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Episode 97
The Doctor's Farmacy

How Your Free Will And Data Are Being Hacked By Micro-Targeting Of Your Personality

Open the Podcasts app and search for The Doctor’s Farmacy. If you’re viewing this site on your phone, you can just tap on the

Tap the subscribe button and new shows will be added to your library.

If you’re using a different device, our show is available on the following platforms.

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When I was growing up we had news sources we could trust. Under The Fairness Doctrine, the news on TV and radio was partial and fair. But in 1987 during the Reagan administration, this was repealed, leading to alternative media and more misinformation than ever before. 

And now with the internet, we are truly in the wild west of sharing information, collecting data, and trying to maintain privacy. Big companies take advantage of that from all angels with their marketing, which is now ultra-targeted (and often in ways you wouldn’t even be able to recognize). Today on The Doctor’s Farmacy, I sit down with Andy Russell to talk about what data really means, who has yours, how they got it, and how they use it.

It’s a scary realization, but computers can know us in a way we don’t even know ourselves. That’s why you end up seeing an ad for the product you just happened to think about. Andy explains how big companies like Google and Facebook access and use our data. We like to think we aren’t easily persuaded, but when companies know our likes, wants, needs, and purchase history it all adds up to an easier sale. 

Studies have shown humans only actually remember 0.05% of our memories—databases can remember it all! That’s how they get the leg up and leverage our data to make money. 

Andy shares so much more fascinating information about data sharing, transparency and privacy issues, and how all of this advertising is impacting our lives on a deeper level. We also discuss if political ads on big digital media outlets should be regulated and how they affect our elections. 

I hope you’ll tune in.

This episode is brought to you by ButcherBox and Joovv.

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I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did. Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD
Mark Hyman, MD

In this episode, you will learn (video / audio):

  1. How much do sites like Facebook and Google watch our online actions and what are they doing with the information?
    (5:48 / 8:30)
  2. Why we have an unregulated internet
    (11:31 / 14:14)
  3. What does data really mean, who has yours, and how did they get it?
    (15:43 / 18:26)
  4. The repeal of The Fairness Doctrine and the regulation that alleviates digital platforms from responsibility for third-party content posted on their sites
    (21:59 / 24:42)
  5. The sale of your information by “Big Data” to Facebook and Google
    (24:44 / 27:27)
  6. How a computer or database can “know you better than you know yourself”
    (31:21 / 34:04)
  7. The current state of our personal data and political digital advertising
    (37:07 / 39:50)
  8. What we can learn from the Rwandan genocide
    (1:02:08 / 1:04:51)
  9. What you can do to know whether you’re being falsely advertised to
    (1:07:08 / 1:09:51)
  10. Should Facebook and Google get rid of political ads?
    (1:15:12 / 1:17:55)

Guest

 
Mark Hyman, MD

Mark Hyman, MD is the Founder and Director of The UltraWellness Center, the Head of Strategy and Innovation of Cleveland Clinic's Center for Functional Medicine, and a 13-time New York Times Bestselling author.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

 
Andy Russell

 Andy Russell is a digital media, ad-tech, marketing-tech, and data science innovator and pioneer as well as a self-taught Behavioral Economist. He has invested in, incubated, or run over 50 technology companies, including Daily Candy, Thrillist, Tasting Table, Idealbite, PureWow, Zynga, Betaworks, Business Insider, Sailthru, RapLeaf and LiveRamp, SpongeCell, AdRoll, and Bounce Exchange. He is the Founder and Chairman of Trigger Media, InsideHook, and Fevo.

Transcript

Andy Russell:
What we need to do is be a lot more discerning about the stuff we take as gospel that we read, that we see in the internet and realize that for right now, for this moment in time, nobody’s regulating it. nobody’s saying whether it’s truthful or false.

Speaker 2:
Hi, everyone. [inaudible 00:00:19] here one of the producers of the Doctor’s Farmacy podcast. Before we get started with this week’s episode, we have a quick word from our sponsor, which happens to be Dr. Hyman’s new company, Farmacy. Thanks for tuning in.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Do you have FLC? What’s FLC? It’s when you feel like crap. It’s a problem that so many people suffer from and often have no idea that it’s not normal, or that you can fix it. I mean you know the feeling. It’s when you’re super sluggish, your digestion is off. You can’t think clearly or you have brain fog or you just feel rundown. Can you relate? I know that most people can. But the real question is what the heck do we do about it? Well, I hate to break the news, but there is no magic bullet. FLC isn’t caused by one single thing, so there’s not one single solution. However, there is a systems-based approach, a way to tackle the multiple root factors that contribute to FLC, and I call that system the 10 Day Reset.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The 10 Day Reset combines food, key lifestyle habits and targeted supplements to address FLC straight on. It’s a protocol that I’ve used with thousands of my community members to help them get their health back on track. It’s not a magic bullet. It’s not a quick fix. It’s a system that works. If you want to learn more and get your health back on track, click on the button below or visit getfarmacy.com. That’s get Farmacy, with an F, F-A-R-M-A-C-Y, .com

Speaker 2:
Hi, everyone. I just wanted to let you know that this episode contains some colorful language. So if you’re listening with kids, you might want to save this episode for later.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Welcome to the Doctor’s Farmacy. I’m Dr. Mark Hyman. That’s Farmacy with an F, F-A-R-M-A-C-Y, a place for conversations that matter and if you care about digital privacy and your data, this is a conversation to listen to because though you may think you’re making choices on your own, you may not be and your freewill is being usurped in ways that are invisible, insidious and nefarious. And the guest we have today is the guy to talk about it because he was involved at Ground Zero, Andy Russell.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And Andy I met at a party a number of weeks ago, and we had a brief conversation that just shocked me and I wanted everybody to hear this, even though it’s not about health and medicine, or food, it is about our mental health and it is about our brain, how it works and how it’s being undermined by various activities that are happening across the technology world that you may not be aware of. And I certainly think of myself as well informed, but I was not really aware of the depth of the use of our personal data against us to make us do things that we think are our choices but may not be.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So Andy is a digital media ad tech, marketing tech, data science innovator, as well as a pioneer and self-taught behavioral economist. He went to Cornell as I did, and he took the same psychology class. He went further with it and I veered off into Medicine. He’s incubator run over 50 technology companies, including many might have heard of including DailyCandy, Thrillist, TastingTable, Ideal Bite, PureWow, Zynga, I heard of that, Betaworks, Business Insider, and on and on and on. He also was a founding partner with Bob Pittman, who’s an incredible brand guy you might have heard about in the private equity firm Pilot Group, and he has co-founded one of New York’s best hotspots restaurant lounge, Moomba, which he did when he was 26, which is impressive. I don’t know what I was doing at 26. I was in medical school. And he’s a chairman of Treehouse.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
He’s also done a lot of philanthropic stuff, working on the board of Mount Sinai Department of Children and Adolescent Psychiatry. He’s on the Advisory Council for the New York Stem Cell Research Foundation and founding chairman of Build New York and has been a keynote speaker at the Prentice School, specialized in teaching students with dyslexia. And he’s a recipient of Networks 2020 Global Leadership Award, on and on and on.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So the fact You went to Cornell is awesome because I went there, and you’ve graduated in Abnormal Psychology. I thought that was a joke in your bio, but it’s actually a thing. We’ll talk about what that means and you also went to Columbia Business School. So you’re a smart dude. And the reason I invited on this podcast was to talk about what’s happening underneath the surface of our smartphones and our web browsers that people just aren’t aware of.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Everybody hears about data privacy, we hear about our 50 million emails, I mean, 50 million Facebook profiles being stolen by Cambridge analytic that’s used against us. And we hear about all these hearings in the Senate and Congress, Mark Zuckerberg and Zuckerberg and Google, and yet, most of us don’t probably understand it very well, including me. So I invited you here to educate me and us about what’s actually happening in this technology landscape.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And the conversation that got me really intrigued was you said that this technology which is sort of agnostic can be used for good or bad to target people using digital marketing and advertising was being used against us in ways that we weren’t aware of for political purposes and that we’re also being used in a one-sided way by Republicans and the Democrats you hinted weren’t up to speed on what they should be up to speed on to have an even playing field. Whether you’re Democrat or Republican, doesn’t matter, but you know, if one political party has a technology, sort of like a smart bomb, that the other group doesn’t, we’re in trouble, right? Because then it’s not a fair democracy.

