... i'm half joking though, I have been to China many times, there is no way this is going to be effective for all of the cheap restaurants and street food. One thing I've learned about China, is although we often interpret their emerging laws and policies to be extreme (which they are) - what we don't appreciate is the context - they are not enforced as widely, rigorously and thoroughly as in the west. This is at least partly cultural and geographic, and it is probably this same reason that contributes to some of the Chinese government's overreach in the first place (to overcompensate). It does not excuse the human rights issues, but explains them somewhat.
That's a major source of the danger. If they were being consistently and equally enforced, then it would be obvious when there were issues. In the case with selective enforcement, the government can point to the law and say they're in the right, but only apply it when it suits them. This lets the people making the rules and the people who are in their good graces do what they'd like due to selective enforcement and not face the consequences of their actions.
However in the case of certain types of policies it's not about intentional selectivity, it's about selectivity due to infeasibility, a type of selectivity that is not completely effective against any individual. For instance this one i'm pointing out: it's not possible to hold every single food source hostage in any country... but seriously, we are talking about food... in China... i'm running out of ellipses...
People who are themselves less networked (e.g. less online, spending more time in rural areas or spaces with less cameras) are more likely to be overlooked by these enforcement mechanisms.
To understand this a bit better, consider how much more likely someone who owns a car is to receive traffic tickets from cameras than is than someone who does not.
What are the ethical considerations here? Is it just a perfect democracy + judicial system? Does it impact growth as a society? Im remembering the quote "All progress depends on the unreasonable man". Would it be a very conservative society that resulted?
PS should go without saying, but this is just thought exercise, obviously..
"Republics decline into democracies and democracies degenerate into despotisms."
My expectation for such a system is that a majority group who have a specific lifestyle would penalize anyone who does not strictly adhere to that specific lifestyle. The group would change over time (likely liberal, then conservative, then back again) and each group would become more and more dogmatic about those views. Eventually the group will resemble something like the Nazis or the Soviets and violent revolution or war would end the experiment.
Source: the past two thousand years of human civilization
Really creepy stuff ...
So it would be interesting to find out whether the PR campaign actually changes anyone's behavior.
That's begging the question as to whether the behavior needs changing.
Is there a pervasive trust/integrity problem in China?
I distinguish 'are that dumb' (children, some people with senility etc. who need protecting) from those who 'let themselves be that dumb' such as mystic belief in homoepathy, or that read up on the latest cancer cure in the Daily Mail (a right-wing UK rag). Elective credulity deserves no protection or respect IMO. But opposing views welcome.
"Idiots deserve to suffer" is a shaky assertion even in a vacuum. In the real world, where most of us are idiots about some things and are therefore surrounded by idiots at all times, it's just (self-)destructive.
It is, which is why I added my rider at the end. But as they say, make a foolproof world and watch it fill up with fools. The ethically bankrupt may benefit from fools, but if we protect foolish adults from the consequences of their actions, we take away precisely that which makes them adults - the ability to make a meaningful choice, and to take responsibility for the consequences arising.
> where most of us are idiots about some things
Yes, me too, and lots. But I learn from it and where I get hurt, well that's just the price of being an adult. The alternative is perhaps living in china or communist russia and have the government run your life.
I'd prefer not to have that. I don't like the many scars (some physical, some psychological) I've got through life but each one is valuable where I chose to learn from it. Adulthood is choice.
Now, you may be tempted to say "Sure, and you'd like a pony, too". But in fact, there are societies that are much less fraud-prone. Ravi Zacharias talked about going to a dairy in Holland, and being surprised that you could just walk in, take milk, and leave money in a bowl. There was nobody there to watch you. He said that in India, there would have to be somebody there to watch customers, or they would steal the milk. He told this to a man from Egypt, who replied that in Egypt, they would steal the cows.
A society full of people who are looking to steal is an objectively worse society to live in than one with people who are not looking to steal. The trick is, how do you create such a society when you don't have one (without a heavy-handed government)?
I think the difference between holland and india/egypt is a) relatively low prosperity of the latters leading to b) desperation leading possibly to c) a culture where theft is normalised (cos everyone else does it, why not me?).
The above is speculative but if there's truth in it then trust comes evolves where people aren't desperately poor.
That said there is a proportion of the population which are psychopaths and they are congenitally indifferent to such norms as are needed to make a trusting society work. They just don't care. It's how they are wired. It's not right or wrong, it's just biology - but having known a few, it certainly not pretty.
If that can be managed then you may have an answer.
That's how pretty much every con artist justifies being a criminal. In my opinion, it's a morally and ethically bankrupt argument.
