An interesting little article here from Charlie Stross (h/t Winchell Chung), concerning China’s new “credit score” system that incorporates all sorts of other social information and which looks to be shaping up into a horrendous mechanism of total social control, the way they’re using it.
This, of course, is relevant to our SFnal interests around here, seeing as the Empire, among other polities of the Worlds, is very much into the use of reputation networks and gamification for all sorts of purposes.
…of course, confronted with this sort of thing, the great and the good *there* pretty much shrug. Of course outworlder barbarians turn simple, benign technologies into grotesque engines of mass oppression! That’s what barbarians do, definitionally – what do you expect from korasmóníë–dwelling madmen, hardwired for conformity and for seeing said conformity as a virtue, with no civilized sense of tratalmir ulkith? It certainly shouldn’t be that they’d use empowering technologies in rational, life-enhancing ways like us decent, civilized, letter-and-spirit-of-the-Contract-adherent folks.
In short: shit happens in the Periphery.
(It ruins their society-level rep score, though.)