Andy Russell:
It’s not a democracy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s not a fair democracy and that’s what worries me. And I want to sort of get into to sort of what. First let’s start off with sort of the high level. What happens when we go on our phones and our websites and we’re browsing around and doing stuff like, how much is Google and Facebook and all these apps watching and what are they doing with all this data they collect, like tell us about how this works that sort of started 30,000-foot level because I don’t think people understand.

Andy Russell:
Sure. So, basically imagine you’re your worst nightmare of being watched, every action you do, every feeling you have, any emotion you might have, not just the things you purchased, but deep into your soul, your insecurities, their ways of pulling those out of you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So using your worst traits against you?

Andy Russell:
Well, so it’s just technology, right? It’s just tech. So there is a parallel universe where the internet knows so much about you that the internet knows the things that you want, should want, will make you happier, have a more joyous life and have less frustrations. There’s a parallel universe.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That sounds good.

Andy Russell:
Yeah, it sounds amazing. And this is what we were trying to build, like all of us, who’ve been part of building the infrastructure of the internet and digital technologies. Imagine a world where companies create services and products that are very valuable to segments of the population. And segments of the population have needs, desires and wants. And there’s a connectivity for a curation, where it’s easy for those consumers to find those things that they want, making their life better and easier and it’s easier for companies to find those consumers, making their businesses grow with less cost, less inefficiencies. That’s what we were trying to build, like really trying to build.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, so if I create my broken brain docu series and I want to share with people on your Facebook ads, I can actually get it to people who might be suffering and benefit from it.

Andy Russell:
100%.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s a good thing. Not bad. We do that. I do that.

Andy Russell:
I mean, 100% like you actually provide real value to real people and there are real people out there who maybe don’t know that you exist, but once they found out that you exist, their lives would be better.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Okay, that’s fair.

Andy Russell:
That’s fantastic. Now, the flip side of that, is we do live in a capitalist society, and I’m fine with capitalism, but-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
As a venture capitalist, you’d imagine you would be.

Andy Russell:
Yeah. And I believe in hard work, right? And competition and that hard work and competition and capitalism drives some innovation, right? But when greed and power overstep their bounds, the same technologies that could be used for very good purposes, right? Satisfying needs of people, lowering their anxieties, making them overall happier and less angry, less frustrated, less hate. The same technologies can tear us apart.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And make us paranoid of those around us and we’ve seen it. So, this isn’t a new thing with sociology or anthropology, you see it all throughout history.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. I mean, you have demigods and I mean, you can activate people like Hitler did, and there’s the propaganda films in more crude technologies, but now-

Andy Russell:
This is just propaganda on steroids.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And opposed to a single message going out to a greater population. It’s going directly to you because in your newsfeed or the ads that you see or the content that you see, whether you put a search into Google or you’re flipping through your Facebook feed, your Instagram feed, your Snapchat feed, anything, it’s personalized to you, right? Now, once it’s personalized to you, well, obviously, those big tech companies know a lot about you. In a perfect world, that’s great. You have a personal curation service of valuable information to you. But in an imperfect world, which is what we obviously live in, it turns into manipulation and it can get so dangerous and it already has, in a way that it turns into almost hypnotism and brainwashing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right. So here’s the thing when you’re advertising, when there’s an ad on TV or there’s a radio ad or there’s an ad on a podcast, you know you’re being sold to.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s pretty obvious.

Andy Russell:
100%.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, this is ads masquerading as news, right? This is insidious ways of communicating that you don’t know you’re being targeted.

Andy Russell:
It’s not only ads. It’s-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s content.

Andy Russell:
It’s content. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s that news article that seems like it’s an authentic news article.

Andy Russell:
100%.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But essentially the-

Andy Russell:
100% because anybody can put up a website.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Andy Russell:
And can put up a Facebook page.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Andy Russell:
Or it can put up a Twitter handle or a LinkedIn page or an Instagram page and all of a sudden can put a name to it that sounds somewhat official, and can start making up their own news.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, and this has sort of become completely unregulated because we didn’t really understand that this was going to be a problem.

Andy Russell:
There’s been zero time to regulate it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s like it happened so fast that people don’t even know what’s going on, right?

Andy Russell:
Not a clue and what’s very upsetting, at least to me seeing that, I’ve been in this industry for over 20 years, specifically in this industry.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Digital ads and marketing.

Andy Russell:
Digital ads, targeting, yeah, persuasion, but more around advertising to get people to buy certain things. The laws that were written for television and for print and for radio don’t apply to the laws that are written for the internet, so we’re completely in the wild, wild west and to make matters worse, people who make those laws and who have a policy are not digital natives in the slightest.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Otherwise, the 60-year-old lawmakers didn’t grow up with technology.

Andy Russell:
And don’t have a clue how the algorithms work.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Andy Russell:
And Zuckerberg’s Senate hearing, what was it like two years ago?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Being somebody who like clearly, I go hands on keyboards, I look at the dashboards, I know exactly where everybody is, what they’re doing, how to target. It was painful to me to watch the senators ask questions because it was so blatant that they were just completely clueless. Now, I don’t blame them for being clueless. That’s not what they’re experts at, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
It’s kind of like having regulators looking at astrophysics or satellites or rockets and the technology behind it, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Andy Russell:
Or the mechanics of a car, like I can’t build a car.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Andy Russell:
I have no idea how to go in there and make a car work. And to make things worse, a lot of the journalists who covered the space aren’t real experts in the tactical aspects of how information flows, how data flows and so they get stuck using big words that I’m sure everybody listening to this has heard the term big data lots of times.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. What does that mean?

Andy Russell:
They don’t really know what it means?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Algorithm. Okay, cool, but what does it really mean?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Really mean, right.

Andy Russell:
Machine learning. Interesting word, but what does it mean?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
AI.

Andy Russell:
Artificial intelligence, woo, sexy word, cool. What does it mean?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, tell us. What do you think it means because I’m hearing things and I don’t know if they’re accurate or not, but I mean, I heard one woman give a talk and she said, “There’s up to 3 billion data points on every person that these companies collect all of our activities, where we shop, where we go, they have location, tracking on our phone, they know where we are.” There’s geo targeting. They can literally ping people’s phones if they’re at a rally and be able to then target them later.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
You’re on your phone, all of a sudden you’re talking to a friend about something and then some ad for that thing you’re talking about pops up in your phone. Are they listening? Is iPhone listening? Are Google and Facebook selling your data to third parties that are using it against us or third party who’s selling it back to Google and Facebook, like what’s happening.

Andy Russell:
Sure.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I read the other day that when you go to WebMD, WebMD sells the data on what you’re searching on if you have heartburn or you have cancer or you have constipation or a headache, it sells that data back to Google and Facebook, which then can use to target you and that just seems like a real invasion of privacy.

Andy Russell:
All right, so let’s break some myths here.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay, go.

Andy Russell:
Hardcore, just break some myths. So number one-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
By the way, I’m a doctor, I’m thinking not about technology, so I’m here like with everybody listening, trying to figure this out, so that’s why I brought Andy.

Andy Russell:
So let’s have fun. What’s data? Like literally, “Oh my god, they have all my data. Oh, we should have data rights and data privacy.” Like what kind of data are you talking about?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Only that I searched for vacation in Mongolia, that I wanted to buy a new iPhone, whatever, right? They know that.

Andy Russell:
Okay, so let me just break it down. All right. So now every morning or so, you get a piece of maybe two or three or four pieces of direct mail, snail mail, the old fashioned stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, yeah.

Andy Russell:
In your mailbox, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The ones I don’t open and throw in recycling?

Andy Russell:
Yeah. So, there’re 10,000 direct mail campaigns, different campaigns that happen every day in this country. I’m assuming you don’t get 10,000 pieces of direct mail.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-mm (negative).

Andy Russell:
You ever wonder why?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Because they know shit about me.

Andy Russell:
Because they know a lot of shit about you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Like a lot, right? So, since the birth of the credit card and even before then, okay, there’re big data companies. Companies such as Experian, Epsilon, Oracle, Alliant, lots of them, okay? And what they’ve done for decades is against you as a persona.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Your profile.

Andy Russell:
Right. Create a profile on you, but how the hell does some company, which is just like a company, with the name like Epsilon.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They buy.

Andy Russell:
They buy what?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Your data.

Andy Russell:
From who?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
From?

