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ref: -0 tags: china trustwothiness social engineering communism date: 10-31-2016 05:42 gmt revision:1 [0] [head]

China 'social credit': Beijing sets up huge system

So long as it purports to measure just one social variable -- 'trustworthiness' -- it might be a good idea. Many commerce websites (.. ebay ..) have these sort of rating systems already, and they are useful. When humans live in smaller communities something like this is in the shared consciousness.

Peering into everyone's purchasing habits and hobbies, however, seems like it will be grossly myopic and, as the article says, Orwellian. Likely they will train a deep-belief network on past data of weakly and communist party defined success, with all purchasing and social media as the input data, and use that in the proprietary algorithm for giving people their scalars to optimize. This would be the ultimate party control tool -- a great new handle for controlling people's minds, even 'better' than capitalism.

Surprising that the article only hints at this, and that the Chinese themselves seem rather clueless that it's a power play. In this sense, it's a very clever play to link it to reproduction.

Other comments:

These sorts of systems may be necessary in highly populated countries, where freedom and individuality are less valued and social cohesion is requisite.

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ref: life-0 tags: IQ intelligence Flynn effect genetics facebook social utopia data machine learning date: 10-02-2009 14:19 gmt revision:1 [0] [head]


My theory on the Flynn effect - human intelligence IS increasing, and this is NOT stopping. Look at it from a ML perspective: there is more free time to get data, the data (and world) has almost unlimited complexity, the data is much higher quality and much easier to get (the vast internet & world!(travel)), there is (hopefully) more fuel to process that data (food!). Therefore, we are getting more complex, sophisticated, and intelligent. Also, the idea that less-intelligent people having more kids will somehow 'dilute' our genetic IQ is bullshit - intelligence is mostly a product of environment and education, and is tailored to the tasks we need to do; it is not (or only very weakly, except at the extremes) tied to the wetware. Besides, things are changing far too fast for genetics to follow.

Regarding this social media, like facebook and others, you could posit that social intelligence is increasing, along similar arguments to above: social data is seemingly more prevalent, more available, and people spend more time examining it. Yet this feels to be a weaker argument, as people have always been socializing, talking, etc., and I'm not sure if any of these social media have really increased it. Irregardless, people enjoy it - that's the important part.

My utopia for today :-)

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ref: Gilbert-2009.03 tags: human prediction estimation social situation neighbor advice affective forecasting date: 06-10-2009 15:13 gmt revision:2 [1] [0] [head]

PMID-19299622[0] The Surprising Power of Neighborly Advice.

  • quote (I cannot say this any better!): "People make systematic errors when attempting to predict their affective reactions to future events, and these errors have social (1–3), economic (4–8), legal (9, 10), and medical (11–22) consequences. For example, people have been shown to overestimate how unhappy they will be after receiving bad test results (23), becoming disabled (14, 19–21), or being denied a promotion (24), and to overestimate how happy they will be after winning a prize (6), initiating a romantic relationship (24), or taking revenge against those who have harmed them (3). Research suggests that the main reason people mispredict their affective reactions to future events is that they imagine those events inaccurately (25). For example, people tend to imagine the essential features of future events but not the incidental features (26–28), the early moments of future events but not the later moments (17, 24), and so on. When mental simulations of events are inaccurate, the affective forecasts that are based on them tend to be inaccurate as well."
  • solution, ala François de La Rochefoucauld: "Before we set our hearts too much upon anything," he wrote, "let us first examine how happy those are who already possess it"
    • this is surrogation ; it relies not on mental simulation, hence is immune to the associated systematic errors.
    • problem is that people differ. paper agues that, in fact, they don't all that much - the valuations & affective reactions are produced by evolutionarily ancient physiological mechanisms. Furthermore, people's neighbors, friends, and peers are likely to all be similar in personality and preference via self-selection and social reinforcement - hence their reactions to a situation will be similar.
  • They used a speed-dating scenario in their experiments, from which they observe: "Women made more accurate predictions about how much they would enjoy a date with a man when they knew how much another woman in their social network enjoyed dating the man than when they read the man's personal profile and saw his photograph."
  • Next, they employ personality-evaluation "Men and women made more accurate predictions about how they would feel after being evaluated by a peer when they knew how another person in their social network had felt after being evaluated than when they previewed the evaluation itself."
  • Conclusion: "But given people's mistaken beliefs about the relative ineffectiveness of surrogation and their misplaced confidence in the accuracy of their own mental simulations (39), it seems likely that in everyday life, La Rochefoucauld's advice—like the advice of good neighbors—is more often than not ignored.
  • Editorializing: I'm not quite convinced that 'neighborly advice' is an accurate predictor of our absolute reaction to a situation as much as it socially informs us of reaction we are *supposed* to have. Society by consensus - that's what some of my European friends dislike about (some parts of) American culture. They need to run some controls in other cultures (?)


[0] Gilbert DT, Killingsworth MA, Eyre RN, Wilson TD, The surprising power of neighborly advice.Science 323:5921, 1617-9 (2009 Mar 20)