve a problem I do have to focus in and examine the problem area in immense detail.
A diagnostic program particularly helps a doctor who embraces it realizing both its benefits and its limitations. It provides him a clearer picture indicating probable diagnose(s). making him more likely to arrive at a correct diagnosis and decide upon the appropriate detailed treatment as compared with suggesting treatments without using the program. As the doctor and the computer learn more, diagnosis, probability and treatment can change. A doctor using a Diagnostic Program is far more likely to arrive at a correct diagnosis than the Diagnostic Program on its own..
Personal monitoring equipment can measure changes in a patient’s condition and notify important changes to the doctor. All of this reduces the number of freely arrived at freewill decisions required to be made by the doctor or specialist for that patient. Specialism has also narrowed the area of medicine in which individual specialists make decisions. The equivalent is happening in many fields apart from medicine. The specialist is obviously influenced in deciding his actions by what the program has suggested and will not lightly disagree. However he is expected to use his experience to improve the likelihood of the diagnosis given to the patient being correct.
In deciding treatments with say drugs he may be influenced by pharmaceutical company propaganda. In USA patients are bombarded by the media with biased adverts for treatments that they are recommended they discuss with their doctor. Cynically the objective could be for the doctor to automatically prescribe a specific drug in the widest range of circumstances than to make a freewill decision from a menu of possibilities which might include not prescribing drugs at all.
Subliminal Advertising – Yesteryear’s Concern?
I am old enough to recall reading a number of newspaper articles published, probably well over 40 years ago, expressing concerns that words could be displayed during a film or on a TV screen which appeared for a period of time so short that we did not “see” them yet unconsciously our brains would still absorb their meaning notwithstanding the briefness of that appearance.
People were worried then that an “unseen” advert for say Coca Cola might surreptitiously create a desire in them to buy a can. The purchase that this maybe “forced” them to make would masquerade itself as being an exercise of freewill. Moreover after the purchase they would likely aggressively reject any suggestion that it was anything but a result of an exercise of their freewill.
Subliminal, as opposed to open, advertising at that time did seem to be a major potential danger. If I had contemplated possible use of subliminal advertising for promotion of bias towards specific drugs I would have been even more concerned. In any event I now consider bombarding targets with promotion of particular goods and services bias consumers so effectively that they are blind to their bias and believe their decisions to consume those goods and services are freewill decisions.
Massive Exploitation of the Bias-Blind- Tomorrow’s Concern
An interesting article published on BizCatalyst 360° entitled “Where’s Your Bias Blindspot?” by Melissa Hughes caused me to write this article and update my otherwise forgotten thoughts about subliminal advertising. Melissa also suggests we can be biased yet not realize or acknowledge this to be the case. As should be already apparent I certainly agree.
Today, my concern about the potential surreptitious manipulation of one’s actions is surely even greater because of the extent of information now available online on how specific individuals think. If you know the right button to press you are more likely to be able to cause a target of yours to take a course of action in a way planned by you. This objective can often be better achieved if your target is convinced that the actions he or she is taking is merely the exercising of their own freewill.
All you need to do is merely strengthen the existing biases of selected individuals and/ or to create new biases in them by using online information you have on them contained in a database you able to access in order to develop appropriate propaganda and model algorithmically the probability that, fed that propaganda they are more likely to take a certain course of action. The target may have voluntarily and unwittingly completed one or more customer surveys the objective of which purported to be to improve services they are being provided but which in reality were designed to assist bias creation and strengthening.
In summary, the targeted person will be bombarded online with communications considered likely strengthen a bias to reacting in a particular desired manner in specified circumstances and/or desisting from reacting in a particular way in specified circumstances. This is fairly described as “Bias- creating Technology”.
However cleverly designed adverts can create biases without the very large number of targets realizing.
At first glance a somewhat innocent objective could simply be for the target to tend to buy your products in preference to others. A success rate of say 50% in turning targets into new commercial customers would be considered a very satisfactory achievement. One could argue that the objective would be no different from that sought from an open advert appearing for a product say Heinz baked beans. However on deeper consideration the methodology does appear to be more distasteful. It is one of using data obtained directly and indirectly from, somewhat surreptitiously to create communications designed with you specifically in mind so as to bias you towards buying a particular product rather than in an open advert designed to be seen by a wider audience. However cleverly designed adverts can create biases without the very large number of targets realizing.
