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TechCrunch - Jon Evans - Our dystopian cyberpunk here and now

We in the West love our apocalyptic science fiction, in which cartoonishly evil authorities ruthlessly oppress all who so much as wonder about their absolute power, enforced via ubiquitous surveillance technology. Think The Hunger Games, Blade Runner 2049, V for Vendetta, just to pick a few. Well -- to trot out that infamous William Gibson line, the future is here, it's just unevenly distributed.

 

  Yearly reminder: unless you're over 60, you weren't promised flying cars. You were promised an oppressive cyberpunk dystopia. Here you go.

    -- Kyle Marquis (@Moochava) July 10, 2013
 

I'm thinking of Xinjiang, northwest China, which, according to panoply of reports over the last year, has become an oppressive surveillance police state: Georgetown professor James Millward conjures it:

 

   While on your way to work or on an errand, every 100 meters you pass a police blockhouse. Video cameras on street corners and lamp posts recognize your face and track your movements. At multiple checkpoints, police officers scan your ID card, your irises and the contents of your phone. At the supermarket or the bank, you are scanned again, your bags are X-rayed and an officer runs a wand over your body [...] The system crunches all of this into a composite score ... [Based on it] you may or may not be allowed to visit a museum, pass through certain neighborhoods, go to the mall, check into a hotel, rent an apartment, apply for a job or buy a train ticket. Or you may be detained to undergo re-education.

 


keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jan 13th, 2019 at 07:56:59 PM EST

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