Watercooler 12/01/16;China Looks To Make Big Brother A Reality; McDonalds Responds To Fight For 15; Temperatures Plummet


China Looks To Make Big Brother A Reality

Facebook meets  Equifax, meets Lexus/Nexus meets Big Brother. Imagine a database that accumulated every bit of information about you. Everything from your home owners association violations, parking tickets, your tweets on twitter, how you are liked disliked on Facebook then decided what you should and shouldn’t be allowed to do based on your scores. Sound like a science fiction dystopia ? Well it’s what China is looking to implement to control their citizens and suppress dissent.

Hangzhou’s local government is piloting a “social credit” system the Communist Party has said it wants to roll out nationwide by 2020, a digital reboot of the methods of social control the regime uses to avert threats to its legitimacy.
More than three dozen local governments across China are beginning to compile digital records of social and financial behavior to rate creditworthiness. A person can incur black marks for infractions such as fare cheating, jaywalking and violating family-planning rules. The effort echoes the dang’an, a system of dossiers the Communist party keeps on urban workers’ behavior.
In time, Beijing expects to draw on bigger, combined data pools, including a person’s internet activity, according to interviews with some architects of the system and a review of government documents. Algorithms would use a range of data to calculate a citizen’s rating, which would then be used to determine all manner of activities, such as who gets loans, or faster treatment at government offices or access to luxury hotels.
The national social-credit system’s aim, according to a slogan repeated in planning documents, is to “allow the trustworthy to roam everywhere under heaven while making it hard for the discredited to take a single step.
As disturbing as it is to watch over a billion people enslaved, it’s even more worrisome to think how close we may be to this. We have been seeing the left build monopolies in the information space then use them to shut down dissent. I used to joke the KGB never had information on Russian citizens the way Mastercard and Visa do on Americans. I hope it’s still funny down the road.

McDonalds Automates In Response To The Fight For 15

If anyone thinks that government can make businesses engage in self destructive behavior and have it magically work out, they need to be well and thoroughly beaten with a stupid stick. Unfortunately repeatedly failing never seems to help and never seems to provide an education. What’s worse is the do gooders never are on the receiving end of their schemes, the way the cashiers at McDonalds will be.

Roughly 500 restaurants in Florida, New York and California now have the automated ordering stations, and restaurants in Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington, D.C., will be outfitted in 2017, according to CNNMoney.

The locations that are seeing the first automated kiosks closely correlate with the fight for a $15 minimum wage. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed into law a new $15 minimum wage for New York state in 2016, and the University of California has proposed to pay its low-wage employees $15. Florida’s minimum wage will rise Jan. 1, 2017. Seattle raised its minimum wage to $15 in 2014, followed by San Francisco and Los Angeles.

News of McDonald’s plans to expand its digital self-serve ordering stations and table service to all of its 14,000 American restaurants backs up concerns that the fight for $15 will expedite the growth of automation and robots. Aparna Mathur, resident scholar for economic policy at the American Enterprise Institute, told The Daily Caller News Foundation that a push for a $15 minimum wage might just be enough for companies to expedite plans to automate industries such as fast food.

Global Temperatures Have Steepest Decline On Record

Bet you’ve heard how 2016 is on track to be the hottest year on record and how it’s all due to global warming. Well what the MSM hasn’t been talking about is how once EL Nino ended Global temperatures dropped a full degree Centigrade (1.8 Degrees Fahrenheit). What’s more by the end of the year we will still be in that long pause in warming.

Global average temperatures over land have plummeted by more than 1 degree C since the middle of this year – their biggest and steepest fall on record.

The news comes amid mounting evidence that the recent run of world record high temperatures is about to end.

The fall, revealed by Nasa satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere, has been caused by the end of El Nino – the warming of surface waters in a vast area of the Pacific west of Central America.

Big El Ninos always have an immense impact on world weather, triggering higher than normal temperatures over huge swathes of the world. The 2015-16 El Nino was probably the strongest since accurate measurements began, with the water up to 3C warmer than usual.

It has now been replaced by a La Nina event – when the water in the same Pacific region turns colder than normal.

This also has worldwide impacts, driving temperatures down rather than up.

The satellite measurements over land respond quickly to El Nino and La Nina. Temperatures over the sea are also falling, but not as fast, because the sea retains heat for longer.

This means it is possible that by some yardsticks, 2016 will be declared as hot as 2015 or even slightly hotter – because El Nino did not vanish until the middle of the year.

But it is almost certain that next year, large falls will also be measured over the oceans, and by weather station thermometers on the surface of the planet – exactly as happened after the end of the last very strong El Nino in 1998. If so, some experts will be forced to eat their words.

I’ll go out on a limb that with La Nina active next year the news will focus on that every time there is a cold snap.

Quote of the Day

    If all printers were determined not to print anything till they were sure it would offend nobody, there would be very little printed. — Benjamin Franklin

Quiz: Something Non Political Here

How Logical Are You ?  My score was 7/8

Drink up That’s it for the Watercooler today. As always it’s an open thread

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