9th: The Honesty Game – Part Two – the support and punishment social system

This is the part two of 8th: The Honesty Game – Part One – the game

Part one discussed a gaming system relies on aggregating social data from the player to grow the game character. It assumes the players opt in to share their personal information, so they gain the benefits like, growing their game characters with the player’s real-life activities, and exploring more interesting plots in the game depending on what the player does in real world.

There is always debate in how much personal data we are willing to sacrifice.

Big Data

In case you haven’t heard this buzz word enough, we can now process more data than ever.

A few years ago, some universities use big data to provide financial support to poor students. It does make sense, for a few reasons:

  1. Universities are relatively closed. They are like individual communities.
  2. Poor students are likely to dine in school’s cafeteria more than rich students.
  3. It is not hard to use data-driven analysis to understand which students are more struggling financially than others.

Can we go further?

Social Support

I don’t really want to talk about the depressing topic about homelessness.

However, imagine a city, where everyone has to use a card for anything, such as buying groceries, taking public transits, and using any public service (like libraries, or going to a shelter).

It will be very easy to understand which family spends more and which family needs more help or doesn’t. Won’t it?

Hang on, I know some people will want to say something. Allow me to finish next section.

HOV/bus-only lane cheater

If you lived in Seattle, you would probably have seen HOV or bus-only lane cheaters, a lot! The government has decided to raise the fine for repetitive cheaters. However, even radio show had discussed people would not care, if they value the time more than getting stuck in traffic.

The solution? Personally, I feel it should be proportion based fine.

For example, the first violation fine will be a fixed number. The second violation fine (say within a year) will be all of the money this person has in the month. Let’s say we collect the monthly income and spending data of a person, so we can get an estimation of this person’s monthly spending amount. This person’s fine for second violation will be the entire estimated monthly remaining, which should already exclude the spending on food and living expense.

To be more precise, let’s say someone usually has $1000 income, which needs to pay $500 for rent and $300 for food. The fine will be $200. Now another person usually has $20,000 monthly income, $5000 for mortgage and $1000 for food, so this person normally has $14,000 monthly remaining. Then this person’s second violation fine will be $14,000!

I guarantee no one will violate second time.

Socialism, Communism, or what?

Now go back to the previous section, if we really collect everyone’s data and provide support accordingly, is it socialism, or communism, or some-ism?

I don’t know and I don’t really care.

As a normal citizen, I probably share the ideas with many others. I am guessing most people want:

  • living safely in this world, with food and a place;
  • raise a family, protect our children;
  • make sure our children and their children have a home to live;

People questioning what kind of -ism are the people who have been living way too happy and comfortable. In the time people have no food or no home, who would ask those questions?

Honesty Game, or the social credit system, will it really happen?

Will such a system really happen?

Will our data all be monitored and analyzed by the government one day?

Actually, I am not sure if it has happened already or not. Some people may think it’s already happening, and it’s not just in China.

I lean to believe we will eventually enter an era of no more personal privacy. Maybe in a long time, maybe in just a  few years. It will be a game changer (pun intended).