Andy Russell:
All the credit card companies.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
So every credit card company sells companies like Axiom, Experian, Epsilon information on every purchase you’ve ever made with those credit cards and this has been going on now for decades.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Like my wife buys all these cat toys and cat things and cat exercise wheels and so she gets targeted all the time with cat stuff.

Andy Russell:
No, but let’s come back to the old fashioned stuff for the internet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Because this is not like a new phenomenon.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, it’s just word, dangerous.

Andy Russell:
So, who else sells this information to the big data companies? The banks, like you have your money in the bank, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andy Russell:
So all that information, your tax records, how much money you make, how much taxes-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The IRS sells your tax data or no?

Andy Russell:
All of it is sold to the big data companies, all of it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
How do they even sell your tax return data?

Andy Russell:
Most of it is put on public record. That stuff and then-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, how come we don’t have Trump’s tax returns?

Andy Russell:
Good question. That I can’t answer. I can’t answer that. But what airlines you fly.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
That you went to Cornell?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
That you’re a doctor. Every address you’ve ever lived at, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And then what they do, because they’ve got hundreds of thousands of individuals, that they have that level of detailed data on.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Millions.

Andy Russell:
So that’s the kind of data we’re talking about for offline stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Right? Then you can append to it like, oh, what television shows are watched in your home. That’s good, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
What kind of car you drive.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
How long you’ve driven the car, might you now be in the market for a new car?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Because we know that you have whatever kind of car and you’ve been driving it for that amount of time.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The lease is up soon.

Andy Russell:
And you’ve only bought tires, like six years ago, and you had your oil changed. I mean, they know everything.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
So then the data companies take all these personas of people, individuals, human beings, and all this, let’s stop calling it data, information about these people, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes. Okay. Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And run what’s called predictive models against these people. And say that there’s like 50,000 people who have like 60% of the same purchases that you’ve made for the past two years. And then of those people the next purchase they made, they went on to get an Amex Platinum card.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
But you haven’t yet gotten your Amex Platinum card.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
So if you model all this purchase behavior off of all these people who have similar purchase, upbringing, educational income levels as you, now it’s worth sending you a piece of direct mail, offering you the opportunity to get-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
An Amex Platinum card.

Andy Russell:
And Amex Platinum card, and by the way, that piece of mail costs 72 cents.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, it’s a lot.

Andy Russell:
A lot. It’s a fortune to get to you. And the estimate of the industry is that only you’re like, “Oh, I throw it away, I throw it away, I throw it away,” 2% of the time, you open it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It gets opened. Yeah.

Andy Russell:
2%. So, if it’s 2% of the time and it costs 72 cents, that means to get you to open that is $35.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Holy shit, that’s a lot of money.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Per person?

Andy Russell:
Per person. So now you can extrapolate, if I have a lot of information on someone, a lot and I compare it to a lot of information on lots of other people, and therefore I can predict what your next purchase might be.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Therefore, it’s worth $35 for me to get that piece of mail in your hand and for you to open it up, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And the number of-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And this is all analog. You’re not even talking digital yet.

Andy Russell:
I’m just talking analog because this is the birth of the whole thing.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. So they know how to do this, they’ve been doing it for years and then the digital revolution comes along and all of a sudden-

Andy Russell:
Everybody freaks.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s like a million X on that.

Andy Russell:
Everybody freaks. “Oh my God, my data, my personal data. Holy cow. People know stuff about me.” Really?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, they did, but you weren’t getting newsfeeds that were fiction.

Andy Russell:
Correct.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right. You weren’t getting some fake newspaper in your box.

Andy Russell:
That’s where it got really bad.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right. And I think I just want to back up a little bit because most people don’t realize that there was sort of a pivotal moment in the media with the repeal of the Fairness Doctrine. The Fairness Doctrine was a regulation law that basically mandated that all news was fair and was honest and equal. And that’s when you had you know, Walter Cronkite, Dan Rather, Tom Brokaw, Peter Jennings, ABC, CBS, NBC, that was it. There wasn’t CNN, there wasn’t anything, right?

Andy Russell:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I remember those days because I’m that old.

Andy Russell:
I remember those days.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And you could trust it. They were trustworthy. It was fair, impartial. That got repealed under Ronald Reagan.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And that led to the birth of alternative media and Fox News and other channels of distribution information, so that all of a sudden now when you read the news, it may not be news. I mean, I used to live in China and it was a totalitarian state where the People’s Daily was fiction.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It was fiction. And what people mostly did with it was wipe their butt because they didn’t have toilet paper, which is probably the best use for the People’s Daily. So I think that’s actually happening now, but we don’t know it.

Andy Russell:
But that’s also-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
People knew that the People’s Daily was fiction. Chinese citizens understood that it was propaganda.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But we don’t know that anymore.

Andy Russell:
Yeah. So, I’m forgetting the date, it was either 1995 or 1996, there was an article put into, I think, the Communications Act that said that any digital platform, that digital platform that has content on it that is provided by a third party, the platform itself is not responsible for the content that is on the platform.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So Facebook puts up a jihadist post and it’s not responsible for that.

Andy Russell:
Yes, and by the way, it’s like a 16-word article in the top.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s some obscured regulation.

Andy Russell:
That’s it. And that’s the loophole that protects Facebook, Google, or any digital publisher that takes third party content. That’s it. And if it weren’t for that one little article in that in that document then Facebook would be responsible for its own content.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But what’s really concerning, though, it’s not that that third parties put stuff on Google and Facebook and other digital platforms, is that then those platforms, Google and Facebook and others, sell our data to third parties.

Andy Russell:
Oh, it’s worse than that. Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
To other groups that may use it for good or maybe for bad?

Andy Russell:
They’re not really.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No?

Andy Russell:
Not really. So what happened in 2014, okay? So think about it. You log on to Facebook with one email address, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Andy Russell:
But you probably have like four or five or six different email addresses over your lifetime.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Right. And you log on to Google with an email address, but you probably had six or seven different email addresses.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And same thing for YouTube and same thing for Instagram.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sure.

Andy Russell:
Okay. So in the years, kind of 2013, 2014, and 2015, all these big data companies, the one I just told you about that we’re buying all your credit card information, all your financial information, your travel information, they started it’s called appending to your file, adding to your file, all of your email addresses.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
All of them, right? So in 2014, all of the big data companies then-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Who were analog and then got digital.

Andy Russell:
Who were analog went to Facebook and went to Google and because Facebook owns Instagram, same thing with Instagram and because Google owns YouTube, same thing with YouTube, if the email address that you logged onto Facebook with, the data companies had as one of their seven email addresses, they were able to find you and they sold all the data, your offline data behind the scenes to Facebook and to Google.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So it was like a swap. It’s a big data swap.

Andy Russell:
No, it was a cash sale, 25 million.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
When they sold it, but it was basically Facebook and Google gave them their digital data.

Andy Russell:
No, they didn’t.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They didn’t give them the emails?

Andy Russell:
No, because remember, you logged on to Facebook with one email address.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
If data companies had that email address as one of their seven, right? They were able to find you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And it was financial transaction.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
The data companies sold to Facebook all of the offline data on you plus up to six additional email addresses on you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay, so this is just fine if that information was being used to better curate what we think we might like, right? Because I don’t mind getting ads about things that I might want to buy that I didn’t know about, right?

Andy Russell:
Right.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I can sort of sift through that. But what’s really happened and what I really want to get into now is the political piece of this. So there’s a movie called The Great Hack, which I’m sure you saw and know about.

Andy Russell:
I did a screening of it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And did a screening of it. It’s on Netflix. For those who haven’t watched it, please watch it.

Andy Russell:
It’s a must watch.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But essentially-

Andy Russell:
It’s like a must, must, must, have to watch for any human being in society who cares about how they make decisions and how we’re influenced by good or bad actors?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, so this is really important. Listen, I agree. Everybody should watch it. And the reason it was so disturbing to me because I understand the food system really well and I understand how they use their tactics, which I wrote about in my book Food Fix coming out in February 2020, how they use their tactics to drive our eating behavior and our food choices and the food that’s grown and all of that. And I think that’s one of the biggest threats to humanity in the planet today.

Andy Russell:
I agree.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But when I started learning about what’s in The Great Hack, when I heard this woman, Brittany Kaiser give a talk, and talking to you, I was like, “Wait a minute. There’s another big threat that is not so obvious.” Everybody understands it.

