> Other infractions reportedly include smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games and posting fake news online.
This reminds me a lot of that Black Mirror episode where everyone upvotes and downvotes each other in contribution to a social credit system that prevents a girl from traveling and being treated kindly by anyone
On a different tact, the US is just as guilty of this with the over the top of punishment of those convicted of sex crimes where you can be publicly embarrassed by law enforcement after you served your time. Where you can be told where you can live and not live or even go. Considering the power it gives over one group of people it is not hard to see how it will expand to other crimes
Also, what would be the consequences of knowing who upvoted you or downvoted you ? Now that I think about it, neither imgur or hn let you see that. Should we be entitled to that kind of data ?
Our life would be worse in a black mirror system than in a Chinese system.
Both systems are fucked up though.
Edit: I think here just as there the majority will have “good credit” and actually like having an nearly permenant underclass...so just as here, I don’t think there will be much incentive to change there either.
Think of all the gamification bullshit we've dealt with, and realize that it's now going to be deployed on a massive scale to shape the behaviors, incentives, and punishments of the whole populace, wielded by a government known to persecute subsets of it.
And I'm sure it's going to be used for some good. There will be a lot of good results that's come of it, and that will be its selling point. But it undoubtedly will also be used to suppress specific ideas and people. It will be a massively effective too for that. Think of the coded racism used in the Southern Strategy in US politics as explained by Lee Atwater. By abstracting away everything and converting it to whatever statistics you want, you have total plausible deniability over any targeted oppression you want.
They are one and the same. The "financial" rating affects where you can live ( try getting an apartment or a mortgage ) and where you work.
Sure it isn't as draconian as the chinese version but it's pervades much of your life.
It’s actually a completely reasonable use of credit report.
And I’m sure China could easily argue prior social behavior is a huge predictor of future social behavior.
But the real problem in the US is you have an entire class of people who have no credit history (the poor), not bad credit history, but no credit history.
You aren’t wrong if I’m lending money I’d want to know debt to income ratio, but why does that matter to getting a job? If you have no credit history and can’t get a good job, how do you think that is going to effect your income and access to credit. Look at the studies of impact of credit history, it facilitates keeping poor people poor (limits social mobility).
I made the fiscally responsible choice to not take on debt I could not afford, but I was punished more than if I had indebted myself. I got a credit card shortly after, and naturally spent years trying to keep up with the payments that I couldn't afford at the time. Anyone that cannot see the clear trap being laid here is doing so willfully.
Also regarding building credit, don’t spend beyond your means and you’ll be OK. Many people use credit cards for perks and rewards and pay their bill off at the end of the month. No one is forcing you to spend beyond your means.
Plus, I wasn't living beyond my means. Paying a power deposit equal to one month's rent is not within most peoples' means. I recently paid $50 to turn the power on in my $1400 apartment.
That aside, I'm also not sure you understand the circumstances if you think being "forced to spend beyond your means" isn't something that people in poverty regular have to go through. I'm at a place now where I can afford a credit line, but that's not the case for a lot of people. Those people shouldn't be punished from abstaining. A credit line is a commitment, no matter if you can make your payments or not
All-in-all, I think the credit system has a slew of good intentions going into it, but it has had a quite a few negative effects in regards to the poor and essential utilities. It's also used to drive where a lot of businesses set up shop (I work for one - thanks, Experian) - so the idea that this Chinese social credit system is far removed from our financial credit system just isn't true. It's not directly applied to social lives, but it's overall effects on a person's social life are abundantly clear. If anything, the financial credit system could end up being more sweeping and inter-generational, but that remains to be seen.
Likewise, there was no credit extended for things like power, you were expected to pre-charge your power instead.
Being a good and obedient communist isn’t a very good predictor of anything but itself.
You want to work here? We are going to have to check your credit! Which system is it?
You’re born poor and apply for your first job, a nice government job with nice government benefits, but can’t get it because you don’t have any credit established. Hell youre poor, forget credit you can’t even open a bank account, go apply for a minimum wage job, then head to the check cashing/cash advance store. Look at social mobility in this country, pretty sure it’s the lowest of all first world economies, it’s pretty dystopian.
US credit score = 35% payment history + 30% debt burden + 15% credit history + 10% credit types + 10% recent credit searches. Used for lending, and sometimes for leasing and employment.
Social credit system = a black box of metrics that can change at any time, relating to your speech, browsing history, political ideas, entertainment choices, shopping history, dating behavior, etc. Used to limit options in travel, education, dating, purchasing, internet speed, etc.
