The holidays are indeed a time for thinking and that I’m immensely grateful for. It’s been quite hectic, falling slightly sick because of the (social and work) stress, but generally I think I’m/I’ll be ok. I was also once again thinking about the purpose of this site: I wanted to create a platform where my friends can check in on me (I’m not much of a photographer; i.e. Instagram, nor do I like to tell everyone how I am; i.e. facebook) without speaking to me personally. And also because it’s really tedious to repeat myself – which unfortunately I am doing a lot lately. I suppose it’s because I don’t like to write about my day-to-day life here. I don’t want this blog to be too personal – haha I used to be quite concerned that people may find out who I am/ try to stalk me and stumble across this site/ judge me based on what I write without ever meeting and talking to me. Do you get tired of repeating your life/having ‘normal conversations’ – how is your job, school, your boy/girlfriend/family? But. I have been a little bored by my thoughts as of late as well; nothing new/interesting (I think this is a crappy post, but I’m just going to write it anyway).
I was watching Moving Upstream, by Wall Street Journal about China’s cashless payment revolution and thought about how Singapore (universities) want to be cashless. I personally don’t use internet banking (I actually have a passbook which my mom updates – well, she does for the whole family HAHA), I don’t use debit cards, don’t have a credit card. But I suppose the main reason is that, well, I don’t spend much money in the first place.
A comment made in the video; China is way ahead of the West in this aspect, and that it’s not making much headway in Western societies because people still have a fixed mindset about privacy and data collection. Why indeed, are people so afraid of being tracked/having their data mined? I’ll draw a very short table about the pros/cons of going cashless and the bigger issue behind it (there’s too much information out there about this situation):
Cashless = less waste (printing money, time spent in queues waiting for people to get their cash our/giving back change, miscalculations due to human error, etc.)
|What if your phone dies/what is there is some digital problem/fraud (but then again, forgery already happens with regular bills; the cash system is not faultless)|
|Cashless society = exclude certain people? homeless, beggars, poor people, old people; people who MAY not be as tech savvy|
|Convenience? Can tell you what you need/what interests you. Targeted marketing which saves you time||
Data mining can be manipulative, and the person may be unconscious of it. Manipulation can be for good or bad
Framing this situation: ‘why do we hold on to the past’?
I’m thinking about this question in relation to other things as well: why are we so keen on preventing (climate) change? I think ‘past = good’ is a normative idea, perhaps because we know what the past was like and we associate stability with goodness? I’m thinking about what I learnt when I was a child: China did not progress because they thought themselves to be better than everyone else; after creating gunpowder, they closed themselves from the rest of the world while everyone else connected and progressed collaboratively. I think a ‘cashless society’ is indeed a nice one (once the kinks are ironed out, and I do believe that they could be. I don’t think cashless, as we know it, will last forever, but I can see it in the near-ish future). Resisting ‘cashlessness’ = causing those societies to be more, ‘backward’, in the near future (i.e. in the next, 50 years? When we’ll still be alive to care).
I wonder why are the Chinese people less concerned about privacy, as compared to the Westerners (quoted in the video). Are they really less concerned? Less educated about it? Government propaganda/enforcement? Is it really an ‘Eastern’ concept: the collective over the individual, more faith in the government as compared to the West? Is it a Western historical fear: data collected was misused in the past (in reference to this video: Why Arabs are considered White/ Nazis taking census data to search out Jews/immigrants. Has data not been misused in China?)