> The technology Daquin and colleagues learned about in Shenzhen underpinned what would become China’s “Social Credit System.” The still-evolving system, part of which uses “smart citizen cards” developed by ZTE, grades citizens based on behavior including financial solvency and political activity. Good behavior can earn citizens discounts on utilities or loans. Bad marks can get them banned from public transport or their kids blocked from top schools.
Whatever it takes to herd the cattle.
"First they came ..." is a poem written by the German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). It is about the cowardice of German intellectuals following the Nazis' rise to power and subsequent purging of their chosen targets, group after group. Many variations and adaptations in the spirit of the original have been published in the English language. It deals with themes of persecution, guilt and responsibility.
The best-known versions of the speech are the poems that began circulating by the 1950s. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum quotes the following text as one of the many poetic versions of the speech:
First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a socialist.
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.
Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.
Worse yet, credit scores are weak proxies for their primary duty (rating whether someone is likely to default on a loan) and are based on SSNs issued by the IRS, who (from my reading) is not working with the credit bureas to ensure accuracy of SSNs to names/addresses.
No planes though. Planes are considered a luxury.
HN discussion: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18104861
They suspended almost immediately the public key common to the 750 000 flawed cards, disabling them, and they issued an update a few months later. That seems like a pretty good reaction. I don't see what they could have done better, apart from making the cards themselves.
1) are the private keys in Belgian eID's also similarily not randomly generated on-chip, and in whose hands does this happen?
2) if we face the same issue as Estonia, why is no one in Belgium discussing this?
3) if Belgium is not affected, why is Gemalto having 2 systems? doesn't it seem more efficient to use the same private key generation mechanism for both customer nations? why would Gemalto go out of its way to have separate codebases etc regarding "on chip" private key generation? this all seems to suggest that Belgium too is similarily affected
Nothing about this flaw in the local news afaik.
These eIDs are replaced every few years, so it still matters to a lot of people.
How do we expect "deviants" to improve if we don't even allow feedback towards the "deviant" ?
US credit score/CN socia score/RU degrees of separation from putin (ok, I made the last one up :) are invisible, non-opt (in or out) systems of control.
estonia ID card (and an aborted digital ID in some south american countries) were about allowing the citzen to securely sign a document, in person or remotely.
the two concepts are world apart.
"Citizens of Australia, Canada, NZ, UK, and the US successfully opposed biometric national ID schemes." https://www.eff.org/issues/national-ids
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Estonia#Economic_indicators for instance.
Should people be required to hold a national ID card? It may have been rammed through in Germany, but many are not happy with national IDs. Its a basic consent of the people problem IMO. Passive acceptance is not consent or support, but merely dealing with the situation at hand.
The system also rests on utility bills - my wife was securing the services of a lawyer recently, and the government-issue driving license with photo and address is apparently not enough, you have to have a utility bill in your name too.
I guess we have to get used to the new world order, where citizens don't matter, surveillance is everywhere, and there is no obvious way to fight this madness.
Take note, this is the exact same vector that could happen even in first world countries.
Considering the potential oppressive ramifications of such a system this could support the government a great deal.
PS. Ctrip Founder levels with you:
Our middle and upper management members all sent their kids abroad, do their best to come by a (foreign) passport. Poor people don't mind, all they want is an apartment in Shanghai. It's not safe here, American education, air, and hospitals are just better.
To be fair, it’s the same excuse Facebook used in Myanmar.
Wow, is that meant to be a justification? That sounds even worse than what they are denying. They're just saying, "I don't care about the consequences, I'm just here to make a buck."
would the criticism go away if they called it a happiness score?
for all the faults credit scores have, the only factor that they take into account are your credit events. they don't track every aspect of your life.
The first thing I did was say was that credit scores aren't perfect, so I'm not disagreeing with you on this. as for the "incredibly inaccurate" claim, are you talking about accuracy as a whole, or people on edge cases being screwed because they have a bad score? because I highly doubt lenders would bother paying for a worthless risk model.
>Additionally credit score calculations are all proprietary
And you think the citizen score isn't going to be?
>may have begun taking your social life into account (there are mixed reports) [...] credit score trackers do all that stuff behind closed doors..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Credit_Reporting_Act ? Also, you can opt-out of social media, not so much the government.
I'm not sure what you're trying to do by pointing out how bad credit scores are, because citizen scores are clearly worse, considering they can collect everything credit bureaus can, but more.
Sure, the last 5 years of National TV Stations here in Spain talking about Venezuela 24/7h just didn't happen.