If the US credit system starts becoming more like the latter, then yes, that's cause for concern. But so far its problems are of a very different scale than a social credit system.
But that’s why I added the edit, because I had to acknowledge people in the US love the credit system like people in China will love the social credit system. That’s unfortunately probably the most important parallel the people welcome the systems.
How do you think bank accounts, minimum wage jobs, or check-cashing places work? Do you think they check your credit before you can access them? Some jobs do, sure, but not all, and you can absolutely deposit money or cash a check without having established credit.
Secret no fly lists: impact a very small slice of the population. Try to find more than a few instances of legitimate travelers being blocked, which is something you can do with freedom of speech and freedom of press. I think less than 2000 are us citizens. The program in China is going to disenfranchise entire slices of their population and further limit their social mobility.
Secret kill lists are for terrorits. We don’t kill our own citizens. I’m an Enlightenment since everyone deserves due process, but in a defending our national interests sense, that can never be the case and never has been.
Our systems aren’t perfect, but every first world nation has some system to track your financial behavior and it impacts you negatively if you don’t make your payments. I just don’t see any strong relationship to the oppression in China and what happens in the US. Our systems aren’t perfect and your criticism has merit, but not as a comparison to China on this topic.
No love lost for the man, but labeling something OK because someone is said to be a “terrorist” (when that label has been applied without due process) is the equivalent of avoiding due process which must be afforded to all citizens.
When excepted under narrow circumstances for convenience, you are paving the way to generally ignoring due process.
The parts of this that are comprehensible are either baseless or ill-informed assertions.
Or so they say. In any case, it's a single country deciding, and that any some ad hoc committee, without a public due process, and targeting people residing on sovereign states.
And of course often killing 10-20 nearby people as well, up to 130 for a strike on a wedding:
There's no war declared, and this is just random people (as far as the UN is concerned) deciding and sending drones to kill other people -- and in any case, without any due process, official declaration of war, or anything of the sort, and in sovereign countries at that.
>National security has always been thus and always will be so until there is no such thing as a nation.
It's not "national security", it's just might. If national security was an excuse for such an act, then the nations those innocent bystanders died in the strike would be OK to send missions to kill those responsible as well, and why not, 20-100 "collateral damages" as well.
>It is tragic and always will be
Doesn't seem to be perceived that tragically. A few people dying in some mass shooting in some US city gets 100x the media coverage and public tears...
It looks more like "yeah, whatever, they're third worlders anyway".
When I first moved to the US it was not possible for me to have any (US) credit. I had good credit in Canada, but that was mostly by accident (I had a credit card that I rarely used -- I didn't really need one in university) and it turns out that Canadian credit doesn't translate into US credit.
If you’re rich.
Because everyone who isn't a millionaire, is just an embarrassed pre-millionaire.
How can you know if they are secret? And it’s pretty cavalier to say “impact a small slice” — it’s a bit deal if you’re part of that small slice, fair or not.
Never heard of the MOVE Row House bombing where Philadelphia police literally helicopter-bombed the place and killed 5 children? Waco Massacre where the FBI killed over 20 children?
Where have you been living? Under a rock?
What we do know is the Us has made multiple drone strikes targeting a US citizen and ultimately killed a US citizen.
Two you can’t know how many other citizens are on the kill list, that is the nature of secret kills lists.
Three we don’t even know the standard the government uses to label someone a terrorist (us citizen or not) for purposes of the kill list, because the US Supreme Court said we aren’t entitled to know.
And as to the credit...as I said the majority have good credit and love to think they earned that credit and like the permenant underclass of people who have bad credit can’t get jobs, housing, etc... Trust me the majority of people in China will have good social credit and say the same things as you...it’s easy to have good social credit, it’s not dystopian it’s helpful. History suggests people have a great love for societal hierarchies.
Or they are born poor and don’t have access to credit. Thus have limited access to jobs and housing. That continues to prevent them from establishing credit and keeps poor people poor. Also there are plenty of studies showing credit scores in fact are inheriently biased against minorities.
“Just Pay Your Bill”. Exactly as I said the majority loves it, and the majority in China will love it to and say “Just be a good citizen”.
Edit: I realized I’m talking about the dystopia of using credit to limit ones ability to get a job and housing, and you’re talking about ability to buy cigarettes and video games.
As for no-fly: agreed that is a stain on our democracy.
Yet they can prevent you from getting, or keeping, government jobs, prevent you from getting government contracts, prevent you from being able to purchase a home, prevent you from getting student loans...
They aren't as bad but they're still tools of control.