Andy Russell:
Made even worse.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
People drink Coca-Cola and we get that it’s not great for you, right? But this is invisible for most people.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We kind of know that we get curated ads and stuff, and we’re sort of aware of it, but what this movie highlighted was how this company Cambridge Analytica created a personality typing, based on all these data points, whether it’s 3 million or 3 billion, I don’t know how many it is, but there’s a lot of information on us from all these sources, from analog sources, from the digital sources from every activity we do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, I went on my iPhone and like you can stop the tracking of your phone because they track your phone and what you go on and then they target ads to you and then they sell that. I don’t know if iPhone is listening or not to us, it seems like it is sometimes and they sell that data to Google and Facebook. I don’t if that’s true, but I heard that somewhere. And what’s concerning me is and then they use it for more nefarious purposes. It wasn’t selling you a new jacket, a new shoe or something you might like, it was selling you political ideas.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it was using the personality typing to target messaging.

Andy Russell:
And it’s not just political ideas, it is seeding a fear inside of your head.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And then it is watering that seed of an idea, fertilizing that seed of an idea, surround sounding you in an echo chamber, reverberating that fear back into your head until you take an action.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Exactly. Yeah, that’s what was striking to me was that they know us better than we know ourselves. They know our weaknesses and fears and insecurities better than we know them and they use that data to create customized messaging to manipulate our behavior, so that free will becomes a fiction.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then they’re doing this not just in the last election where they created campaigns targeting, for example, certain voters with certain weaknesses to get them to shift their allegiance, but they’re doing this globally. And so they’re activating despots all around the world and I don’t understand their motivation or what their motivation was to start to put in right wing despots and fascists across the globe, but that’s what they’ve done. And then they’ve also activated-

Andy Russell:
Are you speaking just about Cambridge Analytic?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, that’s all I know about. I’m sure there’s more going on and I don’t know about it, but what struck me really was that, that they were able to activate different groups. So, in other words, that there’s a riot of African Americans and white supremacists that show up in a certain place at a certain time, it isn’t spontaneous. It literally can be orchestrated and people can be driven to show up to activate those riots or those conflicts that are manufactured that then create a whole downstream set of consequences that are not good.

Andy Russell:
Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, that’s terrifying to me. And people who show up at those rallies, “This is my idea. This is my belief. This is what I feel,” but it turns out it may not be.

Andy Russell:
So nobody wants to think that they are influence-able or persuadable. We like to think that our brains are so magnificent and we have freewill and we make our own decisions and we’re rational human beings, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Well, so a really famous psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, who actually won the Nobel Prize in Economics based on something called cognitive biases, insecurities and how we make decisions. He said something at a speech once that really freaked me out. He said, “The human being remembers about 0.05% of their memories, 0.05%.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Of their memories?

Andy Russell:
Yeah. And a memory is a period of time, moments of time that are defined as three seconds intervals, right? Because that’s how long it takes for the neurons to actually fire and create a memory, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Three seconds. If we’re only remembering 0.05% of all of our memories and all the actions we’ve done, a computer database that remembers all of it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
All of it.

Andy Russell:
Including yes, where you take yourself, right? As you go on an Easy Pass, as you use Google Maps, plus all your offline purchase data, everywhere you’ve ever lived, everywhere you’ve ever had a meal.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
To go buy, yes.

Andy Russell:
Yep.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Coffee at Starbucks.

Andy Russell:
Yep. What are the vitamins you take, everything like that plus it’s studying what content you read, what videos you watch, what magazines you subscribe to. Holy shit. So now, it’s like, “Wait a second. What do you mean Google or Facebook or YouTube knows me better than I know myself?” Well, excuse me, Mr. or Mrs. human being, you only remember 0.05% and the computers, the databases, remember all of it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And therefore, as they’re sending that stuff, it becomes very easy, scarily wickedly easy to tap into your insecurities and your fears, by playing you information that they already know will rattle you and trigger you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. And it’s one thing, they’re selling you some stuff to buy, it’s another thing if they’re selling you political ideology or hate.

Andy Russell:
Or hate or fear.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Or fear.

Andy Russell:
And I’ll just give you a really nice example. And by the way, I consider myself a centrist when it comes to politics, right? I’ll give you a really good example. I’m a hard working American, right? I live in Texas, right? And I have kids and I have to clothe them and medical expenses and all that and I’ve worked my butt off for years, right? I’m trying to save a little bit of money for retirement, but I’ve got like another 12 years of work. And then I just have to say to you, the immigrants are coming across the border, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They’re going to take your jobs.

Andy Russell:
And they’re going to take your job. Well, that’s my greatest fear that I’m going to lose my job and not be able to take care of my family.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Like that’s a real fear of mine, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The aliens are coming.

Andy Russell:
100%, but not just as they’re crossing the border, they’re coming for your job. And now let’s just say they’re coming across the border, they’re going to have no money and they’re coming from violent places, now they’re going to do violent things to your family. Well, that’s another real fear of mine and those are legitimate fear, right? I want the safety for my family. I want to have my job to be able to take care of my family. So it’s very, very easy to use fear tactics around things that aren’t true. It might be a little bit true. It might be like a small chance of being true, but like, ha.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, I mean, I remember the rally, the white supremacist rally in Virginia. It’s like, the white supremacist were yelling, “Jews will not replace us.” And I’m like, “Wow, well, first of all, there’s not that many of us.”

Andy Russell:
Jews? We’ve got Jews-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I like, “What?” And I’m like, “We probably know what those jobs are, we’re not going to do those jobs, whatever.” Like I don’t understand.

Andy Russell:
So here, it’s Jews will not replace us, right? And then it was immigrants will not replace us. And then in Europe, it’s Muslims will not replace, right? Holy cow. Others are coming to take away what’s mine and I’ve worked really hard for. The psychology-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s just one example of a whole series of things. It’s not just people who might not be worried about their job, but there’ll be other ways of targeting fears and insecurities around political action. So the defeat of Crooked Hillary, whether you’re for or against Hillary or not, the methodology that was used was to target Hillary voters, people who were for Hillary with information, misinformation, to actually sway those voters to not vote for Hillary, you stay home or vote for Trump.

Andy Russell:
Hillary’s running a child sex slave operation out of a basement of a pizzeria.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I remember that.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That was that wasn’t true?

Andy Russell:
Actually, so I follow up on all this stuff, right? And people went to that pizzeria to free those poor children.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes.

Andy Russell:
And there was no basement and there were no children, but damn, does that work.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It works, right.

Andy Russell:
Holy and it was just completely false, like completely false.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So where are we at now, because if this is happening.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
We’re facing another election.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And one of the things you said to me was that, one team, the Republican team understands this technology, knows how to use it, and the other team, the Democrats don’t really know what’s going on.

Andy Russell:
Right, so what we’ve discovered-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so we’re facing an election coming up, which we think is about representing democracy.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But it has turned into a little bit of a totalitarian process.

Andy Russell:
Yeah. And by the way-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Is that overstating it?

Andy Russell:
That’s understanding it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay. Well give us the real deal there.

Andy Russell:
Right. So what we’ve discussed so far, is we’ve now changed this term data to being just information about you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Your personal information.

Andy Russell:
And that just like everything you’ve ever done and everything you read, and everything you care about and just information about you. It’s not data. It’s just like everything about you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But who owns that we thought we own it, but we don’t own it.

Andy Russell:
We’ll talk about that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay.

Andy Russell:
We’ve never owned that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right. We’ve never owned it, but now we want to own it.

Andy Russell:
So that’s a whole other conversation.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
So we’ve talked about the big tech companies, okay, knowing a lot about you, like a ton. And then we talked about psychologically driven advertising messages, which are political advertising, right? Trying to convince you to have an idea, do something vote. And then we spoke about the fact that it can be just totally made up bullshit stuff, because we know that it will resonate, nauseate you at the core.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Slave trade in a pizzeria, right.

Andy Russell:
And by the way if any of that were true, it should nauseate you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Of course.

Andy Russell:
Right? And by the way, people really were coming to take your job and do damage to your family and Hillary really was running a child sex slave thing in a pizzeria. Like, yeah, this is all real stuff that you should be concerned about. Now, we’ve discussed like the fakeness of it, right? And by the way, who would I be targeting that Hillary sex slave stuff to?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Hillary voters.

