The road to hell is paved with good intentions.
And if it succeeds, then I'd be glad to be wrong.
But I’d like to here your argument on why this is immoral.
Most people are of the "wait and see" and "you gotta do what you gotta do to survive" mentality. So they "wait" and let events unfold, and survivors in those cascade of events are idealized as morally good.
In his book "The Rise of the Meritocracy" (1958) he describes a dystopia where everything in a society is decided by using "merit" (intelligence + effort).
For all of those whom use "meritocracy" with a positive connotation, it should be a compulsory read. It's also short and very fun.
That's a bold statement.
Who defines the goals ? The one(s) who can attain them ?
Not kidding. Its this circular 'meritocracy' argument that makes for insular, inbred organizations with few creative ideas.
Just thinking out loud here but what's the alternative? Random allocation of goods/power or random promotion of individuals/companies based on nothing?
At least in a meritocracy advancement of an individual/organization is based on some performance measurement - we can of course argue about different performance measures and sets of tasks - but we have some means of guiding society in a normative way.
When the 'norm' is defined as 'just like the rest of us' is when you get into trouble.
There are protests and issues bubbling up all the time - hundreds or thousands of actions in any given year. It’s a big country with a lot of issues, so that’s not unexpected.
But the one thing the CCP is undoubtably world class at is ensuring protests or issues don’t ever gather momentum and start spreading.
So, a lot of the police apparatus, media and online censorship is geared up to this end.
Potential instigators of unrest (lawyers, independent/foreign journalists, activists) are routinely harassed and locked up, or put under immense pressure.
TV and traditional media outlets are tightly controlled and will receive directives about what they can and can’t report on. They self-censor and will not promote news or issues that are outright critical of the government. Often negative news is shown, but it is massaged and spun to show the CCP proactively dealing with a problem, rather than causing a problem or being incompetent.
Burgeoning online trending topics are regularly blanket censored if they are critical of the government and gaining traction fast.
Also, remember that these things are bad, but daily life in China is still daily life. Most people will never really experience massive injustice or rights abuses, just as most Americans will not be shot in a school shooting. It doesn’t mean the injustices aren’t happening and/or bad.
And finally, yes. The last 30 years of economic prosperity mean that most people are pretty happy with their life in China, or at the very least they just want to focus on making money, getting rich, and avoiding problems.
It’s fallacious to think that meritocracy is a function of ONLY the present.
lol you're giving xi jingping the dictator too much credit. it's a means to monitor and silence his critics, and to prevent protests/uprisings.
this is just cultural revolution 2.0. from hitler 2.0.
Let’s watch the uninamous vote to indefinitely extend his term - Xi asks “Is anyone against me?”
Scroll down to watch the video in the article:
This reminds of Christopher Hitchen’s account of Saddam Hussein. Terrifying.
> However, Susan Shirk, the head of the 21st Century China Centre at the University of California, San Diego, disputed the portrayal of Xi as an almighty Mao-like figure.
> “He’s ruling differently, for sure, and people are intimidated by him because of the anti-corruption campaign.” But Shirk said she was reserving judgment on whether Xi was attempting “a real dictatorial play” until the new line-up of China’s top ruling council, the politburo standing committee, was announced on Wednesday.
> If that committee included at least one of three possible successors – Hu Chunhua, Chen Min’er or Zhang Qingwei – that would signal Xi’s intention to step down in 2022, she said. If no clear successor emerged, however, it would fuel fears that Xi was “going for broke, all-out to be a dictator” and planned to remain in power indefinitely.
I looked and none of those individuals were appointed to the standing committee of the politburo. Two of them are on the regular politburo (Min’er and Chunhua), but Shirk referenced the standing committee specifically. So by her measure this is a dictatorial path.
Young Chinese activist missing after sharing plan to wear ‘Xitler’ t-shirt in public
Brooker tackled this kind of thing in Black Mirror, and while his vision of it was pretty bleak, it actually seemed a lot more open to social mobility than our current system in which inequality is becoming more deeply entrenched.
Presumably there's no way to live off your parents 'social credit' trust fund.