All that said: typically if you’re asking for money it doesn’t come for free. You are submitting to a control. The fact that these scores are used in other arenas that are not related to finance is odd, but using your financial history as an indicator of future payment seems rational whether scores existed or not.
Which to this day aren't in some central database. Many states have counties where court records aren't even available online, that's a hell of a lot different than a centralized service that compiles, ranks and sells this information.
It's in a credit reporting agency's best interest to find every last scrap of financial information about you so they can sell it. They don't care so much about accuracy, they just care about growing that file so they have more to sell.
There's countless instances of people having their credit reports merged with others, containing erroneous information that pertains to a parent or child if they are Bob Smith I, Bob Smith II, Bob Smith III etc, then of course you are asked for your SSN for jobs/taxes/rental applications/in many cases it is on your driver's license which is handed over to numerous people for numerous reasons making it incredibly easy for someone to steal your identity and racking up debt, that they do not pay, on YOUR credit files which can take you years to get removed, all the while being on a centralized purchasable document that is intended to say how trustworthy you are as a person...
So there's also no democratic control on them?
Second, I’m really not sure what the lending landscape looks like if you don’t have these ratings. (Not saying better or worse, just not sure) I guess if you want to go tell every lender your life story and get your own individual interest rate and negotiate it all yourself then feel free? Numbers tend to free up liquidity because it creates a relatively well understood framework that banks can hedge and lend on. This enables speed as well as more lending.
I’m not a huge fan of the consolidation of ratings agencies but I do like the speed and available credit these scores enable.
Sure you can take a credit reporting agency to court, if you can afford a lawyer.
You can take creditors to court, if you can afford a lawyer.
You can file bankruptcy, on some debts, if you can afford a lawyer. But that bankruptcy follows you, it will flat out prevent you from employment in certain industries, it will prevent you 99% of the time from any job that requires a security clearance for the rest of your life, it will severely hinder your ability to have credit in the future.
Sure, you can dispute incorrect things on your credit report... if you know how. Then of course, all a creditor has to do is, within a few months, say 'yes that information is correct' and the dispute rules in their favor.
Sure, if someone steals your identity and takes out some lines of credit you can attempt to undo that damage but it could take years (if ever) to fix your credit report while employers and would-be-creditors see you as someone that defaulted on debt, even though you had nothing to do with it, and treat you as someone irresponsible and unreliable.
All of this while the credit agencies are SELLING this report to anyone that wants it, effectively telling the buyers how allegedly trustworthy and responsible you are.
I agree that disputes are not easy, but you are not being denied rights by the state if your credit is bad which is the key difference here vs China.
If you think we need more reform of credit reporting (I would not disagree) then please contact your representative - that’s going to be the way to better regulate the dispute process and provide more recourse for citizens.
There’s “what China is doing is no big deal, we do it all as well so why are we hypocritically making a fuss?”.
Then there’s “this is appalling and should be condemned absolutely, but let’s be careful here because we’re already exposed to some problems like this ourselves”.
Not to burst your bubble, but I don’t think my comment is saying it’s just as bad here, only encouragement to do a comparative analysis of the two systems. Maybe one is worse/better in terms of scale but dystopian systems are dystopian systems notwithstanding the scale.
Anyway you are obviously entitled to your opinion about my comment, but help me understand how you came to the conclusion my comment is “it’s worse here?”
Fortunately, people with influence don’t share your view, or our lack of perfection would keep us from ever calling out authoritarian regimes for their abuses, no matter how horrific.
Gassing millions of people? Eh, we killed some people in targeted drone strikes, who are we to judge?
Sounds like the same lazy whataboutism...ignoring our own human rights abuses to highlight others? Seems like calling a comparative analysis a lazy whataboutism, while using a whataboutism arguement is intellectually dishonest.
But I think your point about gassing people is helpful here, because you are refernicing genocide. Wouldn’t you agree whether Sudan or the Holocaust, both are examples of genocide? That we don’t ignore Sudan simply because the scale isn’t the same, and it’s not whataboutism to discuss both in the context of genocide? I think the same applies to dystopian systems, you either are or aren’t, and scale is a different discussion or arguing better/worse is pretty silly at that point.
Bringing one up in the context of the other isn’t whataboutism or handwaiving forgiveness, now if I brought up our system to forgive China’s system, then I think that is fairly called a whataboutism argument. But I think it’s clear I’m calling them both dystopian systems, and didn’t even touch on one being better/worse than the other.
If that were true it would be whataboutism, but I didn’t do it to deflect China’s system. Many ways to skin a cat, inheriently means if I am decrying the US system as dystopian, I am doing the same with China’s (the opposite of deflection and whataboutism) while simultaneously acknowledging the difference in the mechanisms.