Andy Russell:
Well, not just Hillary voters. How about people who have good morals and ethics and really care about ending sex slave or who run orphanages or who are teachers, or who care about real humanitarian stuff. Well, if I can actually convince these people that Hillary’s really running a sex slave operation then there’s no way in hell they’re voting for Hillary.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it shows up not as an ad, it shows up as a news story.

Andy Russell:
And that’s the whole point. It shows up as like 30 different news stories across 30 different sites. Therefore, it validates one or the other.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Who’s writing this nonsense.

Andy Russell:
People get hired because people are greedy and people who want to win elections.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They’re hired by political parties?

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
With all the donation money in there.

Andy Russell:
Who are not necessarily the political parties, right? So like-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Super PAC.

Andy Russell:
Yeah, or super PACs of or people who just want one candidate to win really, really badly, so they’ll just put their own money up and just become journalists. But like journalists that publish fake stuff, I mean, just completely fake.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Like the alien Martians have landed in Kansas in, I think, the National Enquirer.

Andy Russell:
Really?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
All right, so we discussed-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That Brad Pitt is actually a Martian?

Andy Russell:
He’s that?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
No.

Andy Russell:
So we’ve discussed all kind of that which is kind of like the basics underlying on it. So why are the Republicans so damn good at it and the Democrats are so damn bad at it, right? Now let’s get away from the fake news part. Let’s just talk about like political advertising.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes.

Andy Russell:
All right. Every political year, over the history of politics, over a billion dollars has been spent on political advertising on television. It’s a lot of money, like a lot of money, right? So seeing that the Democrats or Republicans, now literally forget about the fake stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And that was interesting during the last election for President, the Democrat Hillary spent far more than Trump on winning but lost.

Andy Russell:
On television.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes.

Andy Russell:
So-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then Trump spent like 50 million on Facebook ads, right?

Andy Russell:
So, Trump’s got a secret weapon, his name is Brad Parscale. Brad Parscale is a phenomenal, phenomenal digital media marketer. Yes, he ran some lies about Biden, right. I mean, we all read about that. We know that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The corruption scandal you mean?

Andy Russell:
Yeah. I mean, those were ads that he ran. For the most part, Brad Parscale did not run fakeness or lies about Trump, or about the opponents. For the most part, he doesn’t.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
But what he’s damn good at is using the platforms and it’s not just like, oh, there’s Facebook and then there’s Google and then there’s Instagram, and there’s Google Display and there’s YouTube, and there’s email, and then there’re different landing pages, all these separate things, right. So if you think of the internet as a whole-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. That’s one thing, yeah.

Andy Russell:
Yeah. It’s made up of a whole bunch of different puzzle pieces, lots of different puzzle pieces, only one of which is a book. And by the way, you’ve got to be pretty sophisticated to know how to really use those tools, and nobody in the old school Democrat or Republican side, had ever rolled up their sleeves, gone hands-on keyboards and bought actual ads on Facebook, Google, Instagram, nobody of power or money or in the old system had done that. What Donald Trump did is he hired a digital media native, Brad Parscale, who was designing websites.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Who was 25, right?

Andy Russell:
Yeah. There is a real methodology, a very specific methodology, otherwise known as a way of putting the puzzle pieces together that turn this type of digital marketing persuasion into a weapon.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. So, what you’re talking about is a weapon of mass destruction.

Andy Russell:
It’s full on weapon of either mass destruction or mass good.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
All right. And the democrats just missed it, nice and simple because what Brad Parscale did for Trump only became possible, technically, like with all the technology that exists in 2014, two years after Obama’s election, and exactly two years before the 2016 election.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But you’re saying even now that Democrats still haven’t clued into this?

Andy Russell:
Democrats are trying. First of all, once again, the movie The Great Hack. Everybody has to see it because however much you think you know, nobody knows.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Watch this movie. It’s a really good insight. After that movie-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Go have a bottle of Tequila.

Andy Russell:
Yeah, you’re going to like-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Move to New Zealand.

Andy Russell:
Yeah. You’re not going to be very happy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But it’s good to be aware. I mean, if we are aware that’s the first step I think.

Andy Russell:
100%.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In protecting ourselves from those influences.

Andy Russell:
If you don’t want to be manipulated, if you don’t want to be persuaded to do stuff that you don’t think is in your best interest then actually you learn. And it’s a good movie.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s like you get these emails now, they’re from the King of Nigeria that left you $5 million and all you have to do is give me your bank account information. People kind of go, “Okay, I get that. It’s a scam,” but you don’t get that this is a scam.

Andy Russell:
100%. I mean, you just don’t know. You really just don’t know. So first and foremost, people should see that movie.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And second is four things happened in 2014, that made it possible for the first time ever to do the type of very sophisticated digital marketing that Brad Parscale does. Number one, all those big data companies Axiom, Experian, Epsilon, Oracle, blah-blah started appending up to six email.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, that was late. It seems late for that to happen.

Andy Russell:
Yeah. Then they all sold all that offline data plus the emails behind the scenes to Facebook and Google, Instagram and YouTube and everybody else. Once that happened, something called Facebook custom audiences got introduced, which meant if you have email list or email newsletters, which I had, DailyCandy, all these-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sure, like I do.

Andy Russell:
Curated email newsletter list, you could take segment of those people who react to certain content in a certain way, upload those and find those people on Facebook, but why can you find them? Because you might not have the email address that somebody signed up to Facebook with, but now Facebook has up to seven email addresses on you. Ah, so whatever they signed up to your email newsletter with as long as it’s one of those seven that are on Facebook, you find those people on Facebook. So now you can target those people, that happened in 2013, ’14.

Andy Russell:
And then the next thing that happened is just like I told you, the big data companies would study all of your behavior until the next thing that you might purchase is an Amex Platinum card. Now, Facebook gives you the ability to use something called look alikes, against that custom audience, because once you put in a custom audience-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. It sounds like, right.

Andy Russell:
They look at all the data they have, offline purchase data, where you’ve lived, everything behavior, that of what you read, blah-blah, see what these people. This cohort of people and customers have in common?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And then Facebook will align you with other people on Facebook who have common data sets.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right. So, you seem like you and I seem similar, so then we’re the same values, look at the same stuff, they’re going to target you as well.

Andy Russell:
And now what’s really fascinating? It’s so much more powerful than just the offline purchases, but yes, they have that, but they have your behavioral data on what type of content you watch, see, duh-duh-duh, right? So now that’s the psychological profiling.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, I mean, people don’t realize this when you click on a website or click on an area in a website article, all that data is being tracked.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so they know what you’re interested in and what you’re looking at if you click on the Tesla ad, if you’re reading an article about climate change, you’re reading an article about immigration.

Andy Russell:
Or you’re watching a video.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Or you’re watching a video. I mean, great. Netflix knows which movies I like. I don’t mind that, that’s okay, but this is a different purpose, right?

Andy Russell:
100%. So that was the next thing that Facebook did, it said, oh, if you have a small group, right? Now you can plug it in and find everybody else on Facebook who will react to the same emotional storytelling, otherwise can be brainwashed around the same type of fear tactics.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And then you remember in 2014, the Ice Bucket Challenge?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes.

Andy Russell:
Ah, so that’s actually the first time video went into the live feed of Facebook. So yes, I am the guy who freaking noticed, seeing I used to own television stations and knew that there’s a billion dollars of video political advertising.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
For sure.

Andy Russell:
Being done on television.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Well, holy cow. What if you get a bunch of these email newsletters and then you could study what people care about, by what subject lines, they open up on, what content they read about, and you study that psychological behavior for long enough and then you can upload that into the Facebook custom audiences. Find all those people who are similar and now, you could play them political ads.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
So I was building the first ever political advertising agency with video with hyper targeted psychological tactics to then grow a billion-dollar business out of it for both Democrats and Republicans, because it was just a new media channel.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. Because that was your job you were digital media ad tech, marketing tech-

Andy Russell:
Innovator.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Data science guy, innovator, right? Okay, so I saw all these technology coming together, we can use this to enhance the political process and help people get to voters.

Andy Russell:
Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Help people activate the democratic process.

Andy Russell:
Yep.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But you didn’t know it was going to be usurped.

Andy Russell:
So unbeknownst to me, the person who was doing this with ended up being a very close ally of our now president, and he took the entire game plan tactically all the way down execution, whole nine yards, handed over to our now president, and it’s the exact game plan that Brad Parscale who was Trump’s Digital Marketer for the 2016 election. And now, he is his campaign manager across the board.

