China Social Credit System in 2021

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China’s Social Credit System (SCS), the framework that aims to score Chinese citizens, businesses, and government entities based on their trustworthiness, has been evolving over the last year. Now, on the national level, you’re scored mostly on your legal and financial actions; defaulting on a loan, for example, severely affects your score. Those with high scores may be redlisted, which gives you preferential treatment, while those with low scores are blacklisted, which has a number of punishments, one of which being the inability to travel by plane or train. Read full article here

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The Priest in the Arena

The phrase “man in the arena” has been popularized in recent years, but a lesser known, more dangerous archetype is the “priest in the arena”. This figure is responsible for a process called theocratic capture, where an institution surrenders to a cult demanding unaccountable authority, fueled by claims to privileged knowledge. These cults often target powerful institutions and attempt to monopolize conversations with scaremongering tactics and hostile treatment of allies. It is important to identify and stop theocratic capture before it can gain control. Read full article here


Maps Distort How We See the World

Maps have a major impact on how we perceive the world, as they often distort reality. One example is the Mercator projection, which can make countries closer to the equator appear smaller than they actually are. Africa is an especially stark example, as it’s much larger than it appears on a map. This distortion can lead to a poor intuition for comparative region sizes, with Brazil being the most short-changed. It’s even big enough that its northernmost point is closer to Canada than its southernmost point! While international maps are chosen for good reasons, they can be deceitful. Read full article here

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