The Black Mirror version of this system would be deeply affected by attractiveness, for example, which would be one possible failing, but there's no indication that the Chinese version is as susceptible to that.
In that episode, Nosedive, the higher up you got, the more "fake" it got. The lower you got, the more "real". Culminating with the archteypical "likeable truck lady".
Loss of freedom, no matter if through oppression or through more insiduous means like reverse psychology, is a very heavy price to pay.
LOL. Doesn't matter what the system is - the people with power will always find a way around it. USSR - check, China - check.
>[credit can be awarded for] doing exemplary business
Some examples of exemplary businessmen who are justly rewarded under our wonderful system are Mr Trump, Mr Zuckerburg, and the Kochs, who have been awarded outstanding sums of social credit from their efforts in reputable, important businesses.
>allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step
Horatio Alger has had trouble moving beyond his job at the local Zhongwen-Mart. He isn't able to attend university, or even take public transport to get there, if he were. Due to several traffic fines, a minor drug conviction, and a bad credit score, he has never escaped poverty.
Mr Trump has been the subject of numerous allegations of sexual misconduct, and Mr Obama admitted to drug use--the same substance as Horatio Alger; but since neither convicted, their social credit remains extremely high.
Government is not the solution to every problem.
They could then use this inside of countries other than China, where they own increasing numbers of business interests including employers.
So this will start affecting behaviors even of non-Chinese people as people anticipate their behavior getting put into the system at some date in the future. Even if the system isn’t in place here yet.
It’s like a preview version of the immortal dictator Elon Musk talks about in the new “Do You Trust This Computer” movie.
Just imagine, your social media profile on WeChat, your messages on Weibo, your searches on Baidu, your images on Meipai could all feed into your score. Maybe Momo could display and sort dating matches by their score so you don't end up with someone who's undesirable.
Edit: was it the part about momo that makes you think sarcasm? It wasnt.. if the chinese are ok with this scoring and see it as useful (or its important because it limits your career path, for example), I can see private companies building it into their apps to extend it... using it for dating, apartments, loans, etc. There's no reason a tool like this would be limited to government only uses if the people approve.
Irony obviously not her strong point.
Absolute power lying with one leader interminably has never worked well with results in ranging from subversion of new or different ideas, civil war, assassinations, mass killings, world war...
There's just a lot of opportunities these days, with all the data floating around and our increasing ability to calculate probabilities of arbitrary things about people from large enough datasets.
One side of this is disadvantage. Credit scores are an attempt to rank people by probability of default. A modern version of a credit scores would be even more black box. There are serious problems of fairness with this. You can probably calculate some usable credit score based on where you were born and to who.
Another side of such scores is the punitive side. This will affect your credit score, so stay inline. Essentially it's a lightweight proprietary justice system.
Insurance generally works in a similar way. Rental markets can too, and agents will aggregate blacklists which can then be used punitively. Policing is now using a lot more statistical techniques. Employers would probably like a commercial version of the systems police use.
Treating people as statistical objects in this way... Its dehumanising, it's discriminatory and it isn't rule of law.
Say I have a FB-based profiling system that will calculate the star rating alternative. It works slightly better than uber's current rating system. Ie, it's a better measure of how much you will like the driver. It also works before the driver takes his first fare. In fact, uber's minimum star rating policy can be used as a hiring/sign-up filter.
Would you consider such a thing dehumanising? Its essentially how insurance works, and is increasingly becoming a viable business MO.
The flip side of all this is that betrayal of trust is also dehumanizing. When you pay to get an Uber ride and you're taken to the wrong place or ripped off, that's dehumanizing. When you loan someone money and they don't pay you back, that's dehumanizing. When you send someone a product from an E-Bay auction and their payment turned out to be a scam, that's dehumanizing.
I would add that the difference is that in Black Mirror, it was other people that are giving you up/down-votes. Here, it's the government.
I'm not sure if that makes it better or worse.
??? as opposed to China which has no money??
China's credit system is paired with dictatorship, censorship, disappearance, and killing. Nowhere near the similarities with West
Guantanamo bay is not run by the Chinese. While they generally do not imprison US citizens, they definitely do not give a shit about human rights for other people.