>our current government is more or less on friendly terms with Maduro's government and there is little insensitive to do anything about it.
You mean the PP too?
Also, yes, we're not in bad terms with Venezuela. That's basically our policy with S. America, to try to be friends with everyone. Heck, even Franco was friends with Castro. This type of policy goes a long time ago and it's not because "we are socialist sympathisers".
>The left-leaning media has, for the most part, ignored the topic (El Pais for one...),
>despite the increasing number of Venezuelan asylum-seekers arriving in Spain each year
Yes, those poor, poor migrants.
Most of them sadly (even the poor ones) don't give a fuck about Venezuela once they're here, because come on, will you really want to go back to a shithole vs one of the best countries in Europe in regard to quality of life and such?
>and any meaningful efforts to boycott anything would need the media/government's support.
Indeed. But not only "media" and "government" also other parties, like PP or Ciudadanos, which remind us of how bad Venezuela (because that filthy podemita is gonna expropriate your house, just like it has happened in Madrid with Carmena or in Valencia with Joan Ribó) but are yet to pretty much do nothing about it even when they were in power.
Nitpick: I guess you meant Fraga
Obviously the relationship Fraga had with Castro was more than friendly, it was "special" indeed so to speak.
Venezuela is still considered the ideal role model by certain British politicians...
This just in from a few days ago: Palm Beach County.
The county’s decade-old ballot-counting machines """overheated""" and gave """incorrect totals""", forcing the county to restart its recount of about 175,000 early votes., supervisor of Elections Susan Bucher said Tuesday night. The department has flown in """mechanics""" to repair the machines.
* Modern computers don't need mechanics when they overheat. The computer will automatically shut itself off if it gets too hot in order to save itself. All you have to is cool the computer down. That's something even an idiot could do. *
A few excerpts from the Wikipedia page of the voting machine we use in the USA, "Smartmatic":
After receiving funds "from private investors" which included Jorge Massa Dustou, one of the richest individuals in Venezuela, the company then began to expand rapidly.
Smartmatic then established its headquarters in Boca Raton, Florida with only seven employees. Bizta was awarded a $150,000 "loan" from Marieta Maarroui de Bolívar – wife of the then-Chavista governor Didalco Bolívar – who was president of FONCREI, the Venezuelan government's organization dedicated to industrial funding. Smartmatic also received an additional $200,000 loan from the Chávez government. The deal with Bizta required the Venezuelan government to own 28% of Smartmatic and placed Venezuela's Head of the Council of Ministers and advisor to Hugo Chávez, Omar Montilla, on Smartmatic's board of directors. After it was reported that the Venezuelan government had been involved with funding and managing Mugica's Bizta for over two years, Smartmatic quickly repaid Bizta's "loan" a month before the election. A Venezuelan government propaganda organization, the Venezuela Information Office, also released a "fact sheet" about Smartmatic, defending the company from allegations at the time.
It is true the IRS used it for their own purposes too, and thus broke the original purpose, but it'd be ridiculous to make the Social Security card more secure and turn it into a national ID because of that. In most government applications anyway, your driver's license number has taken the place of the SSN. Your SSN isn't supposed to be sensitive.
Furthermore, it sounds like you're advocating for the creation of a "National ID" of sorts, which is quite the slippery slope.
I'm confidant that the census bureau created those numbers which was soon taken over by SSA or for SSA. That also isn't really the point I'm trying to make which is becoming a tangent.
REAL ID is basically standardized state IDs to allow the things you wanted. Yes, it's not free, but most people have one already anyway (if they drive).
Furthermore, it appears that if someone is on SSI benefits, they get a significant discount. It depends on the state level through what kind of discounts are available of course.
I also know in Florida there are several homeless assistance non-profits who will pay and assist with getting photo IDs for the homeless, and with the fee being only $25, it seems relatively "cheap" as a method of helping someone who is homeless; it'd be hard to find a better return on investment with $25 to help assist the homeless to take the steps needed to get themselves off the street.
I recall when I first got my license paying more than $40, so I was very happy to see the lower price.
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18451533 and marked it off-topic.
Edit: please see https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18446684 too.
I'm shooting from memory here about Sanders' proposals, and can't cite a source, so someone feel free to correct with hard data if you've got it...
The main focus was on Medicare-for-All, which could not but would also (even in analysis by hostile sources) reduce total public + private health costs.
> That was the start of Venezuela's road to ruin.
No, it wasn't.