Again in the context of the Holocaust, if I mention modern genocides such as Sudan, it’s not inheriently a whataboutism, but a call to consider and compare modern instances of genocide. People can be outraged all they want when another example of genocide is mentioned while discussing the Holocaust, but to call Sudan not a genocide because the holocaust was at a scale orders of magnitude becomes the whataboutism arguement.
The real problem is your telling me “we are talking about China’s abuses”...no that’s what the article is talking about. Look at my very first comment, it’s in response to a top level comment comparing China’s credit system to a system from an episode of Black Mirror.
By the OP bringing up another dystopian system (from the Black Mirror episode) did the OP engage in whataboutism? No! OP offered a comparison, same as I did, both of which are helpful to discussion and interesting. What you are doing is trying to chill speech (eg don’t talk about other dystopian systems while we are chiding China’s dystopian system). And I’m not sure you know what the definition of whataboutism arguements.
You don't need social credit system to prove that you can take a plane. We all can takes a plane, there's no special social skills to takes a plane. This is literally punitive.
Inherently Life already have some kind of social credit system that act like our credit system. That's called reputation, or having contacts, or in slang, street's cred. I can't make a call right now to many celebrities, yet someone with enough reputation, wouldn't have trouble getting in contact with some. In a more realistic context, someone that want to become lawyer NEEDS contacts to make it, that's just the way it is, theses contacts are way, like in our credit system, to prove that you know what you are doing and can do more.
Works does the same with experience.
Regardless, there’s a world of difference in me considering a rental application with bad credit and the government forbidding me to rent to someone, not because of their prior ability to handle credit responsibly, but because they didn’t follow the political wishes of the government in power. I seriously can’t understand how anyone can compare them with a straight face.
The credit system (and a lot of other things) in the US is a mess, I agree. Howecer, this rampant whataboutism that’s reflexively thrown out when discussing truly horrific human rights abuses against millions or even hundreds of millions is intellectually bankrupt. It makes me worry that too many of us no longer value our freedoms enough to protect them like we should.
Sure, and you and your wife were perfectly free to book a hotel as opposed to an AirBnB (which is NOT a hotel).
And the West has nevertheless kept quiet for long 28 years.
>The group was never officially registered on the country’s household registration record system, known as hukou, which is closely linked to a person’s legal identity. That means they didn’t officially exist—until recently. On Friday (March 24), China’s Ministry of Public Security, the government department in charge of hukou registrations, announced that they had helped register the 14 million.
It is just this time, with the social credit, the state has finally got balls to go after high class bourgeois from megacities, and lower end elites.
Perhaps it's a cultural thing.
I have already been thinking about the possible necessity of a decentralized personas. If an employer wants to see my office persona, then I don't want those people to see my gaming persona. No reason to connect these things to a central identity.
Decentralized personas are natural in the entertainment world where you take on different characters. Authors might publish under a different name. Now even a Twitter bot with a crap AI can be a popular persona.
As negative as a turn of events as this is, it could be a positive in odd sort of way in which we might view hackers blowing open vulnerabilities. This software, like any can spread like FB - crawling across the globe and no extra cost to the goons running it. I wonder what my score in China might be even though I don't live there. Maybe next, Valenzuela. Now is the time to construct a defense - if even possible.
Here is more in-depth and fact based article about the topic:
It seems like you can strike "erroneously" from that sentence, since the source it cites doesn't imply it was a mistake at all.
Collective punishment is worth criticizing.
As per usual, when implementing some Orwellian scheme, there will be a crowd that states there's nothing to worry about, and that people are over-reacting, and that it's really not so bad after all.
I wonder what the social credit score of Chinese dissidents will look like.
Bad record on human rights doesn't exactly cover it when the full stupidity of that fathoms on you. Jaywalking in itself is a manufactured crime.
She has no appeal and no way to correct the mistake. None of the police or officials she's talked to have done anything. She's just stuck with it.
And I can't help thinking that while it may be efficient at forcing people to not behave like a jerk, it will also have the same effect than for a XVIII century village: a high degree of conformism, that supresses any evolution or innovation. It may be the desired effect by the current rulers, preventing any political challenge. But I think it will also lead to an inexorable decline of the Chinese society.
It doesn't force people to not behave like a jerk, it could just as easily lead to a nation of jerks. It forces people to strictly act within a tiny zone at the center of the Overton window. At scale, it means that natural ideological progress will significantly slow down.
