Showing posts with label Conformity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conformity. Show all posts

October 23, 2016

Your Score Is Your Life

Absolutely fascinating article in the Washington Post

China is working on a plan to use big data to score people on their social behavior. 

Every interaction you make in life either increments or decrements your social score. 

You social score determines how trustworthy you are. 

The social score would vacuum up data from the "courts, police, banking, tax, and employment records."

People in service professions like teacher, doctors, and business could be scored for their professionalism. 

Doing positive social actions like caring for the elderly earn you added points and doing negative social actions like DUI or running a red light subtracts points from your score. 

As the score includes more and more data feeds over time, you could eventually be scored for doing your homework, chores in the home, how you treat your wife and children, the community service you do, how hard you perform at work, how you treat people socially and on dates, whether you are fair in your business dealings and treat others well, whether you do your religious duties, and so on. 

People can get rated for just about everything they do.

And these rating get aggregated into your social score. 

The score is immediately available to everyone and so they know how good or bad you are on the scale of 1 to a 1,000.

If you think people are stressed out now, can you imagine having to worry about everything you do and how you will be rated for it and how it can affect your score and your future. 

If you have a bad score, say goodbye to opportunities for education, employment, loans, friends, and marriage prospects. 

Imagine people held hostage by others threatening to give you a bad score because they don't like you, are racist, or for blackmail. 

What about society abusing this power to get you to not only follow positive social norms, but to enforce on you certain political leanings, religious followings, or policy endorsements. 

Social scores could end up meaning the ultimate in social control. 

Personal scores can manipulate your behavior by being rewarding or punitive and rehabilitative to whatever end the scoring authorities dictate. 

Moreover, hackers or the people who control the big data machinery could destroy your life in a matter of milliseconds. 

So this is what it comes down to: You are your score!

Play along and do what you are told to do...you are the Borg and you will follow. 

Conform or you are dead by number!

Transparency is everywhere. 

Pluses and minuses every day. 

What is my score today? 

Today, I am desirable and successful, and tomorrow, I am disregarded and a loser. 

Please don't kill my score.

Please don't destroy me. 

Please, I will be socially good. 

Please, I will not resist. ;-)

(Source Graphic: Andy Blumenthal)

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June 22, 2012

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

This is a photo I took at Harpers Ferry.

There was a train coming by pretty fast, and on the flatbeds were what seemed like a endless line of Tractors. 

-- Red, red, red, red, blue, and then red again. 

I hurried to get my iPhone out and capture this photo while the train was rushing by at full speed. 

I love this shot, because it teaches an important lesson about diversity

Firstly, it reminds me of the children's song, "One of these things is not like the other. One of these things just doesn't belong."

From early in life, we are taught to conform a certain way--based on norms, culture, values, policies, rules, regulations, laws, religion, and so on. 

There always seems to be a reason that we have to talk, dress, think, and conduct ourselves--properly, politically-correct, and just like everyone else. 

And we are warned that "the nail that sticks out, gets hammered down"--so don't do it--it's too risky--you'll be labeled bad or worse yet, crazy. 

So while creativity and innovation is valued if it can bring someone a nice profit, we are still cautioned not to go out too far on a limb or else you risk getting ridiculed and rejected--hey "you may never work again in this town."

But in this picture, the tractors tell a different story--that it's okay to be a blue tractor in a long parade of red ones. 

No, the blue tractor wasn't a mistake, it isn't abnormal or alien or evil, it's just different and it's cool. 

The blue tractor stands out, but it isn't a bad thing to stand out--and the blue tractor won't get hammered down.

It's okay to be a blue tractor in a long procession of red tractors--and it's great to just be who you are--blue, red, yellow, green, or whatever. 

Conformity is not normalcy--it's just look-alike, copycat, and probably even boring. 

Being different can be novel, inventive, out-of-the-box and exciting--and more important it can usher in needed change.

I think we need more blue tractors in a red tractor world.

Will you take a chance and be a blue tractor too? 

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)


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