Andy Russell:
And if you watch Brad Parscale in any of his interviews, because he loves press now. He just says, “Oh, I’m just treating the election like marketing, like this is just direct marketing and I can study the behavior of all these individuals, and then collect their email addresses, which you’ll see just about every single Trump ad.” [crosstalk 00:51:44]

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So sort of like a football game where one coach gets the game plan of the other team and then the other team doesn’t know they have it, and then they’re using it against them.

Andy Russell:
Yeah, and unfortunately, after this all happened, I didn’t have any relationships high up in the Democratic Party, although I tried really, really hard, “Hey guys, here’s the game plan.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, you saw this happening in real time.

Andy Russell:
Oh, yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Before the election?

Andy Russell:
Oh, yeah. And I was screaming from the rooftops, from the rooftops.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
But no one was listening.

Andy Russell:
Well, think how silly it sounded. Yeah, I mean business partners with this guy who’s kind of has a reputation for being a little bit shady. There’s this thing called Facebook. There’s email, newsletters and this thing called data and then this real estate tycoon/TV personality named Donald Trump and he’s going to use this weird methodology of psychological manipulation and he’s going to win the election.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, I hate to say this, but Trump is not a digital native, so how did he come to understand this or was it just the people around him?

Andy Russell:
So the person who I was doing this deal with is a very, very, very smart publisher, old school, long time and became very smart at digital and what does Trump do? He hires really, really well, so he hired a guy named Brad Parscale. It pisses me off because he’s 2 inches taller than me and I’m 6’6 and Parscale has the exact game plan and I watch him every day using it.

Andy Russell:
What it turns out is it’s a lot more complicated than what we think, a lot more complicated than when we think to execute on to perfection, so currently, just about every one of the Democratic organizations out there are now after The Great Hack and then after the New York Times ran a couple of large articles about the Democrats being far behind. Now they’re like, “Oh, we must spend more money on digital and on Facebook,” but if you don’t spend it the right way, you’re throwing away money.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, who’s advising them?

Andy Russell:
Yeah, so there is one group who’s actually really, really good at this and they don’t do this in a nefarious way whatsoever. They just use the communication channel, the best way.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, current media.

Andy Russell:
Yeah, well, it’s current media and a group called Acronym and they’re just very good at this. They’re the best that the Democrats have, but listen, we’re under a year out from this election and Brad Parscale has been doing this for five years and has email addresses, data and has brainwashed a fair chunk of Americans. And by the way, I don’t hold it against the Americans are good people, like really good people, but it’s ripping apart our country.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It is.

Andy Russell:
Of us versus them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
In college I remember reading a novel, I mean, a play called Rhinoceros by Ionesco and the play was about Nazi Germany and how could upstanding German citizens with good upbringing and good morals stand by while in their backyard, there were crematoriums and concentration camps and do nothing and say nothing.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And how could they all fall in line behind a clearly, crazy fanatical, totalitarian leader like Hitler. And it was the banality of evil, Hannah Arendt talked about the banality of evil. And I think we’re in that moment where our democracy is being threatened in many ways and particularly in this way, and the democracies around the world are being threatened and this problem isn’t organic, it’s manufactured.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, we’re manufacturing hate, we’re manufacturing divisiveness, we’re manufacturing disconnection. And I think that’s what really worries me is that people are generally good, I think. I think people are generally wanting good things for themselves and their families and their communities and their nation, but when that gets shifted through this manipulation that is invisible that’s coming through our technology, and that there are big players who understand this, who use it against us, what do we do?

Andy Russell:
Yeah. So I’ve spent a great deal of time, not only seeing all the ads that Trump runs on Facebook and if any of your listeners want to see the ads, you can just go to Google and type in Facebook Library and put in there Donald Trump and you can see all the ads. You can see all the ads for any of the politicians to see what they’re running. Facebook has now made that transparent, which is a good thing, too. People should see the Facebook library, right.

Andy Russell:
And something you just said just really resonates with me, because I’ve spent a lot of time not just studying the ads, but watching a lot of the Trump rallies and I actually want to go to a Trump rally because I think it would be interesting.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Really targeted because they ping your phone.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
If your location services are on and they ping your phone, they know where you’re at.

Andy Russell:
Yeah, but you know what? Get over it, right? All of this stuff does, so there’s every single thing that we have.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right, exactly right.

Andy Russell:
Right. So don’t sign up for it. If you don’t want it, don’t sign up for it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Like, I’m on Google Drive right now and have all these questions about all this. Is Google reading my documents and then using that somehow and selling it? That’s terrifying to me.

Andy Russell:
In Google document, I’m actually not sure. I don’t want to-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Because like when you have an email and you have Google Gmail, and then you type in something and then you get an ad for something that goes in your email.

Andy Russell:
So let me come back to what I was saying.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay. Sorry, I get distracted.

Andy Russell:
Americans, whether you’re wearing Make America Great Again hat or you want somebody else to be president, right? If you put those people together, they have common interests, common concerns, common desires, common fears. And it kind of goes like this. I’d like the ability to have a job, so I can make money and take care of myself and my family. I’d like to be able to have healthcare so I don’t have to worry about illnesses. I’d like my children to have a good education and I’d like to have safety. And I don’t really want to have to worry about food, right? I don’t think there are many Americans who would argue that they agree with those statements.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. For sure.

Andy Russell:
Right? So I don’t like this division of Republican versus Democrat.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Us versus them.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Andy Russell:
No, we’re all human beings.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
First, yeah.

Andy Russell:
First.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Americans second.

Andy Russell:
Americans second and just break down what’s important to us as individuals. Like I want to go out there and start hugging all the people who have Make America Great hats on again and be like, “We’re the same thing. We care about the same stuff.”

Dr. Mark Hyman:
For sure.

Andy Russell:
And where it gets really ugly, really, really ugly and I’m glad you brought up-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I know, that’s true, because I take care of everybody, right? I take care of all religions, all political persuasions in my office and everybody’s a human being first and that’s where I connect with them.

Andy Russell:
I mean, that’s the beauty of our country, is we have freedom of choice, freedom of belief systems and freedom of all this of stuff, but like-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Not too much anyway.

Andy Russell:
Well, let’s just remember that we all care about each other, the future of our country, the future of our children, the future of our own health, the future of education and we’re all in this together, right?

Andy Russell:
What’s horrible is when politics gets in the way, power and greed gets in the way, and people have power and greed don’t mind using fear against people to get them to hate others. Us first, not them. It doesn’t make sense. How can you hate other people that you’ve never met? Like that doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t make sense, but that is absolutely what’s happening. Our country is absolutely being divided apart.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah. There’s a great movie called The Sacrifice by Derren Brown. People should watch it. It’s on Netflix and it shows how this American who was very much against immigration, who was very racist, against Hispanics and Mexicans, was put through a process of understanding humanity of everyone and connecting with actual human being.

Andy Russell:
He was a white supremacist, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yes. Who were actual Mexicans or immigrants and in the film, he gets him to have so much empathy and connection with these people who thought were evil and bad, taking what was rightfully his, that he was willing to take a bullet for someone who he barely knew who was a Mexican immigrant.

Andy Russell:
Yeah, so, I met that guy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Derren Brown or the guy who took a bullet?

Andy Russell:
No, Derren Brown.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And so people should watch it because it shows how much we are all just really a conversation or two away from actually.

Andy Russell:
And then let me just use one more example because you could you used Nazi Germany and that’s like an obvious one to go towards, but if people have studied the genocide in Rwanda where 1 million Tutsi were slaughtered by the Hutu in 100 days. One million, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And it was their neighbor. It was like the person who lived next door. It wasn’t some remote community or something like that.

Andy Russell:
Like really, not their neighbor in terms of like border, no like right next door.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right, their next door neighbor.

Andy Russell:
And you went to school with them. How did this happen, right? And the history of it is really fascinating. Going back to end of World War I, the Belgian went into-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Congo.

Andy Russell:
Into the Congo and they also went into Rwanda. And they said, “We’re going to give you a card that says you’re a Tutsi and you guys got a card that says you’re Hutu.” Literally, arbitrary. It wasn’t my culture. It wasn’t my race. It wasn’t by anything, right? And they just made sure that there were a lot fewer of the ruling class that were the Tutsi and there were a lot more of the working class that were the Hutu, right? And because a smaller class of privileged people are easier to control for the Belgium, to suck money out of the working class of the Hutu.

