Tuesday, December 20, 2016

A Terrifying Look at the Future

Do you want to see just how bad data mining + gamification + creating a data-based profile for every citizen, just how terrifying this idea is?

Meet Sesame Credit-- and realize that Big Brother was an absolute pliant wimp by comparison. Just watch this. I don't even know where to begin, but you need to watch this.


  1. Sickening, obviously. What this guy doesn't mention is how people will end up gaming the system. Once they realize how oppressive it is (and many will know that immediately), they will use it with that awareness. It will all become a game of outsmarting each other, and reality will be the last thing anyone will be able to deduce in the data. People who live in totalitarian regimes usually find a way to play it safe without betraying their inner thoughts.

    One great way to do it is to not participate in anything. There are lots of people who never do any sort of social networking, don't have any such accounts, don't post anything, don't put anything in their email that could be humiliating at some point (including simple griping against a person or persons). Having worked in a country where I was aware that my words and actions were being checked, I know what it is to keep some conversations only for in person encounters. I still do that to a large extent now, back in the U.S.

    In context of this and other news these days, sobriety is the word of the week. That is something worth teaching students, too.

  2. Looks like a great way to keep the Denizens Of Trumpistan Toeing The Line.

  3. I would like to point out to folks who may say "well, that's just in China" that I attended a panel discussion of video games in education at the DNC in Philly this summer. Very posh affair, heavy nibbles, open bar, lots of swag provided by Epic games. The owner is in the middle. His company is based in Raleigh-Durham. Two years ago TenCent, one of the forces behind Sesame Credit, bought 40% of his gaming company. So mull that over as they move to gamify your kid's classroom and start compiling SEL data from preschool on. You can watch a video of the panel here: http://www.theatlantic.com/live/events/teaching-for-tomorrow-dnc/2016/

    The other panelists include Suzan DelBene, formerly of Microsoft and now a Washington State congresswoman, who started the Internet of Things Caucus and a former professor of gaming from University of Wisconsin Madsion who worked closely with the ADL collab there. The ADL collab has close ties to the Florida Virtual Schools, where many aspects of cyber education for K12 are being incubated. The woman has moved on to UC Irvine now.