The panopticon

This is an astonishing feature on the rise of AI in authoritarian power structures. And if it’s not an outright glimpse into what America might look like soon, I’d argue that the story in China reveals more about the shape of the 21st century—a textural pattern that meshes neatly with climate disaster, globalization and the rise of nationalist autocrats. Throw in a pandemic that threatens to “go permanent,” why not?

Here we get a showcase of emerging themes and possibilities, where the state turns inward and develops a type of war against the individual. The political and economic trends are clear enough already.

I don’t mean to be glib or naive or outrageous here, but: Make sure you know who you are. Understand your values. Write down your thoughts and read . Worst-case scenario? This whole thing blows over by 2030 or so, and we’re all better off for grasping our inner universe and writing our stories for posterity.

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