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  1. #1
    honey don't Honeydew's Avatar
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    Default Silicon Valley's Social Credit System

    I saw this making the rounds on Facebook.

    Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system

    At first I was put-off by the idea of China's social credit system, but according to this article, one survey found that 80% of Chinese citizens somewhat or strongly approve of social credit. I suppose it's not that surprising that Silicon Valley is attempting something similar in the US, considering that tech giants are helping to build China's surveillance state, but I've come to terms with this idea and welcome the intervention into our volatile sociopolitical environment. Although I would prefer the government to manage a social credit system rather than private corporations whose ultimate goal is to maximize their own profits, I take solace in the fact that Silicon Valley is largely comprised of progressive visionaries. There is some relevance here to the censorship of right-wing extremism on social media platforms, but not all censorship is inherently wrong. In the words of Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Therefore it is not only acceptable, but ethical to ensure that fascists are not given a platform to spread their hateful ideologies. If these measures were in place prior to 2016, we wouldn't currently have a megalomaniac in the highest office in the country running concentration camps on the border. The way I see it, authoritarianism is the future. It's inevitable. The only question is, who will wield that authority. The right and left-wing parties are in an arms race to the top; and at the moment, leftists are winning the culture war with strongholds in academia, entertainment and the media. Yet despite that advantage, a fascist now sits in the White House. I feel like it is imperative for progressives, and anyone with a sense of decency, to utilize any means necessary to silence white supremacists and ensure there is never any chance of resurgence among their ranks. If that means sacrificing a little bit of freedom, well then that's a sacrifice that I'm willing to make. And you should too.

  2. #2
    Digital ambition Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Honeydew View Post
    I saw this making the rounds on Facebook.

    Silicon Valley is building a Chinese-style social credit system

    At first I was put-off by the idea of China's social credit system, but according to this article, one survey found that 80% of Chinese citizens somewhat or strongly approve of social credit. I suppose it's not that surprising that Silicon Valley is attempting something similar in the US, considering that tech giants are helping to build China's surveillance state, but I've come to terms with this idea and welcome the intervention into our volatile sociopolitical environment. Although I would prefer the government to manage a social credit system rather than private corporations whose ultimate goal is to maximize their own profits, I take solace in the fact that Silicon Valley is largely comprised of progressive visionaries. There is some relevance here to the censorship of right-wing extremism on social media platforms, but not all censorship is inherently wrong. In the words of Edmund Burke, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Therefore it is not only acceptable, but ethical to ensure that fascists are not given a platform to spread their hateful ideologies. If these measures were in place prior to 2016, we wouldn't currently have a megalomaniac in the highest office in the country running concentration camps on the border. The way I see it, authoritarianism is the future. It's inevitable. The only question is, who will wield that authority. The right and left-wing parties are in an arms race to the top; and at the moment, leftists are winning the culture war with strongholds in academia, entertainment and the media. Yet despite that advantage, a fascist now sits in the White House. I feel like it is imperative for progressives, and anyone with a sense of decency, to utilize any means necessary to silence white supremacists and ensure there is never any chance of resurgence among their ranks. If that means sacrificing a little bit of freedom, well then that's a sacrifice that I'm willing to make. And you should too.

    1. So you are going to introduce fascism to prevent fascism ?

    2. You would give this power to the government even if this same government is full of people which you don't approve ?

    3. Since when are tech giants progressive ? (obsession with money isn't progressive, it is very very old school idea)

    4. How will you insure that this system doesn't support exactly what you want to avoid ?



    My country had Communism, Fascism and various endless experiments with "authoritarianism" and therefore I can't see what good can really come out of this kind of leverage. The counter to hate groups is education, common sense and perhaps some empathy, not more of the same old monumental thinking.

  3. #3
    Senior Member asynartetic's Avatar
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    No thanks, I saw those episodes of Black Mirror and The Orville and things didn’t end well
    Smile, you son of a [BOOM]….YEEEEAAAHHHHHH!

    -M. Brody
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  4. #4
    Senior Member asynartetic's Avatar
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    What VG said for his #2 reason.

