BIG BROTHER really is ……

Just an horrific episode of Black Mirror or the real world we find ourselves in???????

Imagine a world where many of your daily activities were constantly monitored and evaluated: what you buy at the shops and online; where you are at any given time; who your friends are and how you interact with them; how many hours you spend watching content or playing video games; and what bills and taxes you pay (or not). It’s not hard to picture, because most of that already happens, thanks to all those data-collecting behemoths like Google, Facebook and Instagram or health-tracking apps such as Fitbit. But now imagine a system where all these behaviours are rated as either positive or negative and distilled into a single number, according to rules set by the government. That would create your Citizen Score and it would tell everyone whether or not you were trustworthy. Plus, your rating would be publicly ranked against that of the entire population and used to determine your eligibility for a mortgage or a job, where your children can go to school – or even just your chances of getting a date.

A futuristic vision of Big Brother out of control? No, it’s already getting underway in China, where the government is developing the Social Credit System (SCS) to rate the trustworthiness of its 1.3 billion citizens. The Chinese government is pitching the system as a desirable way to measure and enhance “trust” nationwide and to build a culture of “sincerity”. As the policy states, “It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility.”

Others are less sanguine about its wider purpose. “It is very ambitious in both depth and scope, including scrutinising individual behaviour and what books people are reading. It’s Amazon’s consumer tracking with an Orwellian political twist,” is how Johan Lagerkvist, a Chinese internet specialist at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs, described the social credit system. Rogier Creemers, a post-doctoral scholar specialising in Chinese law and governance at the Van Vollenhoven Institute at Leiden University, who published a comprehensive translation of the plan, compared it to “Yelp reviews with the nanny state watching over your shoulder”.

For now, technically, participating in China’s Citizen Scores is voluntary. But by 2020 it will be mandatory. The behaviour of every single citizen and legal person (which includes every company or other entity)in China will be rated and ranked, whether they like it or not.

Snowflakes at Columbine

As the world begins to move on from the most recent shooting in a USA school one thing is clear – the horror of guns is not going away from American High Schools anytime soon. There are 17 year olds joining the armed forces because they feel safer than high school. There are children affraid to go to school. Parents asking if there are guns in the house of possible sleep overs their kids may attend – and to all this the President;s solution to horrific gun crime is ….. more guns!!!!

In his first comment Trump didn’t mention guns but rather referred to mental illness. It is strange therefore that he supports self certification of no mental health issues to people looking to buy guns. There was a recent documentary where a big 13 year old boy with fake ID tried to buy alcohol and was turned down, then tried to buy cigarettes and was again turned down – but when he tried to buy a gun – he walked out of the door with his own weapon of war.

The President wants to arm teachers as the best method of fighting gun crime in schools and calls those opposed to wide gun access “Snowflakes”.

Well I am calling for an avalanche of snowflakes. Protest is the only thing to change this man’s mind. All sane people in America and around the world must join together and say that the solution to gun crime cannot ever be more guns!!!!