Rebels & Revolution

develop a positive vision of the future!

after the “great Trump induced divide” the USA need to reform it’s system, but does it need a revolution?

the problem with revolutions often is:

  1. what is for sure: people are angry for a reason (vote does not feel counted, reps in Washington “too far away” = lost connection to the problems of Jill & Joe, many small business had to close down & loads of lives and jobs lost)
    1. the anger at the current system is for real and it “the negative” to stay
  2. what about the positive? what shall be after the revolution? (the far harder question)
    1. define what shall be, before removal of status quo, the “anything is better than that” approach is Hitler-kind-of-dangerous (power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely) there is good reason to divide sate powers into:
      1. legislative (laws) (the gov)
      2. judiciary (judges)
      3. executive (police & military, no, not the president and “executive orders” (this is somewhat defined different in the US and EU))

this gov-by-finance system is broken & unsustainable, anyone agrees on that, how to fix it?

some suggestions: (imho small but very important changes that can have great effect)

  • how to fight corruption: with great power comes great responsibility
    • thus: MAXIMUM transparency for the powerful
      • people have to know what politicians are doing
      • every single dollar they or their family earns need to be transparent to the public
    • privacy for the weak:
      • let’s say that 99% of the population are neither criminals nor terrorists
  • how to fight Corona-crisis induced unemployment:
    • state paid jobs!
    • it was done in the US before and it ain’t socialism! it just tries to fix a broken (private ownership zero responsibility) system and help people step back from violence and revolution. all central bankers should agree on that.
    • after the great depression of 1929 massive amounts of people become unemployed (it was not their fault, rather the system’s fault)
      • the state paid group A to dig holes in the morning
      • the state paid group B to fill the holes again in the evening
      • just this time: maybe the US gov can think of more useful jobs
      • Hoover established the Reconstruction Finance Corporation (RFC) to make emergency loans to businesses in danger of default. At first the RFC lent money only to banks, railroads, and certain agricultural organizations, but the scope of its operations was later expanded, and it proved to be an effective tool for stabilizing business and industry” (source January 22, 1932) (unfortunately the RFC was canceled in 1957, because it was deemed not needed anymore, well guess what, would have been better to keep it in place, more crisis were to come, state-owned European banks for reconstruction created after WW2  LUCKILY STILL EXISTS and they are needed very much to counter all the instabilities of private & reckless banking system, a new RFC would also be essential for financing a desperately needed US “Green New Deal”)

the universe is a harsh place for life to survive

why is beauty important?

anyone or anything that brings beauty in such a world

is good

life is precious in the universe (don’t waste it, even if it is a sucky one)

survival was never easy for life in the universe

life is about making life better (increasing the probability of survival of oneself, one’s genes, one’s family, one’s species) every day

if you have a garden: making the garden better a little bit every day

if you have a family: making the family better a little bit every day

if you have a company: making the company a little bit better every day

cultivating something positive

building a positive culture

creators and their techno “babies”: iMacs & iPhones & Linux

for creators such as Steve Jobs just as Linus Torvalds, beauty is important

beauty means simplified pure designs

pure holistic flawless creations

of perfection and functionality and (!) understandability

“like God would have done it”

software beauty is way harder to see for non developers, but it expresses it as the (ex?)maxime of Apple: “it just works”

even if that iphone is far from perfect and many alternatives are in development (please support them even when they are far from perfect)

what has happened since…

1) Apple seems to have been stuck in a limbo between profit maximization and allowing creativity (crash, rebuild, crash, rebuild…)

2) giving up on software-beauty: Apple’s software quality has gone down

3) no-privacy-beauty: was never a priority

4) no-planet-or-human-rights-beauty: Apple never cared much if the supply chain was ethical or based on renewables

5) no-justice-beauty: Apple is stealing taxes via Ireland

(European Commissioner Margrethe Vestager fights tax avoidance of multinationals, follow her on twitter)

(Apple promised to improve on the privacy issue… but guess capitalistic maxims (maximize profits and share prices) are actually often against what consumers want (anything but 1984, but a future that is inspiring))

never stop learning

never give up hope

life only has a slim chance for survival in such a harsh universe

but we will take it

and if everyone does what he/she can

we will prevail

and build a city on mars

poverty is still the #1 cause of death for humans

1984 is (partly) already reality in “the west” with big companies like Google, Facebook (WhatsApp), Amazon (Alexa is basically the “BigSister” always listening, always watching) and Apple constantly collecting data users, shipping them overseas into datacenters (largely without consent) and then either re-selling the data or try to extract useful information “how to take over the world” (or at least some markets) with the help of more and more clever AIs.

European Police officers visiting  Johannesburg (Southafrica) praise the almost 100% CCTV surveillance coverage of the city and want to have such a cool tool at home.

Understandably, SouthAfrica is a dangerous place, but does USA/Europe need 1984?

The same goes for the Chinese capitalism + dictatorship combination that works so “well” (it all comes at a cost).

The economic “elite” in the west (those with massive work-less-incomes generated by possessions like real estate, companies, other privileges) and their pseudo-intelligent advisors fancy such systems of surveillance and oppression as well, of course (to stay rich and in power).

One thing is for sure, in the moment, that truth (and science is truth as well) is silenced, it is the beginning of the end (stagnation) of learning and development for mankind.