For example there are super delegates which are fundamentally undemocractic. There are also "winner take all" caucuses which has a tendency to support and overrepresent the majority.
You like posting political views on the internet right? Imagine China is the sole superpower of the world that defeated the democracies of the world. You would be ranked, censored, monitored, caught, jailed, tortured, and killed.
I have literally never seen this.
I come from an English spring country but have spent extensive time in various other countries where I have family. Thanks for being a total dick whilst knowing nothing about me.
That being irrelevant though I suggest you re-read the post I was replying to. And then the honourable thing to do would be apologise to me.
I was responding to this part. I apologize that my comment was poorly worded and I'll admit slightly obnoxious.
Still I am surprised that you never noticed, during your visits to China, the degree to which they wish China would be the one that takes over US as the superpower of the world. When I have been there it has never been hidden, but then I tend to get down into the culture rather than remaining at the expat bars. Again I'm not saying YOU stay at expat bars... like I wasn't saying YOU are American... but just responding to what you actually wrote about what someone else actually wrote.
I’ve made exactly zero comment on what I’ve observed anywhere but HN. Please for the love of god stop assuming what I’ve seen/haven’t seen unless I say it.
That said, yes I’ve noticed people in China are favourable to a world with Chinese hegemony as a superpower. That’s not surprising is it? I’ve noticed in America there is a favourable sentiment in general to the status quo - American superpower hegemony.
Thank you for your apology and I do accept it. It is difficult sometimes on the internet and in real life to make sure you’re responding to what the person said/means and not what you imagine them to mean. We can all try to better understand others rather than talk at them.
Also I'm an American and I don't appreciate your pseudo-racist condescension.
Not sure where race is coming into it for you. American is not a race. Chinese is more a culture, than a race, if you look at the diversity of China outside of just Han. ??? Maybe we should just leave that one alone, it may have been a misunderstanding.
(Edit: I didn't notice the word superficial at first, it may have been inserted later as a correction.)
Peaceful, not necessarily fair or free.
This statement ignores the mass murder it takes to become the number one power
If merely winning the most wars and murdering the most people automatically made one a superpower, then the United States would not have become a superpower, because they did not win the most wars, nor did they murder the most people, at the end of World War 2, when they gained superpower status.
You're trying so hard to be cynical here that you're abandoning rationality. I'm no fan of American military hegemony, or superpowers in general, but you make the US sound like a Mongol Khanate which is just absurd. The world is more complex than "whomever stands on the biggest pile of heads wins."
The US suffered less casualties than all the other major powers (USSR, China, Germany, Poland, Japan, France, Italy, UK) in WW2 and their infrastructure was not destroyed. So kill/death ratio and net destruction are quite indicative of the outcome.
Which country would you guess has committed the most large scale invasions and longest lasting wars since world war 2?
>you make the US sound like a Mongol Khanate which is just absurd
That is indeed an absurd strawman. Did the Mongols not achieve their super power status because of how successful they were at mass murder?
You're moving the goalposts now. Your earlier comment claimed the method for becoming a superpower was to "participate in the most wars and murder the most people." The number of casualties or infrastructure damage relative to the rest of the world shouldn't matter, as that implies a degree of complexity in the nature of superpowers that your prior rationale doesn't allow for.
>Which country would you guess has committed the most large scale invasions and longest lasting wars since world war 2?
You obviously want me to say the US, and you're hedging your bets with the weasel terms "large scale" and "longest lasting" and I really don't care enough about this to go look it up, so fine... the US. But since the US was already a superpower after World War 2, that's not really germane to the US's rise to superpower status.
>Did the Mongols not achieve their super power status because of how successful they were at mass murder?
Maybe, but the point is that the US didn't achieve superpower status through success at mass murder, and that they're not like the Mongols.
Please re-read what I actually said. You've blatantly misquoted me. A keyword which you conveniently ignored is wins.
>You're hedging your bets with the weasel terms "large scale" and "longest lasting"
Is scalability not a prerequisite to becoming a global scale superpower?
>the point is that the US didn't achieve superpower status through success at mass murder
Are you honestly implying the US' success at mass murder is unrelated to their becoming a superpower?
