Apr 8th, 2020
New Yorker Bryan Bowden describes what’s happening in his city with a face validity update; the intersection of privacy and government surveillance of its citizens; debt forgiveness; self-sufficient mindsets; liberation and innovation; and monitoring the encroachment of social credit scores for Americans. ABOUT BRYAN BOWDEN. Born and raised in New York City, Bryan set on a path of architectural engineering, but succumbed to the reality that business was his future (even though he had a love for the sciences). He worked with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank designing models to remedy Third World debt and expanded into the brokerage aspects of major finance. Bryan is the creator, producer and cohost of the critically acclaimed "Beyond The Realm" Radio Show; a published author, producer of television content, musician and artist. POSTAL CARRIERS WITHOUT PPE. Bryan and David note they are observing mail carriers without PPE or any visible demonstration of a sanitizing practice, such as spraying mail or wiping down a package. As a face validity observation, this “business as usual” practice seems out-of-step with the various federal and state health department recommendations to wear masks and frequently wash hands. A month into coronavirus shutdowns and our mail delivery is unchanged. Why? Bryan noted that some commercial parcel transit services have systems to disinfect parcels and vehicles via heat, UV light or disinfectants. Similar to a restaurant, there might be a lot of activity behind the scenes. PROTECTING PERSONAL PRIVACY. Government tracking of personal cell phones is happening and more openly acknowledged by public health officials and law enforcement during the coronavirus event. Bryan and David step through probable reasons why this practice will be pitched as “necessary” for keeping people safe as well as the Orwellian consequences of a government being able to precisely monitor people. What happens to the data? TIME FOR DEBT FORGIVENESS? Bryan’s macro-fiscal acumen frames core questions about forgiveness of personal debts and universal basic income. As the entire world has been pummeled by COVID19, a global “leveling of the playing field” might power up economies. Is now the time to wipe away the myriad of government aid programs to install a $65,000 per year annual income for each American adult? Bryan points out that personal debt more than a year old has likely been written off the books anyway. ARE YOU ESSENTIAL? In the past month, Americans have been assigned to two groups: Essential or Non-Essential. As people derive agency and purpose from their careers or activities, how do we deal with millions of people that have told their work is non-essential and that they also must suspend it and their income? Bryan and David believe those ramifications will resonate for years. WILL YOUR DNA BECOME YOUR PRISON? A novelty as recent as two months ago, sharing your DNA with a company to learn about your ancestors was something happily done by thousands of people. What if that DNA sample is sought by the government and added to a database? What if your DNA places you at an elevated risk for the next flu - and what if the government ordered you to self-quarantine for months? Would employers need to maintain your job if it couldn’t be done from home? Bryan adds that the argument for implanting identification chips in people has been given momentum by the virus event - and some, or even many, people will consider “chipping” as a new expansion of the social contract between the state and the citizens. Imagine walking through public with various inconspicuous sensors reading your temperature and the oxygen level in your exhaled breath? SOCIAL CREDIT SCORE. China implemented a social credit score in 2019. The top score a person can receive is 1000. It’s subjective per the government. Higher scores enable individuals to access perks such as better transportation options, better tickets, etc. The concept involves maintaining or creating a “coveted” reputation - but to do so, you might be expected to spy and report on other people. As counties and cities across the US have rolled out “Report Gatherings” webpages, Bryan and David unpack the possibility of the social credit score concept emerging in the United States. FOLLOW DR. PERRODIN: Twitter @SafetyPhD and subscribe to The Safety Doc YouTube channel & Apple Podcasts. SAFETY DOC WEBSITE & BLOG: www.safetyphd.com. The Safety Doc Podcast is hosted & produced by David Perrodin, PhD. ENDORSEMENTS. Opinions are those of the host & guests. The show adheres to nondiscrimination principles while seeking to bring forward productive discourse & debate on topics relevant to personal or institutional safety. This is episode 128 of The Safety Doc Podcast published on 4-8-2020.