Initially, I addess an objective of a campaign that many will definitely find far more sinister than seeking to achieve say more sales of Heinz Baked Beans – namely one of making a selected target more likely to vote for a particular party and/or to not vote for another party with communications that are not subliminal yet still create a new voting bias or enhance an existing voting bias. What is particularly frightening is that afterwards most people will not consider in any way that they are biased and that their vote is anything other than an exercise of their freewill based on careful consideration of all important factors. This is not science fiction but is considered by many to have already happened as I will shortly discuss!
Bias created by Data we know to be False!
We like to feel that in making decisions we are not affected at all by obviously ridiculous sales pitches. Unfortunately this is not the case. A number of prospective purchasers are interested in possibly buying a particular house. The owner decides to quote them a price he puts forward as reasonable but is definitely and obviously excessive. All the prospective purchasers are then asked how much they would counter offer. The same owner decides to contemporaneously quote a truly more reasonable price with a completely different set of prospective purchasers.
You might expect that if you were one of the first set of potential purchasers making a counteroffer you would completely ignore the ridiculous price suggested by the seller. Your thought would be that only result of yours being asked an excessive price would be its absolute rejection from your mind. Unfortunately the average offer in the former case proved to be significantly above the average offer made in the latter case. The ridiculous price had managed to lodge itself in their brains and had created a bias towards making a higher offer on average.
You might think that the creation of a bias to bidding a higher price is only to be expected with a group of lay purchasers. However this also happened in a real life exercise where in addition two groups of realtors were asked to value the same property. One group quoted the excessive price immediately recognized it as such yet that overprice somehow also stayed lodged in their professional brains and biased their valuations as compared with realtors who were not quoted the excessive sales price.
That exercise was conducted a few decades ago. Not exactly a complex experiment yet one that showed how we can be affected in an unexpected way by even upfront spoken or written words with which we have fundamental disagreement and which we freely dismiss yet then make a decision that still has some regard to those words.
If you personally pay more than necessary for a home because you are fed propaganda which you know to be false this would be unfortunate perhaps only from your point of view. As a responsible member of a community however you certainly would be very concerned if propaganda which was false or at best biased was similarly affecting how people were voting
However, are you willing to accept that bias could be created in you which you would not admit even to yourself had happened? I accept that this happens with me. How about you?
Media – to blame for Biases Today dividing Countries, Communities and Families?
My concern all that time ago over having a need surreptitiously created in me for a Coca Cola that I would not otherwise want now seems very innocent. On average I am biased towards buying products and services that are advertised rather than those that are not. Corporations with big pockets for advertising have this huge advantage over those who do not. Mere repetition of adverts can create an immense advantage over the competition. This advantage might not be a concern for most people. However this advantage when considered in relation to voting decisions should be a matter worthy of major attention.
Some parties obtain enormous free promotion from the Media which in some countries is now biased almost exclusively in favor of one particular political viewpoint or another. This has surely ensured their long term separate audiences have also developed in diverse areas of life the same biases as the political party they support. Bias – creating Technology employed in internet communications could be viewed as just another method of achieving this albeit more speedily particularly when used to target those who are undecided.
Even lies or half truths repeated often enough by Media gains to effectively captive audience credibility and has some effect – similar to counteroffers being higher when a property price is overpriced. In the Brexit referendum a sum of £350m being paid to the European Union appeared on the side of pro- Brexit campaign buses as if an exit from the European Union would release that sum which would then be free to be given to the National Health Service. In reality much of this sum already came back to UK and thus the net sum that would be released that could theoretically so applied was much less. Even after the misleading nature of this propaganda had emerged, £350m continued to be lodged in Brexiteer minds as a sum being available for the National Health Service.
Propaganda in support of their chosen political party is put out by the Media. Much of the “facts” contained in propaganda supporting the agenda of one political party conflicts with the “facts” in propaganda supporting the agenda of other political parties. What is a truth, a half-truth or lie would preferably in a perfect world be a matter of open debate witnessed by all.
Instead, in this world increasingly the audiences absorb their separate divergent and contradictory views, adopt them as their own and then believe they have been arrived at freely and based on absolute truths. Attempts thereafter to achieve a common viewpoint on any matter by open discussions between supporters of the various pasties is a virtual impossibility and often the only results of attempts to do this are fiery unpleasant brief exchanges.
Media – Are they Politicizing Everything?
Politics is becoming all embracing. More and more areas of life are being promoted as having fundamental problems. These problems are then politicized as only able to be resolved by government and only if a particular political party party is in power.