China is an authoritarian, control-freak one-party-superstate that jails and kills political opposition. Will the world be more “peaceful” if there’s a multipolar collection of those?
No idea if it's true or will work out that way, but it's one hypothesis I think is out there.
Sure, the downside of China's rise is that authoritarian states have more legitimacy, but it's not like the western powers did much about those states back when they were the hegemons, so I'm not sure if the argument carries much weight either.
You say "block intervention"... how does that work? That sounds like a proxy war to me... like the korean war, or vietnam, or afghanistan in the 80s. It's not peace, it's just bloodier.
The world is more peaceful today without the Soviet Unions fight for influence.
China threatens Taiwan INVASION to 'unify state' with FORCE if US Navy arrive
Chinese Police Are Demanding Personal Information From Uighurs in France
China demands immediate halt to THAAD missile system now ‘operational’ in South Korea
I think many people, especially in large and proud nations, don't like the idea of being a second class power to the United States. That's certainly what motivates Putin and Xi Jinping. There's nothing wrong with wanting to be the best, of course. I welcome competition.
Unfortunately though this frustration with not being the lone superpower drives people to focus solely on what the US is perceived to have done wrong while ignoring the tremendous amount of good the US has done and continues to do for the global international order. Therefore people develop a very skewed and biased understanding of the world.
Multipolarity means warfare and carnage on a scale much greater than anything we've seen in the period of global peace and stability we've seen since the US has been the superpower.
How so? I don't think so. AFAICS - and I lived in the US for a decade and would do so again, I have no beef with the country, just saying what I think I see/know - the US has always been an expansionist and later empire-seeking country at least for significant (i.e. with enough influence) parts of the powerful.
It's hard to prove or disprove your 2nd paragraph claim since we cannot have the experiment. I think that while you can certainly (as always) find plenty of examples in support the opposing side won't have any difficulties either. Overall the statement is way too fuzzy and broad to be either attackable or supportable.
> Multipolarity means warfare and carnage on a scale much greater than anything we've seen
Sounds like a vote for a global dictatorship to me.
That’s not true at all, at least not in historical context. The US is the most powerful country in the world never to build an actual empire. It’s conquests are limited to part of Mexico, and some pacific islands. It’s predecessor, Great Britain, colonized India, Africa, Oceania, and the Americas, and turned China into a vassal state. The would-be challenger Germany occupied France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Poland, etc.
The US is interventionist—it intervenes in the political affairs of other countries to perpetuate the status quo. That’s very different from being expansionist or Empire-seeking. Take Iraq for example. The US toppled the government. But did it colonize the country? Annex the oil fields? Turn the oil over to domestic oil companies like Exxon? No. (Most of the development rights went to BP, a British company!) The US spent far more on Iraq then it got out of the country. That’s not how an Empire operates.
> tremendous amount of good the US has done
Has any effect on:
> The amount of "bullying and abuse" by the US is grossly overstated.
If I cure a 1000 people and kill 1, in still an evil killer. It's not like some kind of game system where karma is a single number. You can help some people and be abusive to others, and those will never balance out unless there's a strict cause-effect relation between them.
(This is a quirky and rough post written late at night during a break from coding, so be forewarned...)
For example Europe used to be what we'd call multipolar, but today with the EU (sadly minus Britain for now at least) it's non-polar. OK, Germany is the biggest and most powerful, France after, but they aren't hegemonic and they must abide by the rules of the wider EU.
The US-led post WWII international order has probably been the closest thing yet to a global non-polar situation, so it's sad to see the US turning way from its own creation. To me, there should be more international harmonization and rule-making, which of course can only happen at the expense of some loss of national solidarity (the cost of any treaty) but which also can confer global rights and privileges.
I'd hope to see the world develop to become more like one huge EU. Just as countries wish to join the EU, they would hopefully wish to join the World Union. To do that they'd have to meet standards, and those standards would provide beacons, giving direction and purpose to countries that still had a long distance to travel.