Venezuela did not enact policies that cost more than it could supports, then try to raise taxes for revenue, and then turn to expropriation as a revenue measure; expropriation and high taxation were adopted deliberately as part of an overt policy of aggressive redistribution of wealth, not because revenue for social services was unavailable elsewhere but because redistribution from the rich was an independent goal.
Venezuela’s road to ruin was based on overdependence on oil revenue combined with failure to invest to diversify (or even maintain production) which led to falling production masked for a while by soaring prices and the whole house of cards collapsing when oil market prices collapsed.
> The main focus was on Medicare-for-All, which could not but would also (even in analysis by hostile sources) reduce total public + private health costs.
So there's a deal available there to be done where everybody wins (except perhaps politically). Medicare-for-all without the deal could be a disaster for the government finances, though.
But Sanders also proposed free college for all, which would also have to be funded somehow. And it seems like there was another big one, but I don't remember what it was.
> Venezuela did not enact policies that cost more than it could supports, then try to raise taxes for revenue, and then turn to expropriation as a revenue measure; expropriation and high taxation were adopted deliberately as part of an overt policy of aggressive redistribution of wealth, not because revenue for social services was unavailable elsewhere but because redistribution from the rich was an independent goal.
On reflection, that's not very comforting. We are at a place politically where "redistribution from the rich" has become thinkable as an independent goal.
He actually proposed that public colleges and universities should be tuition free, which is not the same thing.
> On reflection, that's not very comforting. We are at a place politically where "redistribution from the rich" has become thinkable as an independent goal.
Redistribution wasn't what caused the collapse, being more dependent on oil while producing less of it (and thus becoming supersensitive to price was.)
I only mentioned redistribution as an independent policy goal to explain why the narrative social spending -> funding needs -> effort at raising taxes -> expropriation was wrong. That sequence simply didn't occur. Venezuela relied on raising oil prices for revenue, and collapsed when oil prices did; expropriation was adopted early on when things were going relatively well, because of high oil prices, not in desperation over inadequate revenue.
Case in point in America. I know many, many people who served in the military for the sole reason of a college education. It cost them 4-8 years, but they emerged a veteran with veteran hiring preferences, debt-free, have work experience, life experience, and they are all fine. And no, you don't have to end up in a combat role at all. It's completely avoidable by going into the Air Force or Navy in an administrative role. In the rear with the gear, as it were. Military IT training for those with an IT bent is great training and you get to work on some really interesting stuff. You will never see the front lines as an Air Force IT staffer. This is but one path. For those morally opposed to the military, there are other paths like the Peace Corps, WWOOF, etc.
Edited to add:
From Winston Churchill:
"Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery."
"There is nothing government can give you that it hasn't taken from you in the first place."
"The main vice of capitalism is the uneven distribution of prosperity. The main vice of socialism is the even distribution of misery."
"You don't make the poor richer by making the rich poorer."
"We contend that for a nation to try and tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by the handle."
# End Sir Winston Churchill
I agree with all his above statements. Even Scandinavia is cutting back on the services they offer because they cannot afford it long term. It's not a panacea. You earn it, you keep it. Full stop. I should not be forced by taxation to fulfill the lives of others. If you are able-bodied, get a job, even if you don't like it. Work your way up the ladder. Don't expect anything from anyone. No one owes you anything other than mutual respect as a human being. Want something? Go earn it.
But you’re surely fine paying your taxes into “Defense” (private, for-profit contractors) continuing wars in other destabilized regions?
I’m actually supportive of defense spending....when it’s relevant to American (or really any developed nation’s “greater” life on earth). I currently see no effort to build ICBM/EMP/Astroid/Natural disaster defenses shrug
I also have to wonder what your priorities are when your first thought is “I don’t want to pay for everyone else” instead of “where is my tax money going?”
I, too, do not want an undue yoke of taxation on my back. To be honest, no one is calling for a “magnitude” increase in your taxes. And trigger warning, America has numerous socialist policies such as Medicare/Medicaid and health coverage for your politicians (but not your fellow countrymen)
It seems far more “fake and forced” to me that our FAANG companies (and their ilk) need additional tax cuts.
It seems far more “fake and forced” that income tax is so high compared to other taxes. the sudden 2016-induced claims of a “booming economy” seem more “fake and forced” in the light of no real wage growth. Our slow descent into Feudalism and lordship seems far more “fake and forced” when you look at the policies that enable it.
And If you are one of the world’s wealthiest 0.1%, let me play the worlds smallest violin for not wanting to help you press your boot down harder on the throat of the proletariat.
There are more then a few animal social systems that practice resource sharing:
The act of ensuring everyone has the bare minimum to survive when resources are abundant is more natural, more human, not less.