See my answer https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=21032129 elsewhere on this thread and rebut that, because if you can then we can perhaps, perhaps, suggest something better.
I sound like I'm arguing for con artists but |I'm not, they are maybe a price that has to be paid. I really don't know. Maybe there's a better way. I don't know.
I think we may differ in what counts as "choosing" here...
The thing is that people who fall for scams (and make no mistake, all of us can fall for a scam if presented with the right one) honestly don't think they're scams. They're being lied to.
The fault for this lies entirely on the shoulders of the criminal.
If the lie is obvious many people will look away out of greed. There's a saying that if you deceive someone then at some level they wanted to be deceived, and while that's pretty self-serving for the criminal there's also a fat grain of truth in it.
> The fault for this lies entirely on the shoulders of the criminal.
Well, technically yes but in reality people are willingly dumb, which rather abets the criminal, no?
I'm afraid we must agree to disagree.
Some will, sure. But what's obvious to you is not necessarily obvious to others. As I said, we are all susceptible to this. I guarantee there are lies you and I will fall for that are obvious to others. Greed is not necessarily a factor.
> in reality people are willingly dumb, which rather abets the criminal, no?
I don't think more than a tiny percentage of people are willingly dumb.
> I'm afraid we must agree to disagree.
Credulity is not "elective".
There's no way for the average person to distinguish between homeopathy and pharmaceuticals without running an experiment on themselves. It's a matter of what biases they were taught growing up.
- The model Miranda Kerr has said that she filters all her skincare products through rose quartz “to give the vibration of self-love”.
- Believers say crystals conduct ambient energy – like miniature phone towers picking up signals and channelling them on to the user – thus rebalancing malign energies, healing the body and mind
- According to Pew Research Center data, more than 60% of US adults hold at least one “new age” belief, such as placing faith in astrology or the power of psychics, and 42% think spiritual energy can be located in physical objects such as crystals
- Last year, Paltrow faced (and settled) a misleading advertising lawsuit for claiming that Goop’s vaginal egg crystals had the power to balance hormones and regulate menstrual cycles
What's this if it's not stupidity-by-choice?
Let's have an answer instead of downvotes because I'd really like to hear what you think.
Often it is.
> There's no way for the average person to distinguish between homeopathy and pharmaceuticals without running an experiment on themselves
There are plenty of scientific reports and examinations that have been done so they don't have to. If they chose to ignore those, they must have done so willingly. Your answer was not one of the better ones.
Being a lumbering bureaucracy doesn't mean you can't make a good music video. You just gotta have the skills to pull it off. Any government agency that takes propaganda (aka marketing) seriously should have the requisite skills in house.
it all just reeks of coercion and young people trying to please but afraid and uncomfortable. Perhaps it's just a bad video director. Maybe the video director is trying to communicate their own discomfort. Maybe the producers see it all and delight in how much power they have... This video is evidence of their grip.
If you consider what governments track today and what was considered "totalitarian surveillance" back in McCarthy era, it's clear where things are headed.
Or consider how many extra bureaucratic checks, controls, and laws exist now, compared to 1950 or 1920...
Years ago in communist Poland my father accidentally wound up in some kind of Chinese event where the organizers would give away Mao's Red Book.
At the exit there were two local secret service agents who in turn would politely, but firmly ask for the booklet to be surrendered to them, since this was a flavour of communism not enjoyed by the Big Brother, so illegal.
So whether they used to or not is not relevant.
One of the things that I find amusing about Chinese people I meet and talk with who are traveling outside of China is that they are not obsessed with pop music, celebrities or sports, or at least far less than we are in the west.
As an example, I met a fashionable young Chinese lady with an apparently large income who was traveling the world. You know what she did for fun? She played the piano, did tourist stuff and went out for dinner with friends.
There is a lot of selection bias in generalizing about a culture via its world travelers :).
The state really sucks at propaganda though, so it shouldn’t be surprising that efforts like this are filled with lots of cringe. It definitely shouldn’t be considered pop culture.
Basketball was introduced to China by missionaries in 1895, so it's been there almost as long as it has in the US.
Change Chinese to American, or Ethiopian in that part of your comment. This is selection bias pretty hard.
Expats/emigrants/travelers are basically the group least able to generalize over their countrymen back home.
It’s pop literally because it’s popular. The people who have the freedom and interest to travel the world are not “typical” citizens in any country.
That didn't sound right as in my experience most people do a foreign trip at least once a year. Turns out it of course very much depends on the country: Finland travels the most while US is among the least foreign-travelling westerners. That according to https://www.worldatlas.com/articles/countries-whose-citizens..., which says every Finn does 1.7 foreign trips per year on average.