Any ideas or actions outside the norm will be culled. It's a move to homogenise the masses and allow the party to more easily set the general direction of 'desired' behaviours. This is pretty clearly the goal first and foremost. Stopping people from being jerks is just the marketing label.
The set of measures used to determine social credit will change over the next two decades and will become an ever tighter definition of what the party wants its citizens to be. The current criteria are just the entrée that was determined to be palatable to the masses.
It has lots of nuances but the most important difference, if compared to western view of the justice system and the rights of state, is that the most important thing in a legalistic system is to punish those that break the law, and other considerations like individuals right to a fair proceeding and so on, are secondary.
I think this social credit system is the perfect manifestation of the legalistic frame of mind. The system is built so that those that step out of the line are punished.
Western humanistic philosophy is quite new when compared to how chinese state has been ruled for millenias. I'm not saying this to make any value propositions into one direction or the other - just that there is quite a lot of cultural background here that Europeans and anglosaxons might not be aware of.
Xi must be thinking "hey, it worked for millennia, why stop now?"
In China, when you break some rule or law, the police are much more lenient and forgiving. First time offenders (of minor crimes) always just get warnings. Even if the law requires a fine or some punishment, most cops will let you go after a stern lecturing.
But in the US, once the bureaucracy kicks in, then you have to follow the letter of the law. There is very little compassion. It’s about punishment, not re-education.
Perhaps it’s different in Europe, but that’s my experience in China and the US.
Yes, it is a horrible thought, but in many ways inevitable: if the tech exists, it will be used for both good and evil. Better that other societies can see the outcome sooner rather than later.
We already know.
This is just modern technology applied to things already experimented in history, two of them being: East Germany, until 1989. And USSR before its downfall.
-- Walter Benjamin
So we're repeating the Nazis now, gladly, because that's easier than learning from those who made all that effort, saw and went through so much atrocities and suffering, to to learn from that, and to relay that to us, to impress the importance of it on us? I'm so not onboard with that.
> We don't know a perfected totalitarian power structure, because it would require the control of the whole planet. But we know enough about the the still preliminary experiments of total organization to realize that the very well possible perfection of this apparatus would get rid of human agency in the sense as we know it.
-- Hannah Arendt
You (like many) are kinda saying yes, it's unpopular and horrible, but "it would happen anyway". Notice how this is exactly the logic of totalitarianism, an abdication of personal responsibility. Saying "I won't fight it because it will happen anyway" is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
> [The method of infallible prediction] is foolproof only after the movements have seized power. Then all debate about the truth or falsity of a totalitarian dictator’s prediction is as weird as arguing with a potential murderer about whether his future victim is dead or alive – since by killing the person in question the murderer can promptly provide proof of the correctness of his statement. The only valid argument under such conditions is promptly to rescue the person whose death is predicted. Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it. The assertion that the Moscow subway is the only one in the world is a lie only so long as the Bolsheviks have not the power to destroy all the others. In other words, the method of infallible prediction, more than any other totalitarian propaganda device, betrays its ultimate goal of world conquest, since only in a world completely under his control could the totalitarian ruler possibly realize all his lies and make true all his prophecies.
-- Hannah Arendt, both quotes from "The Origins of Totalitarianism"
And by the time you find out there's nothing to be glad about because it's just a spiral of control and fear and anti-intellectualism, with abusers and sadists having free pick of the litter, that won't matter anymore. There will be no allies to defeat the Nazis from the outside this time. There might be no "after".
As for societies seeing "outcomes", as you observe "results" (these are people we're talking about here), keep in mind how much of what the Nazis did didn't go to plan. The death camps were supposed to be completely removed from the face of the Earth, just like many villages they razed. If Hitler hadn't started a war, or had limited it, the world still wouldn't know. It's not like we know everything that's going on in China, by a long, long shot. Just like we don't know about the Abu Ghraibs about which we never heard, and so on.
To play with fire to learn about fire, let's leave that in the early 20th century, I beg of you. We have books and other documentation.
Same can be said for this post, I suppose, depending on perspective shrug
EDIT: That said, maybe it's just a vocal minority, or maybe it's just a lack of thinking through more than one layer of consequences to actually see where any particular path leads.
Topics like this will always attract comments from people with strongly held positions from all perspectives. In my observation they generally balance each other out. If they didn't, the site couldn't really survive, as thoughtful people who value interesting discussions wouldn't stick around.
People who claim that there's a strong bias towards a particular point of view are likely subject to the hostile media effect .
Anyone can succumb to this, as it's natural for us to pay more attention to positions that we find threatening than to those we find benign.
I'm glad I live in a country where I can spend however much money I feel like on video games without being targeted by an oppressive government.
