Real-life "Minority Report" • Avalanche (VIDEO) • Look, a squirrel

  1. Real-life "Minority Report"
  2. Avalanche - up close and personal (VIDEO)
  3. Look, a squirrel

Thing 1 - Real-life "Minority Report" but with AI

All this technology has been available for a while now. China is in a unique position to put it in place.

And here is how they are doing it.

...China aims to gather as much information as possible on its citizens, centralize this data, and use it to maintain authoritarian rule over its entire population.

New York Times team worked on this for over a year and analyzed 100k+ bidding documents. This video (14 min) is very well put together and has the details you want.

Screen cap from NYT video

What kind of information do they store and use?

  • Appearance
  • Technology you use
  • Location
  • Sound of your voice
  • Iris scans
  • DNA samples (from men)

Foundation: cameras.

Over half of the world's surveillance cameras are in China. They also record audio at least 300 feet from (some?) cameras.

There are heaps of information you can get from cameras, but why stop there? They didn't.

What do reports look like?

I'm glad you asked, have some samples:

Screen cap from NYT video
Screen cap from NYT video

Gotta give it to them, they look cool.

What does a look into the future look like?

Their documents show that the state is even working towards predicting potential threats before they materialize. It is building a future in which mass surveillance supports authoritarian rule.

There's a non-zero chance that this type of surveillance leaves China. If they pull it off and get good results (read: great control over the population), other countries will want to follow suit.


Thing 2 - Avalanche - up close and personal (VIDEO)

You hike in the mountains on a bright sunny day. Fluffy skies, birds chirping, some cracking in the distance... Wait, what?

You turn around and...

Harry Shimmin describes the rest in his Instagram post and shows the video of how it went down. (Spoiler: fast and unexpected)

Screen cap from Harry Shimmin's Instagram video


Thing 3 - Look, a squirrel

When a person can’t find a deep sense of meaning, they distract themselves with pleasure.
- Viktor Frankl
A few hours of distraction every day can quickly become a few years of inaction.
- Orange Book

But don't confuse distraction and downtime. Downtime is needed to recuperate, distraction is not. You can recuperate without being distracted.

You know what I'm talking about - You sit on the toilet and open your notifications. 2 blinks of an eye later, you've lost all the feeling in your legs and it's dark outside.

That wasn't downtime.

One of the most important skills you can develop in the world of monetized distractions is detecting and redirecting your attention to something that brings you joy, long term.

Install triggers/reminders: "What's the most important thing I could be working on right now?"

And for me, it's getting some rest. 💤

Cheers, Zvonimir