Sorry for the spammy site but hard to look for hard source data on mobile.
They’re clearly upper to upper middle class and they’re clearly going to enjoy different “hobbies” abroad.
Also, how do you increase your social credit I wonder? Do some stuff to help your community? How is it tracked?
I couldn't find anything like you get X points for Y.
edit: I know this is totally tangential... it just struck me as a faux-futuristic trope and not pragmatic at all. Hence: bizarre
I think you need a source on that one. Gun crime is obviously worse in the US - and an ongoing problem - but it's not a huge impact on quality of life for most people.
In suicide, China measures middle of the pack - certainly ahead of the US - but many Western countries do better.
In terms of "happiness" - China ranks quite low on the World Happiness Index:
I think that's an overgeneralization. There are many things that do "work better" or "improve faster". Mass transit and metropolitan cleanliness are good examples of this (with exceptions, of course).
However, the lack of a strong regulatory body for things like food quality and water quality still make it a much riskier place to live IMO.
That's not to say China won't, for example, achieve a one billion+ person version of Singapore in our lifetimes, but I still have a "wait and see" attitude towards this.
Note: I have lived in China and travelled nearly 6K miles by mass transit to all kinds of places there.
Do they publish statistics somewhere or is that based on their foreign deployments being relatively small?
I mean, if you can't expect that kind of service from the military wing of an unaccountable authoritarian maoist kleptocracy...why even have one??
However, air pollution, food safety, extremely high competition and fast-pace together make China a quite unattractive place to live and work.
Except for the drug control part: the police here seem to have pretty much given up on that.
If this is based on statistics, bear in mind that China does not report all crimes outside its borders (for face reasons) and even locally (so as not to disturb "social harmony").
This quadruple homicide was not reported on the news, likely for "social harmony" reasons as you mentioned. To me, this makes their external reporting of public safety quite untrustworthy (ironic, considering the video linked by OP).
Gun crimes are still dropping. Our coverage however is increasing. What I love is when people confuse gun crimes and gun deaths. Do you know what gets counted in gun deaths but not gun crimes? Suicide. But the USA gun deaths get related to the rest of the world's gun crimes. I will say we have a suicide rate problem. It's actually really bad. But when you hear people defend communists, the same group in any other country makes the Nazis look like amateurs when it comes to genocide... suicide does look like a decent option. To be honest too, I imagine eating a bullet is more attractive than hanging or bleeding to death. Anyways, every time communism arises, "We're all for peace and tranquility and to achieve that we must kill a lot of people who don't agree with us on a philosophical level and we pick a social group the majority will enjoy watching get killed." But oh, the communists are all about unity and peace and "philosophical expansion against imperialism and oppression" that is some how different from the standard definition of imperialism and straight up murder.
I dunno there is a part of me that wishes the propaganda was true. It would be nice to live in a world where everyone is nice and respectful of each other. No lying, no cheating, etc. I'm sure that it's not implemented well at all in China, and resembles more of a Police State hellscape than anything but there is a part of me wishes that bad landlord I had or that person who ripped me off etc weren't able to get away with it so easily.
All systems reward greed. The more detached they are from how people naturally behave, the more they reward people who chase the system at the expense of thise who what comes naturally. Capitalism rewards people for fulfilling other's revealed preferences. A democratically-decided social credit system would reward people for doing what the majority says they should do. Both systems would occasionally reward people for anti-social behaviour, and require legislative correction. Of the two, I would prefer the one oriented towards the needs and desires of the individual, not of the collective.
We would like a world where people are more kind. Why not pay people to be kind to you?
- an induced kindness it not desirable, we want a natural kindness
- it's subjective: what one person thinks is kind, another doesn't; how would we write that contract?
- there's a tradeoff: while we value kindness, in many cases others value not being kind more than we value kindness; you would likely have to pay more than you are willing to pay
- transaction costs: while the subjectivity problem might be solved, it would be at great expense, this would probably push the price over the edge where it wasn't already
All these reasons apply equally to inducing kindness with a social credit system. I think the tradeoff problem would likely be ignored. That is, people would be forced to be kind against their wish (being punished for not doing it rather than rewarded for doing it). Suppose I believe that the burden of being constantly forced to be kind would outweigh the advantage of living in a world where everyone is kind all the time. A capitalist system tests this claim, a democratic social credit system ignores it in favour if the will of the majority.
In the West, we're trying to figure out the right allocation of goods through the market economy, and the right way "to be lovely" through freedom of speech, freedom of association, etc.
That's more a function of a free market than capitalism.
I also don't know what you mean by "social coercion" - plenty insocial behaviour is given punishment, from littering to noise - is that also coercion?