Posted On: Tuesday - May 5th 2020 10:22AM MST
In Topics:   China  Bible/Religion  iEspionage
(continued from previous post)
Even just a couple of years after that first, enlightening visit to China, things had visibly changed a bit to me. Upon going into one of those "cafes" to take care of some business (still well before the time of pervasive smart phone usage, here and there), I was asked for an ID in order to surf the web. I refused and left. This was not paranoia - the place is certainly nothing like 1970 (even 1980s, per John Derbyshire) China. Whatever I did on the computer, I didn't expect anyone anywhere in China to really care. Business is business over there, after all. This is just my way - as I discussed in Inflation and the point(s) of shopping by price, if people don't make their preferences known, things won't change. Money talks.
Fine, I was able to get a non-secured signal off an apartment near where we were staying. Since I stayed in the location for quite a while, I got to know the ups and downs of this guy's router pretty damn well. He needs a better router, I can tell you that right now! (Well, I'd have told him, but I neither spoke Chinese nor knew exactly the REDACTED* network broadcasting location.) I could still pull up gunowners, the American Spectator, old-timey Steve Sailer, and whatever else I was into at the time.
That's a small thing, right? More recently, I found out, as we visited China, that getting a cheap cell phone and an anonymous one (if that had happened to matter) was out of the question. Of course, it's all smart phones now, and they are tailor made for iEspionage. Face it, whatever CAN be done with them, WILL be, unless the people are very vigilant. Neither the Chinese people nor the American people are at all vigilant about it, so ... there ya' go. Here's the rest of it: An individual or family is now limited in how many phones they are allowed have on the network, and one must present his Identity card - a bigger deal than our Driver's Licenses (oops, till REAL ID, that is) - to get one.
Just to explain here, we might have gotten one of our phones unlocked to use there, but there was some reason it was easier to borrow someone else's. My point is that there is no anonymity for anything done on these hand-computers.
Well, if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to worry about, right? That sounds more Chinese-style than patriotic American, but then most Americans just don't care anymore.
Let me mention contrasts from the points I made in Part 1: The traffic is much more controlled in the big cities**. I gotta say that I can't blame them on this, but it sure ruins my image of the place.
In China over a decade ago airport security was more of a formality to fit in with the foreign airlines' requirements. There were some cuties involved for whom I was not at all adverse to being felt up by, were they up for it, I gotta admit! Now, or 2 years back, man, it was quite a bit worse than the shitshow of Security Theater in America. I think there were TWO extra stops, and then there was that big no-weapons sign, one of those big pieces of film with holes on the glass dealies. I made a point to stand there and take a picture of it, something that was perhaps disconcerting to the Authoritah around, but, well, fuck 'em.
Just short decade ago, China was a mostly cash-ONLY*** economy (still continued in their Chinatowns in America due to advice from "tax accountants"). Many of them having skipped the entire land-line phone era ("Who is this Alexandle Glaham Berr of which you speak?"), Chinese people have taken to cell phones, and now the smart ones, with a vengeance. Just about anyone who is not still living out in the sticks making $500 a year has a WeChat account for all types of communication. Anything that can be done on them will have an "app for that". One of these "conveniences" is the cashless payments that can be made via the computer all but the old folks have in their back pockets (front in the big city, you know, theft and all).
This cashless payment thing, along with the Social Credit business that I've heard about but have no personal stories about, are getting very close to the Book of Revelation "Mark o' the Beast" stuff. Think about how little Apostle John, the writer of Revelation, could have imagined regarding even bar codes and readers, much less the level of electronics in the smart phone and RFID chips that can also be used to easily implement the evil prognosticated therein.
Now, I don't claim to understand all the rest of the this last Book of the Bible tries to illuminate for us. What that multi-faced beast business is about is a mystery to me. Peak Stupidity has highlighted the possible AntiChrist candidates before, some of whom may not be humans after all. The Hildabeast could easily represent something straight out of the BofRev, but then, who are the other 3 Horsepersons of the Apocalypse?
To summarize here, China does not represent the future of freedom in the world, as it did to me in some ways 1 1/2 decades back. Things are no longer headed in the right direction over there, no matter how new and cool the infrastructure is, and how prosperous the Chinese people are quickly becoming.
By this point, and with these 2 posts, the long-term reader may understand that Peak Stupidity is about the truth of stupidity all around the world. We are not particularly anti-China or anti-Chinese, and have even made one apology to our Chinese readers. (Admittedly, it's one of those half-assed apologies that you'll get often from a politician!)
* REDACTED sounds better than "this was a long time ago, and I can't remember shit".
** In Canton, what they call Guangzhou now, motorcycles are banned in the city limits (or were about 10 years back, anyway). This law was made due to too many incidents of thefts of women's purses done by motorcyclists "on the fly". Yet, they'll tell you there's not much crime in China. Bull.
*** Great anecdote here on some personal Chinese financial dealings. There I was, getting close to out of cash, and during this trip (not my 1st), the bank machines would give me no money (usually wads of the highest denomination, Chinese ¥100s, red bills with good old Chairman Mao on 'em, each like a $15 bill, roughly). (I found out later that my home bank's anti-abuse software had kicked in on this trip, and I later made sure to notify the bank ahead. Fair enough on that, as I appreciate that software being on the ball.)
Well, when the banks opened on Monday, I and a Chinese lady went inside to straighten this out, her knowing Chinese and all... "They want to see your passport." OK, well the 1st hangup is that the Chinese don't use middle names. We do. Shit didn't match!
OK, maybe we'll get past that one, but who in the heck is this gentleman named "See ID" who had signed the card? "Huh?! Just who do you think we are, lady, some rural peasants born yesterday?! Not all Gweilo's**** rook arrike" OK, that's my best translation from, you know, the looks on all their faces. "Show me the passport of Mr. See ID, and then we can get somewhere." I got no currency and had to borrow some during the trip. Did this lesson on inconvenience change my mind about the Mark 'o the Beast? Not hardly!
**** "White ghosts"