Stop Being Yourself—There’s a Robot for That

stop being yourself

It’s not just about taking jobs; in China, robots are staged to take identities.

In the midst of a nationwide prison strike protesting “modern-day slavery,” Amani Sawari — spokeswoman for Jailhouse Lawyers Speak — told the New York Times that prisoners are “paid pennies” for work performed behind bars.

It’s well-documented that the incarcerated are exploited for cheap labor; they pick cotton and fight wildfires to finance essential items like menstrual products from prison commissaries.

But organized usury pales in comparison to the malpractices of the Chinese prison system. There, medical care is a privilege, torture is common practice, and activism is a fantasy. It’s a human-rights vacuum.

In a recent report of abuse, Peter Humphrey — a British fraud investigator and former inmate at the Shanghai Detention Center — recounts being “locked in an iron chair inside a steel cage” during “frequent interrogations.”

His story illuminates China’s governing philosophy that every aspect of human existence — even the experience of dignity — is conditional. The Chinese political-economy transcends laws, customs, and government; it comprises social networks and behavioral traits as well. President Xi Jinping utilizes a matrix of socioeconomic constraints to deter mass dissent and counter political corruption.

By 2020, each of China’s 1.4 billion citizens will receive a publicly-available score designating their value to society. It will determine how they travel, learn, and acquire property.

The initiative — facilitated by an orwellian surveillance infrastructure — has already deemed 11 million citizens to be “untrustworthy” of international travel. One of those citizens — Liu Hu, a journalist — says, “you feel you’re being controlled by the list all the time.”

Concurrently, Chinese manufacturers are propelling a separate initiative — “Made in China 2025.”

In the next decade, China hopes to supersede its technological interdependence and become the dominant force in technologies like robotics. In 2017, industry produced 130,000 robots; in 2025, it hopes to sell 300,000 units and automate 70% of China’s service sector jobs.

And citizens are OK with that. They’re greeting assimilated robots with exuberance across a gamut of interactivities.

Still, China is setting a dangerous precedent. It’s synergizing an unadulterated acceptance of technology with an expansion of secret policing and conditionality.

For, once China codifies human existence as a condition — and determines moral virtue to be calculable — how will citizens attain a degree of separation from collaborative robots?

They won’t, and that’s the point. For the Chinese, “digital transformation” isn’t an efficiency concept — it’s a measurable nexus point where a man and a machine can be classified as mathematically equivalent against vetted government standards.

Allowing a policing algorithm to prompt kidnappings and legitimize detainment doesn’t seem so abominable once the process is compared to the deactivation of machinery.

China’s attack on moral relativism will influence public behavior in an absolute way. Though, if there’s no room for rule-breaking, there’s no room for innovation and self-discovery.

In 2025, Chinese citizens will check their psycho-emotional tendencies at the door and modify their personalities to accommodate President Xi’s totalitarian detection system.

Because, once conformity is ascertained, and the numerical variances classifying anomalous behavior tighten, the act of jaywalking or smoking a cigarette could be the difference between freedom and imprisonment. #humies

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