Andy Russell:
Back then communication channel was radio, right? So what started this genocide? The Hutu got hold of the National Radio and said, “The Tutsi are about to slaughter us. Get to them first.” That was that. That was it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s the sound bite.

Andy Russell:
These people have been oppressing us and now they’re about to slaughter us. Grab your knives, your forks, your axes, your everything. Get to them before they kill us first.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Holy shit, a million people slaughtered, next door neighbors.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
So don’t ever underestimate what’s possible, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, what’s also fascinating is the end of that story, which is when Kagame, who we could debate whether he’s a good ruler or not as the President of Rwanda came in.

Andy Russell:
Came back.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
As an autocrat, essentially but said, “Look, at the end of this, you’re all going to talk to each other, you’re going to say you’re sorry, and you’re all going to live together in harmony, and here’s how you’re going to do it.”

Andy Russell:
He also said, “Burn those cards.” And it’s now illegal to refer to anybody as a Hutu or Tutsi.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, it was sort of like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa is very similar. I mean, you see the movie about this. It’s just extraordinary. How literally it’d be like me going over and killing your parents and your kids.

Andy Russell:
Absolutely.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And then me having to sit down with you and have conversation, like if that can happen there, you know?

Andy Russell:
And by the way, that was on the local radio station telling everybody. Now, realize we’re living in a world where hate groups or people or power or politicians can get so deep into your individual head and the head of those who are in your immediate community to drive so much hate, so much anger, again this mysterious power.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So what do we do about this image? We talk about data rights, should we actually regulate data privacy differently? What are the ways that we can combat this? How does the individual protect themselves? How do we not get sucked into this manipulation? How do we actually get our democracy back? I mean, these are the questions that I’m thinking about. I don’t have the answers to, but maybe you do.

Andy Russell:
So unfortunately, I don’t think it’s a data thing. And unfortunately, I don’t think these big companies are going to self-regulate because they make money doing it and they’ll accept money from anybody doing it and that’s our capitalist society. And I don’t think it’s going to be regulated by government, because the regulators have no idea how it all works, so they don’t know what to regulate.

Andy Russell:
There are a bunch of really good people out there who care a ton about this stuff, a very good friend of mine, Tristan Harris, a guy named John Borthwick, a whole bunch of people who are really trying to figure this stuff out.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Within the government?

Andy Russell:
No, from the private sector. A bunch of us that kind of like grew up building-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
This stuff.

Andy Russell:
This stuff and then being like, “Oh, shit. What did we build?” By the way, yeah, I’ll say I’m sorry, like, I’m really, really sorry because I took place of building something for financial benefit and I didn’t realize the harm it was going to do. And, “mea culpa, oh, shit, I’m not just going to say sorry. I’m going to do something about it to try and fix it for the future of society.” What I hope, what I really, really hope for-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, it’s like you’ve been to the car but then you didn’t realize people are going to be driving through crowds and killing people, right? Like that sort of it.

Andy Russell:
Well, it’s a little bit worse than that to be honest because advertising and convincing people to buy stuff and knowing how potent this form of communication is, once you are able to do psychological profiling on people by what they listen to, what they watch, blah-blah-blah. So the most important thing like right now, like here and now, is people what they read, what they see, what they view as video, don’t take it as fact.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Full stop. Research the hell out of it, alright? We don’t live in a world where just because you read something or see a video or it’s on your internet feed, don’t think it came from a scholar, from somebody who’s an expert.

Andy Russell:
I mean, holy shit, if my car breaks down and I need to be able to fix my car. I’m not going to go online and listen to some phony telling me about how to go into my car and fix my carburetor. No, I’m going to go and find an expert mechanic to know how to do that. Otherwise, my children are going to get into a car and I’m going to drive off a cliff and die, right? So, please, everybody who’s-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Buyer be aware. Reader be aware.

Andy Russell:
But it’s reader question, question all of it and realize that most of it out there is fiction or most of it if it’s not fiction, its opinion and then before you trust someone’s opinion, make sure that they’re qualified to have that type of is that somebody who you should be listening to?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
How do you do that? I mean, the average person like how do you vet whether this is true or not? I read articles all the time, like I look at where the authorship is, I look at who they are, look at where they work for. I mean, I try to do that, but it’s tough. Like even in science, we think science is this pristine field, but much of the science has funded by industry, much of the data is manipulated to shape it into outcomes that the funder wants.

Andy Russell:
How about this? Take your time. Take your fucking time, alright? We’re all going from article to article to article. We all have to open up all of our email addresses. We have to get back to everybody’s text and we have so much that we have to do, so we just read the headline. No, take your time. Be curious.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s confusing. You watch CNN and then you flip to Fox and you feel like you’re living in two different planets.

Andy Russell:
100%.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s like, “Wait a minute.” I mean, they can’t both be right and they’re either both wrong.

Andy Russell:
By the way, this drives me crazy. It drives me fucking bat shit crazy, living in New York, right? So all the people I know, they watch CNN, they watch NBC, they read the New York Times. I’m like, “Okay, well, how often you watch Fox? And how often do you?” “OO, I can’t stand them.” What are you talking about? At least listen to both sides.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Oh, yeah.

Andy Russell:
And the same thing to people who might read Breitbart or might watch Fox. At least listen to the other side if it’s opinion based stuff, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Right.

Andy Russell:
At least see both arguments of it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Where is quality of content when we need it.

Andy Russell:
And then be proud of being, if you don’t want to be manipulated and you don’t think you can be manipulated and you don’t think you can be brainwashed then at least listen to all the arguments and then you can make up your own mind.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Otherwise, if you’re only listening to one of the arguments, by definition, you’re being brainwashed by that argument, you’re not making up your own decision.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So basically, we need to be more astute, discerning readers of content and not trust it as fact, number one. Number two what about regulations on our digital data or should we actually be looking at our phones and saying turn off all the tracking things and turn off our Google changing your privacy settings? I mean, how do we protect ourselves besides just being smart about what we’re at?

Andy Russell:
So listen, my hope, like my big hope and this is what should happen because we’re an educated society. We really are an educated society. If people literally listen to both sides of an argument then they can choose who they’re going to trust as our curator or teacher of information and therefore, less people will be reading false information. And remember, these are just businesses that all make money off of advertising. So if less people are reading stuff that’s untruthful, they’ll go out of business. They literally will go out of business because they’re not making money off of advertising.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s something we could do. What else can we do like besides that?

Andy Russell:
But that’s a big one.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
That’s a really, really big one. Another thing you can do and this is fun, like really fun, and I forgot the name of the company. I wish I had it with me right now. It’s an organization and it’s now up to 400,000 people across the globe. When they read hate news or see hate messages on the internet and then see recognizable brands like Audi, JetBlue, Walmart, whatever, next to those hate messages, they take a screenshot and-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They send it to the company.

Andy Russell:
They send it to the companies. They send it to the JetBlues or the Walmart, or the Kmart or whomever, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So are those companies deliberately selling ads into those hate messages?

Andy Russell:
Absolutely not. Those ads get there because of something called-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s algorithms, right?

Andy Russell:
No. Programmatic Mediavine, which are these big kind of conglomerates that represent all these smaller publishers. So if like a JetBlue wants to reach all these small little publishers, they don’t even know what the content is that their brand is going to be sitting next to. And trust me, like a Walmart, a JC Penney-

Dr. Mark Hyman:
They don’t want their ad next to it.

Andy Russell:
They do not want their ad sitting next to neo Nazi type stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So there’s graphic movements that are changing-

Andy Russell:
That’s a big, big, big thing that people can do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Besides that, yeah, you can go live in a cave, right? Nobody’s forcing you.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The guy who mows my lawn, he’s like, he doesn’t have a cell phone, he doesn’t have an email, he doesn’t have a computer and I thought he was a paranoid screwball, but it turns out he may not be.