Possibly relevant: I’ve lived for 5+ in Northern Europe in the same economic/familiar circumstances as in the US, and I paid pretty much the same amount (as a percentage of my salary) after adding education and health care. The winters in Northern Europe are terrible, though. Pretty much everything else rocks.
Corbyn, on the other hand, has explicitly and often praised Venezuela and Chavez. There are plenty of primary sources, e.g.,
It is possible that the result would still be broken, but it is certain that the result of doing nothing will still be broken.
We can either just keep things broken, learn from what others have done use those lessons to take our best shot at fixing things, or we can completely ignore the hard-won lessons of others and go for an untested and novel approach. Which is most likely to work?
How do you define a “socialist” country? What countries would you say are “socialist” versus “cartel driven”?
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=18451497 and marked it off-topic.
You can debate the pros and cons of centralization vs decentralization of violent power, but it's misleading to claim that one argument is inherently violent and the other somehow is not.
For example, you could argue that the deterrent effect of a strong police force enforcing strict laws leads to less actual physical violence and crime than the deterrent effect of every home being vigilant and armed. But regardless of what side you take, both approaches are backed by the prospect of violence.
Violence only usually works for a short time, in limited situations, with limited groups of people. Other than that it's largely counterproductive because dead babies photos get folks agitated.
What works really well is economic coercion. Sure, you don't have to do such and such, but then your kids won't go to college, you won't get a good job, you won't be able to buy anything, and in extreme cases, you won't be able to eat.
That is effective coercion, the kind all of us are subject to right now and generally responsive to as well. The issue with breaking the law isn't that you might get shot by the cops, it's that you won't be able to get a good (or any?) job ever ever again after you get out of 10 year confinement. So no women, no wine, no everyone thinking you are really something in your new car. No power. Will get bossed around in some low level degrading position for table scraps, if you are lucky.
It's really the same kind of thing as social credit score in China, just not as formal. And that kind of coercion is how smart people do it, not with guns.
I wish everyone could be honest with the fact that there are a dozen people or so that in one method or another could demolish bitcoin if they really wanted to. (Shutting down some exchanges, a couple well placed bad changes, the unknown creator, etc)
Just saying that at least partially explains the exuberance with which people are participating in the Bitcoin experiment.
It’s a literal universal interest that the USD be stable. A dozen people at the FED or executive shouldn’t be able to ruin the dollar at least in any comparison to how fast a niche crypto commodity could be ruined.
That said... we went through at least three rounds of QE directed by the last administration. So, maybe you’re right.
That's what makes it important to enable Venezuelans to hustle with each other unofficially, sub rosa.
DOn't get me wrong: I loathe bitcoin and its boosters, and I pity anyone who actually needs it to get by. But Venezuelans are in that number.
If people know you have Bitcoin, they can just beat the wallet password out of you and throw you in jail just the same.
I really don't understand how Venezuelans haven't revolted and given up on their failed socialist economic experiment. Typically lack of food has been the spark that starts these revolutions, but the failure of even basic services there has been going on for years now. How much more authoritarianism without any economic gain can these people take?
Are enough regular people really getting enough handouts from the government to not want to get rid of them? Is the propoganda machine working that effectively to blind them?
First article I found on it on Google: https://www.activistpost.com/2016/05/did-you-know-that-venez...
BBC Link about the ban: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-18288430
...And then he can sit back and enjoy the fireworks from the safety of Washington DC, while his followers are doing the dirty work.
Those 2A arguments never really made sense to me: what makes you think your gun-toting neighbor (or even yourself) will be on the right side of freedom?
The US Army, or any other branch of service for that matter, isn't going to turn on its citizens: it would more likely turn on any leaders that order them to do so.
And don't discount the fact that among the civilians are a good number of individuals who were former military.
The Kent State shootings were in 1970. The Branch Davidian compound siege was in 1993.
In the former case, the Guardsmen involved claimed to have fired in self-defense and were cleared of both criminal and civil charges. In the latter, the military assets were limited to a few Bradley fighting vehicles on the perimeter and combat engineering vehicles -- which were actually used for breaching and wall-breaking -- under the direction (if not operation) by ATF and FBI, and no military units engaged in fire.
In neither case were military units ordered to suppress or attack civilians. And compared to the number of training related deaths that occur in the military during peacetime, the number of fatalities from the incidents you list (although tragic) pale in comparison over the same time period.
Waco was the cops wasn’t it? Who are always happy to shoot random civilians.
And if the latter, does that Constitution or do those regulations outline and reinforce the importance of individual rights, or simply the importance of compliance to the State?