You just have to love a country where you can be murdered by the government for selling marijuana, yet if you abstain from alcohol for religious reasons you are an enemy of the state and must be turned into authorities.
Authoritarianism of all forms must be opposed worldwide. Who is to say the West won't be subjugated to such systems a couple decades from now, if we don't stand up for freedoms with vigor?
This made me think - what would women - and women, not the young men (me being one) choose when given a choice of the social credit system or being able to walk around the city safe(r)?
Quite general question, yet I do believe they would choose the latter; and I wouldn't blame them.
Doesn't matter that London is one of the most camera-surveilled cities in the "Western" world while Bucharest has almost no cameras, all it matters is that there are more people in London ready to physically and verbally harass a person walking on the street all by her/himself compared to a city like Bucharest. I have no idea on how one would change those social norms, I'm just saying that adding cameras hasn't solved the issue and will probably not solve it.
Side note, that colleague originates from Bucharest? Just wondering if it's the same with my wife who feels unsafe in Berlin while she feels safer in Krakow.
Yeap, she has lived her entire life until this summer in Bucharest (she's approaching 30 now), and she hasn't grow up and live in the "posh" parts of town, so to speak.
> Just wondering if it's the same with my wife who feels unsafe in Berlin while she feels safer in Krakow.
It's funny because said colleague (and friend) has moved out to London for a Polish guy, I guess that's where the better-paid jobs are.
Why wouldn't she?
If you've installed a nuclear bomb inside a person's home and tell that person the bomb will keep him safe, he will probably feel safer either. That is as long as you don't tell him about the fact that the detonator is controlled by a nasty monkey.
In China, you can only see the positive news about the system. Even when a journalist are trying to tell you the danger, on the surface the writing will eventually boil everything down to privacy protection, not the system.
So, don't be surprised.
I'm talking about the premise that may appeal to 50% of the citizens. We (as in being able-bodied men, we should take into considerations people with disabilities, weaker, older, frailer) might get outvoted.
And most people build their opinion based on the information they're exposed to, probably including that imaginary women you made up for the comment. That's why controlling information is every government's wet dream, not just China, not just Russian, and actually, not just government.
So, the real question is not about who you asking (young women or men), it's about what's the information that women or men has received. Does she or he received all the information needed in order to make rational choice, or the information is just one sided?
BTW, In China, young women already been able to walk around most the city safely, even at night. You may take that into account.
Also, in some countries there are similar systems, where your rights might be restricted without court's judgement or right for appeal. For example, in Russia, if you are suspected to be an extremist, you won't be able to withdraw money from your bank account. In other countries there are no-fly lists or potential terrorists lists which restrict people's rights without being able to defend themselves.
Of course not.
In a world with a perfectly impartial and objective government, I don't think this is a bad idea at all. The reason it's bad is because governments are made up of people, and people are corrupt. While it may initially be genuinely motivated by helping to improve society, over time it will devolve into a tool for special (and government) interests to incentivize actions that are to their benefit, and punish those against it -- regardless of the objective societal impact of those actions.
Can people on the list leave the country?
The travel ban only seems to apply to domestic flights as far as I can tell.
As I understand it, this notion only really came into vogue during the European Enlightenment of the 17th and 18th centuries. For much of human history, government served as a way for monarchs, emperors, and the ruling elite to maintain -- and expand -- their hold on power, regardless of what was best for the governed. Indeed, we still see remnants of this in pretty much every government on the planet -- some just are less subtle than others. Arguably, we've spent the last 3 centuries trying to subvert this process and bend it toward, as you put it, making things "better" for all.
The idea is that social credit discourages behaviour which is bad for people (e.g. traffic violations and small-scale tax evasion) and that makes things better for people. I think it's easy to see how this could be effective, but the criticism is really about fairness (due-process). Proponents would probably argue that the consequences are relatively small compared to traditional criminal justice (going to jail; execution) so it doesn't matter, and the streamlining of justice outweighs the disadvantages.
This is just me assuming, but is guess that China is OK for quiet, well behaved unquestioning citizens.
If we don't have first hand experiences, we rely on second hand information to get a picture of a situation. And depending on where we get the information from (i.e. which media we consume), it may deviate from reality, or suggest a situation that doesn't reflect reality because it focuses on few, individual aspects or events.
So every time I don't understand why people behave the way they do, I have to question my understanding of the situation before I can question the people's behavior.
> 22 November 2017
There are very few absolute wrongs in the world and it's not clear that this would be one of them.
