In This Issue
Week of 2/17/2020
Vol. 25 Issue 7
Surveillance, Cities, and Facial Recognition
A Discussion With Ilshat Kokbore and David Brin
Hosted by Evan Anderson
- About Ilshat Kokbore
- About David Brin
- About Evan Anderson
The Viral Economy, Part 3
Publisher’s Note: Increasingly, when describing China’s “contribution” to the world today, we find ourselves using the term “1939.” After all, it was in that year that Britain continued to appease Hitler, even as his troops were marching by the thousands with broomsticks or shovels, to be replaced months later by guns. The Germans were already practicing anti-Semitism on a horrible scale, and everyone knew about Kristallnacht, and Jews being forced to wear yellow badges identifying themselves. “Brown shirts” beat up anyone not following the Nazi doctrine.
Today, China is almost a mirror image. Huge amounts are spent on the military, while militarized “fishing boats” and coast-guard cutters take over millions of miles of international waters in the S. China Sea, building military bases on expanded reef islands, and installing anti-aircraft and anti-ship weaponry there and up and down the shoreline. Civil rights activists – and their attorneys – are jailed every day, human rights don’t exist, and Xi Jinping has made himself emperor for life, enshrining his thoughts, and his name, in the constitution.
But perhaps most disgusting is the move to eliminate the religion and culture of the Uyghur population. After years of burning their places of worship and filling their towns with Han Chinese nationals, Xi apparently lost patience. Today, as many as 3 million Uyghurs are in Chinese concentration camps, held indefinitely, until they die or are “re-educated.” Meanwhile, nightmarish facial-recognition and AI systems track every Chinese in real time.
In this week’s transcript from FiRe, our members will have a chance to understand the Uyghur experience in China on a personal level. There is nothing I can say here that would be more graphic or compelling than what you are about to read below.
Finally, just as in 1939, the large global corporations, motivated only by quarterly earnings, argue for peace and understanding. When WWII began, it was IBM that counted the Jews on their way to the camps, and Ford and others that used shell companies to keep selling to the Nazi war machine.
But today is different from 1939: we don’t have ignorance as an excuse. No one can say they didn’t know what to expect, or what China was doing. Today, the world is fully aware of “The Real China.” Bent on global domination by any means, guilty of massive human-rights violations, and terrifying in its dictatorship’s single-mindedness, China is on a determined Belt and Road path to its goal.
Today, no corporation in the world can profess ignorance of the real China. And yet, Apple’s Tim Cook continues to lobby President Trump to take it easy on China, while Qualcomm builds supercomputers for the Chinese and lobbies the DoD to get permission to sell chips to their military.
I hope that this week’s issue removes any final doubts about The Real China, and our need to oppose it. – mra