Andy Russell:
It’s all how much we value convenience.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And what about the regulation legislation? I mean, how do we solve this? Because it terrifies me to think that our democracy is on the decline. I meant, freedom and freedom of choice and autonomy as a country is being usurped by this kind of invisible force that I think some people are using for their particular ends, which may not be laudable but you know, in themselves aren’t necessarily evil, but when you add it all together, it’s a mess, and I feel terrified for our future and for my children and grandchildren, because I don’t I don’t understand.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I mean, I know how to fix the food system. I mean, I think I do anyway, I wrote a book about it. I have an idea of what the problems are and what the solutions are. Really, other than like being a smart reader of your newsfeed and printing grassroots movement to pressure companies to not do this, and turning off the tracking on my phone like what can we do?

Andy Russell:
So number one, and this is the saying that I did want to say. There’s a huge debate right now around whether Facebook and Google should get rid of political ads.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Right now. And a lot of people who are very smart, but don’t understand the technology, all that well, don’t realize that if Facebook and Google shut down political ads right now that is the destruction of democracy.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, because it’s both sides.

Andy Russell:
No, because Brad Parscale and Donald Trump have already weaponized up and if even if they shut it all down, they already have relationships with something like 40 million Americans, their email address, can find them and all this stuff, because Democrats have slow to the game if the big tech giants were to shut down political ads or the tools that are needed, like custom audiences and look alikes, if they were to shut it down now this upcoming election 2020, it’d to be like Trump has a nuclear weapon and the Democrats have a switchblade, if it gets shut down now.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s terrifying.

Andy Russell:
And by the way, whatever democracy does, at least all sides should have an equal voice, an equal ability to communicate with voters, right? And if the tech giants shut it down right now, only Trump will be able to communicate effectively.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s true, because what you’re saying is that up to now, the Democrats really haven’t created news, whether it’s fake news or whatever, they haven’t created their version of fake news or whatever truth or not, and the Republicans have, and so to shut it down-

Andy Russell:
So again, remember, it’s not about fake news. It’s about knowing how to put the pieces of the technology puzzle together to effectively understand you as a human being through your own behavior of what you watch, read, care about to then be able to message to you certain things around those issues and educate you on who the best candidate is, whether it’s Trump or somebody else, all right? That’s what Trump has and Trump is just Trump-Trump. Brad Parscale is the brilliant digital marketer, brilliant, okay?

Andy Russell:
So it’s just right now that the democrats are catching up, and in particular, this organization called Acronym, who’s really good at it and it’s not fake stuff.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
It’s real news.

Andy Russell:
It’s real news. It’s important stuff to voters.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The other thing is, we’ve seen we’ve seen the death of local media.

Andy Russell:
Yeah.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
The death of local newspapers thousands have shut down, which is often the most trusted source for information, but there’s a company that was formed called Courier Media to create local reporting.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And local news is legitimate, but that speaks to voters in their communities and that’s really what happened in the Virginia election, where the legislature and the governorship switched over for the first time in a generation, because they were very smart about using very local, specific, targeted information, and it was a counterpoint to the other side.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I think that that speaks volumes. And I think right now, it seems like David and Goliath and Courier Media is like David, but maybe when these issues sort of come out, I think people will be able to sort of think differently about how to go forward in the election. It doesn’t matter if you’re Republican or a Democrat, I think there really are a lot of commonalities and values that that both parties share.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And that the overlaps are often more than the disagreements, sort of like Paleo and vegans, they both agree on almost everything except where you get your protein and far more in common than for example, people who eat the standard American diet, right? But they are sort of like these opposing camps. And I think the same thing is true in our political process, but we have to sort of start to sort of take back our democracy. I think that’s really the message.

Andy Russell:
Listen, the genie is out of the bottle or the Pandora’s box is open, we’re in a period of time with a brand new, I just told you, for the first time was ever possible. was 2014.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Compared to the history of our country.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yep.

Andy Russell:
That’s only five years ago, that any of this were possible, right?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
And when I tell you that, it’s like exponentially better than television, print, radio, direct mail, any of these other forms are exponentially if done correctly then all sides, I don’t have to say like right or left. The right, left, middle, top, bottom, whomever, everybody should be able to communicate using the platforms to their best ability technically, so I’m trying to help share this methodology that only Brad Parscale has been an expert at. Anybody who wants to do that.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So you basically invented it, you gave it to him.

Andy Russell:
I didn’t give it to him. It was taken from me and was handed to that organization.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I see.

Andy Russell:
All right? I was just building a business to make money from Democrats and Republican and centrist and independent, blah-blah-blah because there’s a billion dollars of political advertising every election.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So, you’re doing good business.

Andy Russell:
So, it was going to be a really good business. What I didn’t know is the guy who I was doing it with was in bed with Trump and so we handed it over to Trump. Brad Parscale was not a very good digital marketer. He was a bankrupt web designer, but a bankrupt web designer who had the blueprint on how to manufacture a car and step-by-step was able to manufacture a car.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Andy Russell:
And now, he does it really, really well.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Okay. What final words do you have for everybody, so they don’t go slit their wrists or jump off a bridge?

Andy Russell:
Okay.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Because I’m like what are we going to do?

Andy Russell:
Sure. So we’re living in a time of absolute freaking chaos. And by the way, communication channels like this, right? This is the first time human history that we’re all connected.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Done correctly, as one species communicating collectively, we can end climate change, we can change the food system, we can educate everybody, we can finally have equality across the board, we can further science, and we can come together as a less competitive society, and working together to collaborate for everybody’s good.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Sounds good.

Andy Russell:
And therefore have better mental health and enjoyable lives, for the first time ever in the history of the human species.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And to do that we need to?

Andy Russell:
To do that what we need to do is be a lot more discerning about the stuff we take as gospel that we read, that we see in the internet and realize it for right now, for this moment in time, nobody’s regulating it, nobody’s saying whether it’s truthful or false, so don’t believe 99.9% of it until you can actually go and do the research. Use the internet to search for a store, use internet to search for a product.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
Do not get your news off the internet.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, what’s frightening to me is you heard Trump say, “Don’t believe what you’re reading. Don’t believe what you see. Don’t believe what you hear. Just believe what I say.” And I’m like, well, he’s also saying the same thing, right? Which is, be discerning about what you’re reading, about the impeachment, about Russia about whatever, because-

Andy Russell:
Well, then just make people back it up with facts.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah.

Andy Russell:
I mean, it’s an old thing. Just because somebody tells you to jump off a bridge, you’re going to go jump off a bridge? No.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Wow.

Andy Russell:
Like literally think before you believe, think before you do.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Well, that was the other movie I encourage people watch called The Push by Derren Brown, where he literally in 45 minutes gets totally normal people to commit murder.

Andy Russell:
Really?

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, frightening. That’s how manipulatable we are.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
That’s what we all should be aware of.

Andy Russell:
Yes.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Watch the movie The Push, watch The Sacrifice, watch The Great Hack.

Andy Russell:
Definitely watch The Great Hack.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And-

Andy Russell:
Definitely be careful of what you think is fact or fiction. This is the generation, this is the society of the tipping point, so take your time and please don’t jump to anger and hate first. Give people the benefit of the doubt and realize that we’re all in this together.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
How about we lead with love?

Andy Russell:
Absolutely, lead with love, compassion, right? And a sense of respect for one another. It’s very easy to have somebody make you angry, frustrated, infuriated, and go into battle. Don’t be that easily fooled or that easily riled up. Now, if you want to say that you have free choice and the ability to make up your own mind then prove it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Yeah, I remember-

Andy Russell:
Don’t be so easy to be angry.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
I think that’s true. I remember Dalai Lama say, someone asked, “Are you mad at China?” He’s like, “No.” He said, “They took my country, but they didn’t take my soul, my mind or my heart.”

Andy Russell:
You got it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
And I think that is a good message to live with.

Andy Russell:
You got it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
So thank you, Andy, for being on the Doctor’s Farmacy.

Andy Russell:
Thanks for having me. Yeah, this was fun.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
If you love this conversation, please share with your friends and family on social media, I guess. Leave a comment, we’d love to hear from you.

Andy Russell:
Back check all of it.

Dr. Mark Hyman:
Back check all of it. You can read the book Targeted which is also about this. And you’ll hear us next week on the Doctor’s Farmacy talking about another conversation that matters. So, see you all later and I hope this wasn’t too depressing, but I think it’s good to be empowered and Andy, thank you so much for being on this podcast. And we’ll see you next time on the Doctor’s Farmacy.

Andy Russell:
Thank you so much.

If you are looking for personalized medical support, we highly recommend contacting Dr. Hyman’s UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts today.

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