    What happens when someone comes to power and abuses this system to punish their political enemies?
    Smile, you son of a [BOOM]….YEEEEAAAHHHHHH!

    -M. Brody

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Virtual ghost View Post
    1. So you are going to introduce fascism to prevent fascism ?

    2. You would give this power to the government even if this same government is full of people which you don't approve ?

    3. Since when are tech giants progressive ? (obsession with money isn't progressive, it is very very old school idea)

    4. How will you insure that this system doesn't support exactly what you want to avoid ?



    My country had Communism, Fascism and various endless experiments with "authoritarianism" and therefore I can't see what good can really come out of this kind of leverage. The counter to hate groups is education, common sense and perhaps some empathy, not more of the same old monumental thinking.
    These are the points I would have made, pretty much, if Hayek was right about anything The Road To Serfdom it was that when fascists came to power in Italy and Germany they were able to rely upon a lot of the ground having been inadvertently prepared for them by their opposition, sometimes with the idea of preventing the fascist take over in the first place.

    That said I dont share the view that he did in that book (which he may not have held all his days) that any action, any action what so ever, by the government should be taboo. I just think that in this instance, like with A LOT of others, the existing laws, enforced correctly and competently should do the job. Also law is no real remedy, or only part remedy, for populism, or the sorts of deterioration and decay among the voting public which prepares the ground for populism.

    Tech giants and Silicon Valley can be progressive but they also can be the exact opposite, I'm not going to write a lot about it as it will only create triggers for search engines and maybe make this site more popular with a lot of the elements looking for those thinkers but a lot of the various pill movements, the film studies/Matrix alt righters and popularisation of "accelerationism", dictatorship, neo-Malthusianism with a cyberpunk vibe, all originate there or have a certain appeal there.

    If authoritarianism is trending then its got to stop, its totally ruinous, totally and utterly, whatever flag of convenience it is disguising itself with now, private, public, left, right, centre, green, it doesnt matter. You cant do a deal with the lesser devil on that score.

    The kultur kampfs of both the (mainly US it has to be said) left and the right are utterly detestable too. Nothing appealing about belonging to either camp there. Nothing what so ever. If I have to make a choice, then I choose neither. Never ever will.

    Anyway, social credit deserves an airing, it seems strange that there's a private initiative as my understand of it is that its similar to some universal basic income ideas, which I think could only be properly developed by governments. Not because governments have the potential to be democratic and accountable in the fashion that business is not (I would say POTENTIAL though, its not certain) but because of the borrowing requirement for schemes like that, Says Law etc. etc.

    That said I'm aware that lots of different local schemes, charities, private philanthropic initiatives existed before the welfare state, some welfare pluralists want to bring that sort of thing back but it wasnt pretty, it was all born of desperation and hardship, whatever way historical dramas present it to the contrary.
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  6. #6
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    I think this thread should be in the politics section.

    It does discuss social credit and that could be a different topic to politics, ie social policy, but the rest of the post is very political in character.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member asynartetic's Avatar
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    Smile, you son of a [BOOM]….YEEEEAAAHHHHHH!

    -M. Brody
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  8. #8
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    Wait a minute, this is not what I thought it was and it is not what social credit meant historically.

    This is a sort of behaviourist nightmare, Skinner's Walden Two maybe.

    I'm conflicted about it as I think detection and certainty of detection can have a consequence for fighting crime and anti-social behaviour but often its not used that way.
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  9. #9
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    There's a good film on Netflix about this BTW.

    Its called the Circle, I think it has Tom Hanks as a bad guy in it, sort of a Steve Jobs type.
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  10. #10
    Digital ambition Virtual ghost's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lark View Post
    Wait a minute, this is not what I thought it was and it is not what social credit meant historically.

    This is a sort of behaviourist nightmare, Skinner's Walden Two maybe.

    I'm conflicted about it as I think detection and certainty of detection can have a consequence for fighting crime and anti-social behaviour but often its not used that way.

    I already did some reading on what China is doing and that is exactly what was behind my post. The ways to abuse or game this are endless and you will produce plenty of unhappy people.
    This isn't the way how you fight bad ideas.
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