Do members of the Venezuelan army receive extensive and annual training/re-training regarding the laws of land warfare, treatment of captives, and expected conduct under the Geneva Convention and any other applicable rules of engagement?
Are members of the Venezuelan army professional soldiers or conscripts?
Are units of the Venezuelan army composed of individuals from the same geographical area, and stationed in a different geographical area?
Answers to these questions should give one insight as to the difference between any Third World army (Venezuelan or otherwise) and those of the United States military.
Venezuala military budget: $2.6b; 1% GDP
Your analogy needs work.
EDIT: Corrected US military budget %GDP value.
US military budget: ~$700 billion, 3.4% of GDP.
US GDP will be close to $20.50 trillion for 2018. Your 15% figure implies a GDP of about $4 trillion (close to the size of Germany's economy).
The US will add roughly $1 trillion to its GDP figure in 2018. That's nearly the size of Mexico's entire economy (15th largest economy), added in just one year.
In any case, the US military is much better equipped than the Venezuelan military.
 spelling (thank 2RTZZSro!)
You can't win a revolution without significant popular support, and you can't get that if your only strategy is to shoot your antagonists because it's not clear how you differ from them in that case.
firearms are a factor, but the idea that they are the only factor is demonstrably wrong.
For example if an ISP in an autocratic regime, right now, wants to buy new core, aggregation and edge/customer premises routers, for a major network upgrade, they're going to be looking at ZTE or Huawei. Whereas the better technical solution might be some combination of things from a US company (Cisco, Juniper, Brocade). Or if they already have people who know JunOS on staff for core routing, they'll have to make a business risk decision to buy grey market Juniper through a third party, without any official support.
ZTE and Huawei and other Chinese companies involved in Internet censorship and the GFW are happy to sell equipment and consulting/contracting services to these sorts of countries.
Also, I live in a European country and network cores here, along with mobile stations, CPEs, etc. are full Chinese. ISPs don't even buy the equipment from them, they just give the Chinese firms full control to deploy the network. So this thing you're mentioning is not some kind of crazy Venezuelan concept.
How does this explain Athenian democracy or the Roman Republic? (Or, for that matter, Sparta’s elected ephors?)
Totalitarianism is the novelty. It has never, before recent decades, been feasible for a state to completely monitor all its citizens.
Also, the venetian republic lasted for a thousand years and for about half of that it had a mostly democratic system.
As I read history, I'd say that totalitarianism has been common throughout recorded history, perhaps even the majority.
The idea being that maybe authoritarianism “the natural order” but combined with ‘ok, but you’ll have to kill me first’.
I don’t know what your beliefs are on the matter, nor if you have an entirely valid point. I just wonder if anyone agrees but also feels that citizens shouldn’t have a means to protect themselves from their government that they beleive has an eventual tendeancy to turn authoritarian?
Edit: very strange reaction to asking questions that don’t imply any side one way or another but no responses... if you can’t even recognize another side of an argument without an emotional response... I mean... okay, but I think it’s odd.
Bang, you're dead.
The US romanticises revolution on the idea that every revolution will be like the US war of Independence, which is a really bad guide to how they tend to go in practice. People would do better to look at violence in South America as an example.
If the government wanted to demolish everything they could glass the entire country with the push of a button.. but to what end? To rule over nothing?
This argument inevitably leads to one where you say tanks and drones vs civilians, but like your ”bang you’re dead” example that isn’t a solution to policing a populace, to keep routes open, to keep production going. Tanks and drones don’t stand on street corners. For that you need boots on the ground, and for that, you need people willing to go through doors knowing that the first guy or two will die. The supply is those guys runs out fast.
I don’t think it has anything to do with romanticism. It’s an honesty that we’ve seen in Iraq/Afghan/Syria for almost 20 years, even if you have the best miliary in the world with dozens of allies, that you can’t rule over people that don’t want to be if they can retaliate.
So... do all government roads lead to authoitarianism? IDK! But it surely happens slower when the people pose an individual threat, wouldn’t you think?
This view also presumes that there isn't a big chunk of the populace that voted for the authoritarianism and actively supports it.
but the on my mind - is the trend toward authoritarianism due to those in power seeking lordship, or select vocal groups among the serfs seeking to be lorded?
Man, you guys are going to be really upset when you find out about the NSA and FBI.
If we had a press release like "Amazon announces mobile payments card with integration into government services", you guys would eat that up, right? "Mr. Bezos said the card would allow holders to easily apply for government programs such as food stamps."