So it couldn't be just like the EU all of a sudden of course. For example you can't just have a global Schengen Area for total free movement, you'd crash the system and get too much backlash, but you could start with, say, freedom of movement within some areas. So, imagine all OECD countries as one free movement area. I'd be so psyched! Wouldn't you? You could live in many places, your freedom would be massively expanded. And because OECD countries have similar levels of wealth, disruption would seem unlikely. Then you could expand from there however it were possible to other countries, but a larger total area would be better at absorbing immigrants because there would be more places for individuals or groups to discover niches they could fill.
(As an aside, I find it hard to understand how people who call themselves libertarians can be against freedom of movement. Likewise, people believing in "universal human rights of man" but only if you happen to be a citizen of their country. It seems almost like, say, a Christian telling you they'd only extend forgiveness and agape love to people from their own family, circle, or region, but sadly this is also common. I'm writing this from Seoul, by which I mean to argue that today we are all neighbors. Hello, neighbors^^)
Anyway, if we want a non-polar world, things like the WTO and UN, instead of being disparaged for their flaws, should be improved and expanded. To gain greater access to the global market, or areas within it, the World Union could stipulate that human dignity be maintained (even continuously improved), that rights of individuals be protected, and even that democracy, perhaps with local characteristics, be the system of government for those who wished to join. Perhaps China could keep its bureaucratic meritocracy ideas and still join, but not without approval from the country's citizens.
Advantages of joining could include things like open markets, common issuance of bonds, common protection against catastrophes, some kind of common currency mechanism with room for monetary policy to be either joined or governed by shared rules and principles, so that things like devaluations or interest rate settings could reflect local conditions but also jive / be in harmony with global economic trends. There could be levels of membership. Partial members. Pathways toward membership.
We already have a global culture and plenty of important, even existential global problems. It seems like the time is nigh for a global harmonization, maybe a World Union, or "World Commons".
That word "nigh" is interesting because it's chunked together so often with the apocalyptic phrase, "The end is nigh," the "end" being the Christian Day of Judgement from the Book of Revelations.
The Book of Revelations, which just barely made it into the Bible at the Council of Nicea, has sadly become an enemy of global cooperation in many religious Christian people's eyes. This may have in part to do with the kinds of views in the runaway best-seller Left Behind series of Apocalypse and Damnation-porn fiction (the books are an evangelical Christian orgy of shadenfreude -- just watch the damned sinners get theirs hahaha), with a metaphysical conspiracy theory about the United Nations being a source for Satan's control of the world.
I'm not religious, but it saddens me that the Christian faith, which began as something hoping to be universal and seeing us all as God's creations and each with the Holy Ghost within us, so each of us as holy and sacred, how that beautiful faith can (yet again) be twisted toward parochial and even nationalistic ends, even without many of the people responsible realizing what they are doing. Why have we come here to metaphysical conspiracy theories? Because the United States, from where so much progress has come in so many ways, but also where the Left Behind books were such hits, remains the indispensable country when it comes to global union and harmonization. China, not so much.
We've banned this account for using HN for political and national battle, flamewars, and personal attacks. That's a rather striking amount of vandalism, just as it would be if you had the opposite opinions. Indeed, the people who vandalize HN this way have more in common with their extreme enemies than they do with anyone else.
Arguably the biggest problem that Western democracy faces is apathy. So I think many of us take the opportunity to ride the wave of ire that China's policies illicit and attempt to funnel it into self-reflection. The West is an unaccounted bully on the global stage, the list of atrocities it has committed is both difficult to comprehend and stomach.
This does not at all placate China. Unchecked power in any context is bad news. Both the Chinese and Western populace are complicit. We are all heading for a tragically sobering wake up call.
If the only way for the Western psyche to understand its own pathology is by projection onto others, then so be it.
This applies to every country, they could all be better or worse: but some of them are currently worse than others.
Even if that scan does little or nothing to actually improve your safety ? If I'm going to have my privacy taken away, I want something better in return for it than security theater and wasted taxes.
If you truly believe that, would you be opposed to TSA style x-ray machines, genital pat downs, and strip searches any time you were to go to school, work, get on a bus, etc?
People fly infrequently though, and also have a very strong desire to feel safe when flying, so they are for the most part fine with TSA checkpoints. TSA checkpoints are implemented to make people feel safe.