Will the inevitable result be to transfer more and more responsibility to government in more and more areas and as a result eliminate much of the apparent need for individuals to think about aspects of their lives and make freewill choices?
In summary, media in many countries has helped to create divided and biased populations where factions not only view all problems as only resolvable by the party they support but also believe that the other party or parties in the main are totally opposed to any acceptable resolution of those problems – Climate change, abortion, Immigration, menopause of women at work etc etc .
Bias-creating Technology- Enter Cambridge Analytica
Media recently has been the only major creator of the biases that are held today. However they now have a potential serious competitor in the creation of tomorrow’s biases in the form of the Bias-creating Technology which has turned the creation of bias person by person into a science with blanket advertising as a result losing some of its appeal and which has diminished some of media’s source of income. Many first learnt about advances in technology for creating biases because of the part said to have been played by Cambridge Analytica in the election of President Trump and in the Brexit Referendum.
Did Cambridge Analytica really swing the Presidential Election?
Have you decided for yourself whether or not Cambridge Analytica had an effect on the result? If I position myself too close to the action it might be difficult to form an impartial view? With this in mind, I invite readers to join me on imagining that we are Martians dispassionately assessing from afar how much freewill individual earthlings really exercise. For the purpose only of answering this question we look at earthling elections where the fundamental justification for holding them is the belief that the way their votes will be cast is as an exercise of their freewill. Please forget for the time being your own political views, wherever they may lie, in considering the evidence.
As Martians, we view “The Great Hack” on Netflix where we learn that Cambridge Analytica targeted a relatively few undecided US electors entitled to vote in a few key locations and successfully persuaded sufficient of them to vote for Donald Trump to have swung the presidency to him.
Objective of Campaign Teams – Creation of Bias pro their Candidate
As Martians, we note the prime objective of each Campaign Team was to communicate with voters via media, town hall debates etc etc to convince them to vote a particular way. There was no desire by any campaign to ensure that all the fors and againsts of all candidates were presented and discussed in an unbiased way. The Great Hack concludes that Trump achieved success by focusing on communicating successfully with only a limited number of swingable voters.
Post Trump being elected you observe most Democrats being appalled at the Republicans’s use of Bias-creating Technology in achieving this result and most Republicans celebrating the result with little concern about its use. You also observe that most of the Media supported Clinton with little positive to say about Trump. Similarly the more limited Media supporting Trump had little positive to say about Clinton.
As Martians, would you not consider concentration of the Trump budget on targeting mainly voters in key locations was an obviously sensible non emotive correct decision? For the Trump supporters to spend funds on say California where a majority would never vote for Trump would be an inexplicable waste of resources.
Would the Martians not applaud the budget being applied in an narrow-focused way? Wherever possible direct communications were particularly made with those online profiled as open to being possibly swung to Donald Trump . They were bombarded via social media with thoughts and opinions anti- Clinton and or pro-Trump which played to existing biases and/ or by repetition created new biases. If Clinton adopted the same approach the result might have dramatically different.
If it is ok for Media to bombard voters offline with biased propaganda why is not ok for the voters to be bombarded online with biased propaganda? Ignoring the rhetoric, would the strongest justifiable complaint on what happened be any use of third party online information to successfully target swingable voters?
After the election, broadcast conversations with supporters of Trump show that in the main they believed that their voting decision was a result of the exercise of freewill and that they were not biased. If that were true then the Republican campaign could be said to have wasted their money on using the technology and 3rd party on-line information was not used to any effect. However the historical success record of Cambridge Analytica in previous elections elsewhere in the world proves that the technology is effective. If so, they did affect the voting decisions of those they help target and bias in the US Presidential election. The belief that those targeted exercised freewill when they voted is at least subject to some query .
Should Bias Creating Technology Use be restricted?
To be effective this would surely require a ban on all methods of identification of those people whether online or offline.
Assuming for the moment that use of 3rd Party databases was to be totally banned for any purpose including political campaigns, should those dissatisfied with any use of the Technology then look to also ensure that all campaigns in future cannot become aware of which voters are more like to be swingable in other ways. To be effective this would surely require a ban on all methods of identification of those people whether online or offline. The ban would include polls which say in the USA establish which voting districts cannot. be swung however hard the potential loser tries. I would expect most would say such a ban would be a step too far and such polls should continue to be allowed. Using this information, Campaigns would then focus strategically. The districts which are secure to them would receive some attention. Districts that cannot be won would receive minimal attention. Concentration would be on voters in swingable districts.
