10/8/20 Power Five

1. The Panopticon Is Already Here – “China already has hundreds of millions of surveillance cameras in place. Xi’s government hopes to soon achieve full video coverage of key public areas. Much of the footage collected by China’s cameras is parsed by algorithms for security threats of one kind or another. In the near future, every person who enters a public space could be identified, instantly, by AI matching them to an ocean of personal data, including their every text communication, and their body’s one-of-a-kind protein-construction schema. In time, algorithms will be able to string together data points from a broad range of sources—travel records, friends and associates, reading habits, purchases—to predict political resistance before it happens. China’s government could soon achieve an unprecedented political stranglehold on more than 1 billion people.”

2. A Shadow Of Hunger Looms Over the United States – “Whenever food deliveries came, Villa’s kids would celebrate. ‘Oh, Mommy, we’re going to have food tonight,’ they would tell her. ‘We’re not going to go to sleep with no food in our tummy.’”

3. Battle in the Himalayas – From earlier this summer, China and India are in the midst of a border war, over a border that was never formally negotiated. “A spokesman for China’s Ministry of National Defense, Senior Col. Wu Qian, said last month that China has sovereignty over the entire valley to the point where the Galwan and Shyok rivers meet. He blamed Indian troops for crossing into Chinese territory. “The responsibility lies entirely with India,” he said.”

4. Low Status Increases Jargon Use – “Analyses of 64,000 dissertations found that titles produced by authors from lower-status schools included more jargon than titles from higher-status school authors. Experimental manipulations established that low status causally increases jargon use, even in live conversations. Statistical mediation and experimental-causal-chain analyses demonstrated that the low status → jargon effect is driven by increased concern with audience evaluations over conversational clarity.”

5. October Movie Club – “Nevertheless, when people ask me if I’m religious, I often think about my commitment to The October Movie Club. Our doctrine is concerned with the ever-evolving quest for legitimately scary (a fraught term, to be sure) movies. Our theology is based on producers and directors and subgenres and the churning currents of pop culture. Our congregation is ad hoc and informal—either a few or many or even solo. Our sacrament is administered four to five times a year, once a week, every Saturday of (or near) October when we gather to watch that week’s selection.