There are days I wonder if it’s even possible for a human being, however vigilant, to keep track of all the truly significant events and precursors that flood past us each day. I read several dozen news sites and aggregators, and I still miss developments that make me kick myself when I finally do notice them.
Way back in the Eighties, when Americans were still Americans…well, mostly, anyway…a certain Ronald Reagan said:
“The nine scariest words in the English language are ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’”
Well, if we hold the limit at nine words, President Reagan was correct. But if I may add a few carefully chosen ones to his saying, I think i can amplify the scare factor:
“I’m from the government and I’m here to help, and these companies will help, too.”
There is never a good reason for private companies, however focused, to get into bed with the Omnipotent State. “Public-private partnerships” have done at least as much damage to Americans’ rights as the federal government alone. Yet in these latter days of the Republic, such “partnerships” arise with terrifying frequency.
This is the only report of its type to assess market opportunities for infrastructure support of the social credit market. The report evaluates market drivers, use cases, and consequential impacts/implications (anticipated and likely unanticipated) for social credit market implementation and operation.
The report also evaluates some of the leading companies that are anticipated to drive social credit market evolution. This report includes detailed quantitative analysis driven by market needs with forecasting for all major infrastructure elements from 2021 to 2026.
There follows a long list of companies, most of which my Gentle Readers will recognize, that will involve themselves in the “social credit market.” And to what effect?
- The COVID-19 pandemic has facilitated substantial interest in citizen monitoring solutions
- Infrastructure to support social credit systems represents a $16.1B global opportunity by 2026
- Cameras and other optical equipment for social credit systems will reach $723M globally by 2026
- Advanced computing will be used in conjunction with AI to provide nearly flawless identification and tracking
- Various forms of biometrics will be used for identity verification as well as verifying the presence/location of people
- Starting as tangential to public safety and homeland security, the social credit market becomes mainstream by 2026
Social credit systems represent the ability to identify (mostly people but also some “things”) and track activities for purposes of grading behaviors and applying “social credit” scoring. A given grading/scoring methodology depends largely on social credit system objectives and metrics.
However, most systems will have socially acceptable behaviour at their core. This presents both a challenge and an opportunity as a combination of government, companies, and society as a whole must determine “good”, “bad”, and “marginal” behavior within the social credit market.
Beginning as a trend largely orthogonal to public safety and homeland security concerns, the market for social credit system infrastructure will ultimately become a mainstream component of both business and public policy.
This means that systems will ultimately be used for a variety of commerce and lifestyle-related issues ranging from risk assessment (access to credit, financing fees, insurance, etc.) to accessibility within public places such as concerts, sporting events, and other assemblies. High social scoring individuals within the social credit market will be granted preferred access to both real and digital assets.
That report is dated December 23, 2021: almost three months behind us, and I had no knowledge of it until this morning.
Did you, Gentle Reader? And now that we do know about all these megacorporations banding together with the State to determine who can do what, and where and when, and with whom, and under what terms, what on Earth can we do about it?
The largest three thousand corporations control the majority of productive and commercial activities on this sorry ball of rock. Now, in the pursuit of still further profits, they’re proposing to team up with Leviathan worldwide. They seek to run our lives more minutely than any girls’ dormitory matron. I was ignorant of this development until today. Now that I know about it, I haven’t got the faintest idea how to thwart, oppose, or escape it.
One brief piece of advice: If you’ve purchased a television since the Clinton Administration, unplug it when you’re not watching anything. Apart from that, have a few words from Stephen King:
“Once upon a time there was an experiment in which twelve people participated,” Quincey said. “About six years ago. Do you remember that?”
“I remember it,” Andy said grimly.
“There aren’t many of those twelve people left. There were four, the last I heard. And two of them married each other.”
“Yes,” Andy said, but inside he felt growing horror. Only four left? What was Quincey talking about?
“I understand one of them can bend keys and shut doors without even touching them.” Quincey’s voice, thin, coming across two thousand miles of telephone cable, coming through switching stations, through open-relay points, through junction boxes in Nevada, Idaho, Colorado, Iowa. A million places to tap into Quincey’s voice.
“Yes?” he said, straining to keep his voice level. And he thought of Vicky, who could sometimes turn on the radio or turn off the TV without going anywhere near it-and Vicky was apparently not even aware she was doing those things.
“Oh yes, he’s for real,” Quincey was saying. “He’s—what would you say?-a documented case. It hurts his head if he does those things too often, but he can do them. They keep him in a little room with a door he can’t open and a lock he can’t bend. They do tests on him. He bends keys. He shuts doors. And I understand he’s nearly crazy.”
“Oh … my … God,” Andy said faintly.
“He’s part of the peace effort, so it’s all right if he goes crazy,” Quincey went on. “He’s going crazy so two hundred and twenty million Americans can stay safe and free. Do you understand?”
“Yes,” Andy had whispered.
“What about the two people who got married? Nothing. So far as they know. They live quietly, in some quiet middle-American state like Ohio. There’s maybe a yearly check on them. Just to see if they’re doing anything like bending keys or closing doors without touching them or doing funny little mentalist routines at the local Backyard Carnival for Muscular Dystrophy. Good thing those people can’t do anything like that, isn’t it, Andy?”
Andy closed his eyes and smelled burned cloth. Sometimes Charlie would pull open the fridge door, look in, and then crawl off again. And if Vicky was ironing, she would glance at the fridge door and it would swing shut again—all without her being aware that she was doing anything strange. That was sometimes. At other times it didn’t seem to work, and she would leave her ironing and close the refrigerator door herself (or turn off the radio, or turn on the TV). Vicky couldn’t bend keys or read thoughts or fly or start fires or predict the future. She could sometimes shut a door from across the room and that was about the extent of it. Sometimes, after she had done several of these things, Andy had noticed that she would complain of a headache or an upset stomach, and whether that was a physical reaction or some sort of muttered warning from her subconscious, Andy didn’t know. Her ability to do these things got maybe a little stronger around the time of her period. Such small things, and so infrequently, that Andy had come to think of them as normal. As for himself…well he could push people. There was no real name for it; perhaps autohypnosis came closest. And he couldn’t do it often, because it gave him headaches. Most days he could forget completely that he wasn’t utterly normal and never really had been since that day in Room 70 of Jason Geameigh.
He closed his eyes and on the dark field inside his eyelids he saw that comma-shaped bloodstain and the nonwords COR OSUM.
“Yes, it’s a good thing,” Quincey went on, as if Andy had agreed. “Or they might put them in two little rooms where they could work full-time to keep two hundred and twenty million Americans safe and free.”
“A good thing,” Andy agreed.
“Those twelve people,” Quincey said, “maybe they gave those twelve people a drug they didn’t fully understand. It might have been that someone—a certain Mad Doctor—might have deliberately misled them. Or maybe he thought he was misleading them and they were deliberately leading him on. It doesn’t matter.”
“So this drug was given to them and maybe it changed their chromosomes a little bit. Or a lot. Or who knows. And maybe two of them got married and decided to have a baby and maybe the baby got something more than her eyes and his mouth. Wouldn’t they be interested in that child?”
“I bet they would,” Andy said, now so frightened he was having trouble talking at all. He had already decided that he would not tell Vicky about calling Quincey.
“It’s like you got lemon, and that’s nice, and you got meringue, and that’s nice, too, but when you put them together, you’ve got…a whole new taste treat. I bet they’d want to see just what that child could do. They might just want to take it and put it in a little room and see if it could help make the world safe for democracy. And I think that’s all I want to say, old buddy, except…keep your head down.”