I don't know, most Chinese people I've met are at least as selfish as the average Westerner, often more (and let's not even begin about the stereotypical "I don't care about anything" 60 year old Chinese tourist). I'm no expert, but while surely many Chinese rulers have emphasized these values, I'm not convinced that the population ever cared much about them.
They're a splendid list of values to drum up, though, if you're the one whose boot indefinitely stamps on your subordinates' collective faces.
I highly recommend reading about the mandate of heaven. While not particularly relevant anymore, it is important context to the cultural attitudes of your average Chinese citizen.
I am just stating simple facts in a dispassionate way.
Considering the distorted way any country (and especially China) is represented in the media and in some comments I read here (including yours, which close to hysterical) the best advice is indeed to withhold strong opinions if you have no direct experience and knowledge.
I don't deny the drastic restrictions in force in China regarding Rights with a capital R, but again in practice they do enjoy as many practical rights as we do in daily life and Chinese society is in fact much less 'oppressive' than, say, Japan.
The way you keep track of my comments and your ad hominem attacks could be construed as bullying and harassment, by the way.
I think topical context with a commenter is relevant, just as my past remarks on China are. If someone wants to construe "refuse to reply to the content of arguments" (as opposed to replying on the basis of where someone lives) as bullying and harassment, so be it.
I don't deny that if you conform in China you have nothing to worry about. It's no warzone. But it is not a friendly country to those who are not conformists or are minorities, and may not toe the Party line.
As an example, the Uyghurs are a sizable group for whom are consistently oppressed by the government. This is not a distortion of any kind. We know about the intense surveillance (more intrusive than normal Chinese citizen surveillance), the "re-education camps", et cetera.
Direct experience can only serve to confirm or deny facts, it does not change them. It's also much harder for direct experience to be of any value without a free press to challenge government narratives.
No, not really.
This kind of attitude is why some countries' economies and social systems turn to crap, ya know...
Generally I think it's a great idea to have a diverse and multi-polar world. I have no idea whether the Chinese system of government is a good idea or an idea that will lead to the implosion of their society. And really I can say the exact same of the current system of government in the United States. By having various nations trialing out radically different systems, we can hope to see which is ultimately more effective by measuring varying sorts of results over time - and then learn and improve from our successes and failures.
So if it doesn't implode, that makes it a good idea?
So yes I think it's completely absurd to suggest they've achieved anything short of remarkable success with their system of development and governance. But the question is what will happen in the process of this success and whether the path they've taken is sustainable or not. Is their growth indeed on the current exponential it seems to be on? A sigmoid where this wildly exponential growth will start to level off, or perhaps even something like a bell curve where the rapid ascent will be met by a comparably rapid decline?
I think unforeseen consequences, both negative and positive, are a major part of how societies develop. We in general have nowhere near the foresight we like to image we do. And in particular, I'm more inclined to attribute China's success to their systems in large part because the only thing as large an outlier as their success is their governmental system. And the timing also fits quite well. If it's just e.g. open markets then it leaves you having to explain why China is thriving whereas most other developing nations following the WTO playbook have relatively little to show for it.
It's not possible to identify a unifying thread among countries that try to follow the WTO playbook that fail. Some fail because a totalitarian minority control a valuable natural resource. Some fail because of irreconcilable differences between nations (races) sharing the same political state. Still there are many other reasons.
This is far, far from the truth.
That's to say, of course people can be on the decline.
For everyone but those who believe in powerful centralized governments this is a nightmare scenario.
So because Chinese rulers have oppressed and mistreated their people for so long that their methods have become ingrained in the national psyche, it's somehow more OK?
George Orwell predicted that "If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever". He thought he was making a dystopian prediction, a warning of sorts, but he could've just as easily called it a history lesson about China.
Sure, many other places, most places in fact, have horrible histories, with evil rulers vastly outnumbering the even somewhat good ones, but China is unique in that it's been all about oppressing and abusing the population as heavily as possible, without pause, ever since the first emperors gave the country its foreign name.
A non-stop tradition of oppression doesn't somehow make new oppression less bad.
NOTE: Nothing against the Chinese culture or people. I'm extremely fond of lots of Chinese things, not in the least Chinese humor for which I have a particularly soft spot. I love working with Chinese people, I love meeting Chinese people. It makes me sad that such a wonderful place and a wonderful culture can also have such a horrible tradition of oppression.
1. "Don't waste your time with explanations. People only hear what they want to hear."
2. Don't get triggered by downvotes. They are just virtual numbers. They won't change the reality and facts. In the future, you will be able to come back and laugh at them.
3. It is not worth your time to explain the facts to them. Eventually people will face the reality no matter how hard media paints it. Just give it some time for the world to sort itself out.