Are the polls to be allowed to ask questions which are similar to customer surveys? If so questions in swingable districts can be posed in various ways and their responses could be analyzed so as to be able to algorithmically shape future campaign communications to better achieve bias to the campaign party in voters in the swingable districts . I do not think we can really contemplate surveys being banned which inter alia also find out voters concerns and facilitate shaping of policies they would like to see.
The response to other potential restrictions on freedoms will also be found to be unacceptable. Are campaigns to be allowed to communicate directly with voters individually? It is difficult to imagine the answer is no.
Are the voters to be allowed to communicate with campaigns? It is difficult to imagine the answer is no. I feel campaigns will then still be able to vary communications to take account of age, sex , where target lives etc etc. That a target is a female aged 50 who lives an expensive street would help shape communications that increase the probability that they will vote a particular way.
Can all of the information campaigns have gathered be stored on campaign databases which automatically includes profiles of those voters living in target districts? Assuming the answer to this is positive are campaigns to be permitted to communicate with the voters online. If the answer to this is yes then communications can be designed as considered likely taking into account polls and individual voter profiles to create or enhance the biases the campaign seeks to ensure exists in Target voters. Target voters could be bombarded with communications in the same way as Cambridge Analytica facilitated. Banning online communications would seem to be restrictive of freedom and biased toward the campaign with the biggest pocket.
Perhaps the only absolute ban could be on acquiring a third database of names and addresses without specific permissions of those on it. Even then could that ban cover the use of profiles but without names and addresses which otherwise be analyzed and summarized to help create useful algorithms?
I believe rather than trying perhaps in vain to ban or even limit abusive use of databases we should concentrate on counterbalancing the bias and sometimes blind bias to which it gives rise by expanding open debate not only on politics but on all aspects of life. That Bias Creating Technology could be harnessed to encourage Open Debate.
Open Debates – Possible?
The decision of a limited number of swingable voters decided who would be US President. Since this was less than 1% of the population this does not sound much like Democracy. Remember Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest. All that was apparently needed for a Campaign was to frame policies to address the needs of the 1%.
Bias can be achieved by bombarding targets with misleading statements and half-truths rather than specific policies. Successfully swinging those voters sufficiently that, when the swung have been added to the rock-solid voters, victory is achieved. Campaigns may seek to avoid Open debates where opposing views can be put forward to them. Does this sound also anything like Democracy? Separate interviews with both Democrats and Republicans on individual policy areas demonstrate bias as strong and without any real willingness to consider any other point of view.
Surely the objective of policies should be to help achieve specified results for the benefit of the vast majority of the population in an acceptable way but which does not oppress the minority. Where ever possible policies to help the minorities and which are acceptable to the majorities should also be adopted. The aim should be via Open Debate to obtain overall approval of policy objectives that are achievable using methodology considered acceptable. Obviously around the edges there would inevitably be slightly different objectives put forward with differing methodology and those slight differences would determine where individuals place their vote. It would be a better world if only a low percentage of voters were incontrovertibly committed to one party.
Depoliticizing Aspects of Life
It is almost inconceivable that we can have a belief held by almost all Democrats that climate change is caused by human action with most Republicans believing the opposite. It has been so politicized that it is now difficult to imagine that individuals have independently thought it through.
Nevertheless notwithstanding the diametrically opposite views surely there are few that would not believe that achieving reduction of CO2 and other pollutants in the air that they breathe would be anything but good and that planting of trees to achieve this purpose and which would also beautify surroundings would be welcomed. No political party will deliberately adopt as a policy a desire to increase CO2 in the air.
Most would also agree that walking more would improve health and life span and reduce the usage of fuel as a byproduct. No necessity to at the same time agree or not that climate change is caused by humans. We can agree to do things of which most people would approve. Improve air quality, create beautiful landscapes and town centers and improve health without needing to agree anything about climate change.
The question I pose is should not those with opposing views seek to find common ground?
If so people need to be helped to recognize their biases not just to a political party but also to all politicized areas of life. I am totally opposed to extreme views be they fascists or communist views but in this article am not addressing their endeavors to widen their adherents.
I would welcome the use of what I have called Bias Creating Technology to locate people who already welcome Open Debate or are swingable to welcoming Open Debate and to enact communication thereafter with them online as part of Open Debate on all subjects in which they are interested.
Bias – a Villain?