China’s Social credit system

“Imagine a world where everyone bins their trash, no one crosses a red light and everyone pays their taxes so that schools are always well funded.

This sounds like a nice utopia.

But add to this surveillance cameras, face recognition, and the requirement to always praise the government.

Now it sounds like an Orwellian nightmare come true: the Chinese Social Credit System.

In 2020, the Chinese Social Credit System, which has been under development and testing since 2009, is intended to standardize the assessment of citizens’ and businesses’ economic and social reputation, or ‘Social Credit’.

With this system, people and companies can be tracked and evaluated for their trustworthiness. The Chinese credit system is closely linked to China’s surveillance system with facial recognition, big data analysis, and AI.

The Social Credit System is marketed by the Communist Party of China to its people as a great improvement to society as a whole. The aim is that people and companies become more honest, to fight corruption, and to have a better functioning and a more stable society overall.

The idea behind this is understandable: As social networks decline and anonymity in cities rises, the social pressure to behave in an acceptable way declines as well. China now replaces this social pressure with the Social Credit System so that people even when living anonymously in any city behave in an acceptable way.

Power over people

China, however, is an autocratic country. Here the power does not lie with the people, but the government wants to have maximum power over the people. Opposing the Chinese Communist Party is not allowed. Activists and investigative journalists have a very difficult stand in Chinese society, and the Social Credit System will make this even worse.

The Social Credit System has a lot of potential to improve society on the surface while destroying people’s trust in the government and society as a whole underneath it. After all, the system undermines the rule of law.

People can get blacklisted easily, which has severe real-life consequences. Anyone being blacklisted, is put on such a list instantly. There is no trial at court. While people and companies can appeal against being blacklisted or against receiving bad credit, the concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ is reversed: You have to prove that you are innocent.

As the Social Credit System goes hand-in-hand with one of the worst surveillance apparatuses, it infringes legal rights such as the right to reputation, the right to privacy, and the right to free speech.

Millions of people blacklisted

Negative factors for credit ratings have been different in the past, depending on where you live, but are supposed to be streamlined across China in the future. Negative factors include:

  • dishonest and fraudulent financial behavior
  • playing loud music
  • violating traffic rules
  • making reservations at restaurants and not showing up
  • failing to correctly sort your waste
  • fraudulently using other people’s public transportation ID cards

Positive factors, on the other hand, include:

  • donating blood
  • donating to charity
  • volunteering to community services

According to Wikipedia, blacklisted people are already being banned from using public transport: For instance, 26.82 million air tickets as well as 5.96 million high-speed rail tickets had been denied to people who were deemed “untrustworthy (失信)”.

On top of that, some personal information of blacklisted people is deliberately made accessible to the society and is displayed online as well as at various public venues such as movie theaters and buses. Some cities have also banned children of “untrustworthy” residents from attending private schools and even universities.

A modern way of putting people in the pillory.

Who is being blacklisted?

Every citizen and every company in China now has to worry about being blacklisted by the Social Credit System. Since the rule of law does not apply to the system, people might even get blacklisted by accident. Then, it is their duty to prove their innocence – not the other way around. This can make life for lots of people very difficult.

For people being blacklisted, the consequences can be very similar as for people who are being innocently charged based on location tracking data, whih these two US examples show.

On top of that, China also uses the system to blacklist people opposing the government. According to The Globe and Mail one of the first persons being blacklisted was Liu Hu, a journalist in China, writing about censorship and government corruption.

Liu was listed on a List of Dishonest Persons Subject to Enforcement by the Supreme People’s Court as “not qualified” to buy a plane ticket, and banned from traveling some train lines, buying property, or taking out a loan.

“There was no file, no police warrant, no official advance notification. They just cut me off from the things I was once entitled to,” he told The Globe and Mail. “What’s really scary is there’s nothing you can do about it. You can report to no one. You are stuck in the middle of nowhere.”

Government’s use of Social Credit System

Another example of how the government uses the Social Credit System is threatening companies – even international ones – to act in-line with government’s requirements and expectations:

In April 2018, the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) sent letters to international airlines demanding they show the map of China with the inclusion of Taiwan. The Chinese government threatened these international companies to “make a record of your company’s serious dishonesty and take disciplinary actions” should they not comply.

In the end, every company complied. The Social Credit System is used to pressure not only Chinese citizens and companies. It is meant to change the way we deal with and perceive the People’s Republic of China.

Social Credit System in the West

This shows the dramatic impact of the Chinese Social Credit System. While a system that infiltrates personal lives to such an extend does not exist in the West, there are similar tendencies: Companies such as online companies, marketers, insurance companies, financial institutions and so on like to know a lot about their clients. They compile so much data about you that they can establish their own credit system. We explain this further in the article on why a social credit system is so scary.

Nevertheless, the Chinese Social Credit System reaches entirely new levels: China is an authoritarian country, and the government – the Chinese Communist Party – uses the Social Credit System against its own citizens.

This must be the warning we take out of this: Once surveillance and social credit is there, it can be easily abused by the people – or companies – in power. While China is presenting the worst example of a Social Credit System, there are a lot of tendencies around that world that go into the same direction.

In the West, we still have a chance to stop the building of social credit systems. We have to stop feeding the data miners, the companies that use and abuse our data for their own profits and look out for privacy-friendly alternatives.

Let’s fight for our privacy rights now – while we still can.”

source: https://tutanota.com/blog/posts/social-credit-system-china/