See, it's a balance.
Ratchets only tighten.
So in other words, restricting your liberty or freedom of movement?
Directly inciting actual physical violence, you might have an argument for.
But words and ideas must remain free to maintain any semblance of a free society.
As other commenters have said: who decides?
China has an absolutely appalling social justice history, including every war they've been involved in, their internal intolerance, and their record-breaking incompetence at even feeding their own people.
It would bother me a lot less if it were private and governed private services only. There's more accountability in the sense that, there will always be services available that don't require the credit system, and there will be multiple competing bureaus ala the current credit system.
* The West has social credit scoring: money. A key principle of market economies is that accruing money is the just reward for contributing to society. Your bank account is your social credit score - yet we all know that many people get rich without rendering a useful service to society.
* Intelligence agencies keep security risk scores for every citizen. Just like China's policy decisions, there is almost no democratic oversight over how security services assign these scores.
* Credit ratings profoundly influence your life, for example, where you live depends on your ability on the mortgage a bank will offer you. These scores have almost no democratic oversight, just like China's policy decisions.
China is being radically transparent with its social credit system when compared with the West's unacknowledged or under-scrutinised scoring systems.
China obviously utilizes currency and a (very) limited free market. There has never been an alignment between wealth and social value, nor should there be. Yes, wealth creates inequality in the United States (in particular) and other more free-market oriented countries. Some of those countries (particularly Scandinavian ones) have taken great pains to see that actual suffering due to wealth inequality is minimized. The United States is culturally behind in this regard, but equating wealth with an explicit citizenship score is absurd.
Intelligence agencies do not keep security risk scores for every citizen (what country are you talking about, anyway?). I would wager at 10:1 odds that I don't have a profile at the FBI, CIA, or NSA in the United States (to be concrete). Even if they did (they don't) there are no legal uses of such a score, and any attempt to institutionalize something like that would have people rioting in the streets (literally). If I wanted to discover whether or not I had a "score" I would file a FOIA claim for each of those institutions.
Credit ratings are heavily regulated in the United States. Not as well as they could be, but see the Fair Credit Reporting Act from 1970 for a start. Credit reporting agencies are required to be transparent about the sources of their decisions, and hopefully we'll continue to make the system more predictable and humane. The uses of credit ratings are generally limited to situations where having a history of default is important information to a lender or renter. The colleges you applied to didn't, and won't, use your credit score.
Please try to communicate using specifics.
"do not keep security risk scores" - As other commenters point out, intelligence agencies use methods like cotraveller analysis and social network analysis which do seem to imply scoring all citizens. I guess they have an interpretation of the law which allows this.
You should FOIA the NSA and then we can find out for sure.
"Credit ratings are heavily regulated in the United States." -
Credit ratings in the UK are notoriously opaque, if you believe a mistake has been made there is very little you can do. I don't know about the US.
I mean China has money and bank accounts too. Money's not western or capitalist. It has existed for many thousands of years.
Are you saying that this social credit system is not a notable invention, that it doesn't mean anything? This isn't news.
Maybe you're saying that criticism is hypocritical, throwing the first stone from a glass house...?
Hypocrisy is almost always easy to claim, because everything is hypocritical in some sense. ISIS? Who doesn't claim god's on their side. Who doesn't kill people in war? Using chemical weapons? Why does it matter how you kill people. Dictator? Europe's not a perfect democracy either, dont'yaknow.
Ie, unless we have a perfect, consistent system, shut up.
China is a part of the world, a big part. Their great firewall has become a normative thing, and it's affecting the world. Now this. It affects us. We have a right to criticize.
EDIT: sorry, I didn’t express myself very well: I don’t approve of the proposed system in China, but given what is happening in the USA I don;t feel like criticizing other countries.
China's problem with bribing officials like police officers and doctors just to get nominal service is so bad that Xi is making a display of curbing it, but I'm not sure their society and political system is structured in a way that can really prevent it. Nobody is accountable to the public outside of the party's inner hierarchy.
And the way they've described this system: it will ban citizens who 'violate norms' from using high speed rail, traveling by air, and renting apartments in the major cities.