Pseudo Sibylline Ramblings

I just finished making myself a tin foil hat.

As hats go, especially home brewed hats like this one, it fits pretty well.  Actual functionality will will have to be measured at a later date. Time must pass, and data must be collected to truly evaluate its performance.

Photo credit: Picture stolen from a google search on tin foil hats.  Don't know, and don't actually care who took it.

That brings me nicely to today's subject, but before I get into the meat of this thing...I should probably offer a (reminder) disclaimer:  Do not base your reality on the words I write, and do not take actions based on my musings (or at least if you do...don't blame me if bad things happen). I write for fun.  That is all.  This is a NOT FOR PROFIT gig here...I'm just havin' a little fun because it 3am and if I can't sleep, I might as well kick up a little civil disobedience flavored dust.

You should however, feel free to use my ramblings to help you explore your own truth.

Whew. These disclaimers can be exhausting.  Almost need a lawyer sitting here next to me to help write an opinion, but do it without actually offering an opinion, or say anything that could be used against me later.  Ha! Lawyers.  Fuck them. That's a whole different subject that I will have to tackle another time.

So if you are paying attention at all (and you should be...), China is currently running a "Pilot Program".  The idea is simple: it is a social credit system.  The premise is to give each of its citizens (roughly 1.4 BILLION of them) a rating based on data that is continuously collected on them, and then reward or punish based on that rating.

Did you notice that rustling noise in the background?  Eric Arthur Blair just rolled over in his grave and is about to remind you that "he told you so".

Don't believe me? Think I'm crazy?  Read this and get back to me: China Social Credit  Oh, don't stop there...Still don't trust my source? Do a google search and see if I am as crazy as you think.

I dare you.

So, imagine this.  I go to the store to buy more aluminum foil (Covering that picture window is gonna be expensive...).  I bring my shopping cart to the register, and go to pay the sale price.  The clerk says "I'm sorry, but that blog you wrote about being monitored by the government disqualifies you for the sale price.  Currently, your good citizen rating fell overnight to levels that don't allow you to receive the benefit of lower pricing".  So I pay double.

Just let that sink in for a couple of minutes.  The implications are deep, and the possibilities for this to go wrong on every single level are endless.

Far fetched, right?  Clearly this could never happen here.  This is AMERICA for Christ's sake.  Home of the brave.  Land of the free.  "We the people" have rights you know.

Photo Credit:  "Borrowed" from another google search
Oh...yeah...sorry to interrupt...but about that speeding ticket the other day? Your car insurance company is on line one, says they know you usually don't break the rules, but right now they need to talk to you about a rate increase.

What you say?  To hell with them? You are going to move to the boonies and become a hermit who doesn't need a car, or insurance?  A good credit rating will get you a SWEET loan on a mountain top property, just provide your social security number on this here application and the fat cats will start dolling out your cash (of courseinterest rates may vary depending on your credit score).

Just for fun, I was trying to think of a way to do an experiment on how all of this monitoring and data collection might be obtained.  Using technology, how would I collect data on the actions of people using it?  Could I use that to direct those people to go places, or do things I wanted them to do?   And most importantly, how could I conduct such an experiment without tipping off the subjects of said experiment to my deeper, darker intentions?

First of all, let me remind you that I am not capable of doing these things, nor would I want to.  Bit if I was?  Here is how I would do it (this one is going to get me into trouble...):

You download an app on your smart phone that takes you all over the countryside looking for imaginary creatures. The app uses the GPS location capabilities on your phone to "place" these creatures in the real world, so you have to use your phone to go out and find them. When you find them, you throw virtual balls at your virtual prey to score points.  At some point, you will need to reload those balls so you can go find more creatures. The app then directs you (again, using the GPS capabilities of your phone) to a central location where you can reload.  While there, you meet all sorts of like minded fun seekers who are out doing the same thing.  After some good conversation and a little exercise, you go home. Very satisfied with your efforts.  You sleep well knowing that you had good clean fun, and in no way shape or form were your movements monitored or directed in any way. It was after-all, just a game.  Good clean fun. No harm done, no one was the wiser.

I would call it "Rokemon No".

(Ha Ha...Ok, Rokemon players...comment below with your venom)

So imagine the search engine and data base with the capability to constantly monitor an entire population?!  Holy shit.  That is going to be one hell of a powerful computer.  I sure hope Steven Hawking is wrong about the potential of computers to take over...

To all of this, I go back a couple of paragraphs.  Thank god this is America.  We have rights, laws, and moral codes that would prevent us from being 'rated', and there is certainly no way we are being monitored in our daily lives.  Our politicians would NEVER allow that...  And what's more, we (american citizens) are just too god damned clever to let this type of thing happen on our turf.

What the Chinese government does has no effect on my life.  Right?  I mean really, how would they even start to collect that data??

Now, excuse me while I digress a moment, but can anyone explain why my Facebook adds are suddenly filled with special offers on aluminum foil?  And wait...I hadn't thought about it til now, but my phone also knows which stores are closest to me.  I have to say...I think that all this technology is just so useful!  I love it!  Whenever I do a google, bing, yahoo or any other phone or computer just knows to help me find stuff.  Hell, it can even find me if I am lost.  

"OK Google, Where is the nearest aluminum foil distributor?"

Gotta love it.  All sorts of crazy far fetched theories to ignore, eh?

OK.  On that note, I think I will start a little side business making tin foil hats.  If you want a custom hat for your "bug out bag"...hit me up.

Til later,


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