Cambridge Analytica was considered ‘villains’ by the Democrats because their Technology helped make the targeted voters biased in favor of Trump. Had Clinton won it is a fair guess that it would be the Republicans and not the Democrats making that charge.
The Martians might ask if the use of Technology to create bias should be deemed any worse than the use of the Media to create the same bias.
Bias always seems to be used mainly in a negative way. Bias just means “inclined to support or oppose a particular viewpoint” – which is not automatically something sinister. If a person is biased to your point of view and/ or to oppose a contrary point of view you would not particularly view this bias negatively. If you were putting to that persons reasons why he or she should support/ be biased towards your point of view support you would not feel that you were doing anything that should be viewed negatively and justify your being called a villain. Cambridge Analytica Technology were using their technology to bias voters in favor of one candidate and against the other. The Martians might ask if the use of Technology to create bias should be deemed any worse than the use of the Media to create the same bias? It is perhaps more effective.
Political Campaigners being biased towards seeking voters to become biased in favor of their candidates are not villains. I would consider it positive if voters and people, in general, became biased to Open Debate on most aspects of life and as far as possible such debates were de- politicized. Politicians should not be seen as the answer to most problems.
Blind bias I do consider negatively. I would prefer to see at the start of a political campaign few as possible people blindly biased in favor of one people and large number of people undecided. My aim would be that the balance with some bias would still want to involve themselves in Open Debate before making their final decision.
Banning and generally preventing the Media and Bias Creating Technology from trying to bias people would give to justifiable concerns on freedom. The aim should be that most people becoming biased towards Open Debates and happy to see major depoliticization of many areas of life.
I do not feel the need to legislate a ban or inhibition of targeted communications with people online on the basis because, inter alia, we would also have do this also offline to try tonbe effective. If legislation is introduced intended to restrict targeted political campaigns it would need to extend to all areas that have been politicized. I believe biased communication should not generally be banned but simply needs to counterbalanced by increased Open Debate.
My hunch that is in the end controls would only be applied to third party databases.
Consumer Bias toward the Best Product
Even if some controls on database use for political purposes for some reason is introduced, surely business databases would be permitted to have biased communications. Can you imagine a business even if prepared to put the fors and against of its products as compared with its competitors would not still be biased towards its own products.
Dale Carnegie wrote “How to win friends and Influence people” which was considered a positive proposition. If you are in business you will want to win consumers having influenced them to view your products positively enough that consumers go out and buy them and not the products of others. As a businessman you would want to target only those people more likely to buy your products in the most cost effective manner. You would not want to throw away money promoting a Rolls Royce to a person who could only afford a Ford.
The result of your campaign could be that the consumers are so biased to your product that they buy your product believing this was a free-will based decision after they had considered all the pros and cons yet the truth was they had been specifically targeted and fed only appropriate propaganda which biased those consumers towards your products. I am not suggesting the businessman would achieve anywhere near 100% success but it could be successful enough for that businessman. to be more than content. His competitors would not be happy since they lost potential business.
It is difficult to imagine substantially limiting a company’s use for its own purposes to sell its own goods and services. If so permitted they in the company name could effectively front sales of third party goods and services to their data base. It may be that although sthe ale of database names and addresses may be banned there may still be many ways available to get round the restriction.
We must take Ownership of Our Decisions
If you a buyer of products and services should you gev worried about the creation of a bias in you by the vendor? If you have been sold a good product you need at a fair price would that not be ok? The problem is that “Need”, “Good” and “Fair ” are just matters of opinion. Transferring the responsibility to government to determine what a person needs, what is a good product, what is a fair price etc, etc might have a different result which is dependent on which party is in power.
You also need to ask yourself if YOU personally want this responsibility transferred away from YOU to government. I am not asking whether or not you believe other people would be better off if they lost their personal responsibility in this regard to government. Remember if you want the transfer your responsibility to government to take place presumably then since it might be long term you also do not mind which party is in power left, center or right.
Similarly your transferring any absolute responsibilities to specialists who automatically have biases carries dangers. In most areas of life you need to take a holistic approach with you stepping back sufficiently far to view problems and opportunities that you are then able to freely make your decision rather than have blindly accepted advice. There are many out there who are willing to help you. If the matter is business related Bizcatalyst 360° can connect you with people who would like to advise you, to mentor you or just think through and discuss problems and opportunities with you. In the end you must put yourself in a position where you are freely deciding and not blindly follow what others with their biases are recommending.
If Open Debate can be encouraged on all subjects Free Will will blossom!