Actually, that’s not the name of my post but that quote above is a better description,”once untrustworthy, always restricted”, of the “Social Trust” system that China is building. I’ve got a few links for you to read, with pull quotes, to give you the jist of the system that Andrew Yang want to do here in the US. No limited government he – as I said in my previous post, Yang wants a US surveillance system that would make the feared East German secret police, who had binders on EVERYONE, look like slackers. It’s bad enough to have thousands of CCTV cameras on city streets and RFID transceivers all along our highways. It’s bad enough to have the FAANGS (e.g., Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix, Google) pouring over and hoovering up our personal data (and having just signed up for Social Security, I now have a glimpse of the “teeniest, tiny-est tip of the iceburg” information the Feds gather to “verify that you are you”).
Naw, Andrew Yang wants the US to establish its own “trustworthy score” for everyone in the US – yet the nine black robed judges said that we (well, at least pregnant women) have the privacy to kill our babies? And other “intimate” acts? How does one adjudicate the two – and worse, who decides algorithmically what is “moral” and what isn’t and then place scores on us all?
Here are the links – read them (reformatted, emphasis mine):
Remember Joe the Plumber back from the TEA Party movement, the guy that Obama told that wealth is better when it is spread around? Yeah, he was outed – by Democrat bureaucrats who all went running into Government databases
China’s “social credit” system—the one straight out of a dystopian Black Mirror episode—is getting closer to becoming a reality. The lifelong social ranking system is set to be adopted in Beijing in 2021, Bloomberg reported Tuesday, with residents to be judged on data based on their social standing by the end of 2020. The program would essentially mark any individuals found to have violated laws or social codes and restrict their access to services like travel or certain programs. The Beijing project will improve blacklist systems so that those deemed untrustworthy will be “unable to move even a single step,” according to the government’s plan.
Reuters, citing statements on the commission’s website, reported in March that anyone’s so-called “credit score” could be affected by “spreading false information about terrorism and causing trouble on flights, as well as those who used expired tickets or smoked on trains.” Social credit programs currently underway have reportedly blocked more than 11 million people from flying, and 4 million from high-speed train travel.
China’s plan to judge each of its 1.3 billion people based on their social behavior is moving a step closer to reality, with Beijing set to adopt a lifelong points program by 2021 that assigns personalized ratings for each resident.
Hangzhou rolled out its personal credit system earlier this year, rewarding “pro-social behaviors” such as volunteer work and blood donations while punishing those who violate traffic laws and charge under-the-table fees. By the end of May, people with bad credit in China have been blocked from booking more than 11 million flights and 4 million high-speed train trips, according to the National Development and Reform Commission.
Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It’s not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school – or even just your chances of getting a date.
Under this system, something as innocuous as a person’s shopping habits become a measure of character. Alibaba admits it judges people by the types of products they buy. “Someone who plays video games for ten hours a day, for example, would be considered an idle person,” says Li Yingyun, Sesame’s Technology Director. “Someone who frequently buys diapers would be considered as probably a parent, who on balance is more likely to have a sense of responsibility.” So the system not only investigates behaviour – it shapes it. It “nudges” citizens away from purchases and behaviours the government does not like.
Friends matter, too. The fifth category is interpersonal relationships. What does their choice of online friends and their interactions say about the person being assessed? Sharing what Sesame Credit refers to as “positive energy” online, nice messages about the government or how well the country’s economy is doing, will make your score go up.
Indeed, the government’s Social Credit System is basically a big data gamified version of the Communist Party’s surveillance methods; the disquieting dang’an. The regime kept a dossier on every individual that tracked political and personal transgressions. A citizen’s dang’an followed them for life, from schools to jobs. People started reporting on friends and even family members, raising suspicion and lowering social trust in China. The same thing will happen with digital dossiers. People will have an incentive to say to their friends and family, “Don’t post that. I don’t want you to hurt your score but I also don’t want you to hurt mine.”
The new system reflects a cunning paradigm shift. Aswe’ve noted, instead of trying to enforce stability or conformity with a big stick and a good dose of top-down fear, the government is attempting to make obedience feel like gaming. It is a method of social control dressed up in some points-reward system. It’s gamified obedience.
Splendid. Just ducky. It certainly gives new meaning to my meme of “The Bigger the Government, the smaller the citizen”. Actually, even though it will be called the “Citizens Score”, think of it as the north end of the barrel of a digital gun. This takes the TV show “Person of Interest” WAAY over the top – and which also showed what happens when the wrong people get control of such a capability.
No, this is not a “Citizens Score” system – this is an “Anvil waiting to drop and splat you out” deal. And Andrew Yang thinks this is a great idea – that Government should be in charge of forcing you to do “good things”?
And that’s not all – if you look through his policy statements, there’s easily enough there to figure out that there are no bounds to what Government CAN do or SHOULD do “on our behalf”. Somebody on his staff, though, is a jolly jokster – at least I hope they are because I can’t tell if this is a parody or a serious proposal:
Making Taxes Fun
Currently, paying taxes is a slog. Instead, let’s make it a celebration.
Revenue Day—the day taxes are due—should be a federal holiday. That day should feature celebrations.
I know exactly ZERO people that think that paying their taxes are fun. I also have no idea why it should be a federal holiday and I can’t think of a single reason why this should be one over the idea that Voting Day(s) should be holidays either (and I’m against the latter).
I think I’m going to contact his campaign. This might be amusing.