Edit: If you really want to comment, try your best to be civil and substantial. I know it is hard with all the emotions, but not impossible.
China is a great country, you're a great people. As we all are. All humans. Qualities. Defaults. History.
You're not _that_ exceptional either.
We don't criticize China. Neither you.
We criticize the very idea of automation of social credit (thus of social relations, and individual freedom, and life), because our parents and grandparents had to experiment with it, and its consequences.
Without going into a history lesson, let me just point out that China fought against Germany in both WW1 and WW2. So our parents and grandparents do have some ideas of experiments and consequences.
Nope. Not everything totalitarian that happened in Europe in the past century was about nazism. Far from that.
Just take a look at the death toll of these wars: https://www.businessinsider.com/bloodiest-conflicts-in-chine...
25 Million casualties, and that's in the 17th century. Compare that to the absolute carnage of Syria, which has had less than half a million casualties.
Because these systems have all been torn down by some kind of civil war - there is no other way, because of the nature of power and the structures it uses.
The Chinese government abused and oppressed their people so hard for so long they accidentally lifted 740 million people out of abject, 3rd world poverty. But don't let that get in the way of a good rant.
2. Deng for sure.
This is such complete nonsense. I think it's hilarious how totally and completely misguided about China that Westerners, and Americans in particular, actually are. It boggles the belief just how much complete nonsense is spouted here on reddit and in the Western press. This is the very essence of people being disconnected from reality and constructing a new reality in accordance with their ideology.
Reality check: go to China and actually talk to the Chinese themselves. Radical idea! Social credit is extremely popular in China . The social credit system is also not new. Anybody who understands how Chinese society has always worked would understand that this is the application of new technology to ideas that are nearly three thousand years old.
Anyways resume your ideological freak-out.
Of course they do. These sorts of systems always offer a sizable portion of the population benefits, that's how they gain popular support. This doesn't mean that they aren't terrible ideas.
You have to consider how a government affects the people who disapprove of the government, who are not part of a majority, who are not conformists.
Many people don't think this is worth doing. But the sentiment that only the conformist majority matters has led to unspeakable atrocities throughout history, and continues to even in the present day across the world.
Person: "I think a social credit system is bad for China."
Automated Bot: "100 social credit penalty for you!"
Slavery was once popular in America, and as a system was not new. It was hugely beneficial to a segment of the population. Would you be pro slavery because of those arguments?
We kind of learned about that in Europe, the hard way, several times in XXth century (Italy, Germany, Russia, Soviet era invaded countries, Spain); some of us still having forgotten sadly.
A social credit system that is used to expedite what is normally the responsibility of law, debate, judgement - and can then be used to impose arbitrarial rules from the state (don't be fooled about that) _is_ totalitarian per nature. It is even more that because it relies on automation.
Don't use exceptionalism or pride to defend or justify such a system.
* Power structures never favour the weak - it takes a democracy (distribution and separation of powers, education, free speech) to handle that, however imperfect it can be, it's the least imperfect we know as of today. And, there's no prospective new system at play anywhere today.
* Automation favours who controls the machine.
* The state controls the machine.
* No democracy, no control. Failing democracy, no control either.
* That's dangerous.
Though it is aways interesting to see people like you can rationalize your censorious actions. It's too bad HN doesn't require a text explanation for downvoting. It wouldn't decrease the hypocrisy but it would provide some further insight into the hypocrisy.
Furthermore, polls suggested Hillary Clinton was going to win the last election for US and who is the 45th president?
As pointed out in another comment : "Other infractions reportedly include smoking in non-smoking zones, buying too many video games and posting fake news online."
The "buying too many video games" line came from the gamification aspect of a social network owned by a private enterprise and has nothing to do with the government scheme. And even they have backpedaled from that claim:
"Hu Tao, Zhima Credit’s general manager, paints a different picture now. She says the app doesn’t monitor social media posts “nor does it attempt to measure qualitative characteristics like character, honesty, or moral value.” Zhima Credit is not a pilot for the social credit system and doesn’t share data with the government without users’ consent, she says."
And the "posting fake news online" line actually refers to "spreading false information about terrorism" which quite a bit more serious.
Once you've established that you're not pursuing the truth your words are only poison/noise that harms the group of us who are trying very hard to figure out what is true.
>As pointed out in another comment : "Other infractions reportedly include smoking in non-smoking zones ...
Well, last time someone lighted a cigarette on a plane ...
There are also designated non-smoking zones that are not due to immediate (as opposed to long-term) safety concerns.