I'm going to assign you a number.

Serious discussions on politics, religion, and the like.

I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby Tailsteak » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:08 pm

I'm going to assign you a number. Your number is 578.

Hmm? Oh, that's your score. Your grade, if you will. I've been watching you, you see... every bank account, every credit card, every major purchase, every bill paid (or not paid), and I've been grading you. Your grade is 578.

What's that? Government agency? No, no, nothing like that. Yes, I watch everyone and keep tabs on every bank account, every credit card, et cetera, but I'm not a government agency. Yeesh, what sort of tyranny that would be! No, no, I'm just a private corporation. Nice to meet you.

Yes, a private corporation. No, you don't have to set up an account or give me any ID or interact with me in any way. I did it all for you! You're welcome.

Why do you need that score? Well, you don't. But banks do! They need to see that you're a responsible adult. You need a good score to be allowed to live in a house, or own a car, or start up your own small business, that sort of thing. Your score's not that great, but you should be able to get a small house. Good for you!

What's that? You want to change your score? Ha ha, I bet you do. Well, no, I can't let you see what the math is that goes into producing your score. Proprietary stuff. Private equations! We are a company, after all. Can't go giving away all our secrets. But I can tell you that if you pay all your bills on time like a good responsible adult, it should go up.

You know, it's like being in school. You don't see what the math is that goes into your grade! You just try your best to do well on the tests, then at the end of the class, you get a final grade, and that's that.

What's that? You do get to see the math, and that's how you know it's fair? Huh. Weird. Well, anyway, not how it works here. Your score is 572, and if you want to change that, you'll just have to pay your bills more -

Mm? Oh, yes, I did say 578 before, didn't I? Well, it changed. It changes, you know. Expecially if a lot of people are checking what your number is, like we're doing now. It's like quantum physics, you know, can't observe something without changing it!

Accurate? Of course it's accurate! I observe every financial transaction you've ever made! Well, all the important ones, anyway. Trust me. It's accurate. Unless I've been watching someone else with the same name. Or unless some company is billing you, but you haven't been getting those bills. Or unless some nasty person has been committing an identity theft on you. But other than that, sure, it's absolutely 100% probably accurate.

I can see you're not impressed. Hey, I tell you what, I'll tell you what your number is! Yes, I know, I just told you what it was, but I can get you set up so I'll tell you regularly. It's completely free*!

Mm? Asterisk? No, that's a nervous tic. Haven't you seen our commercials? They're on all the time on that daytime television you people watch. Free* scores! Free* monitoring! Sign up, get your absolutely free* credit score today, for absolutely zero* dollars!

I told you, that's a nervous tic. I'm very sensitive about it.

What's that? What incentive do I.... why I'm shocked! I'm performing a public service, here! I help make the economy run! How dare you accuse me of being in it for the money! Financial incentive to be inaccurate.... why on Earth would I do something like that?

Mm? Yes, I told you, I'm a private corporation, I don't see what that has to do with anything.

Look, if you don't trust me - not that you have a choice, I don't exactly have an "opt out" option - perhaps you'll like some of my friends! They're doing the same thing, watching you, grading your ability to consistently and responsibly pay your bills, they've run the same kind of math I have, and they have three-digit scores for you as well!

Well, no, they're not the same scores. How dull the world would be if we all painted in the same shades, or cooked the same food, or had our math all come out to the same answer!

But anyway, best of luck with your 567, there. I'm sure you'd be able to get a mortgage of some sort with that, maybe, if you got a really good co-signer. And hey, if you get a better-paying job, you might be able to rent more things, so you can pay more bills, and bring that score up! Although good luck getting a better-paying job, since most employers now check credit scores as a condition for hiring.

Mm? Vicious cycle of poverty? Never heard of it, I don't really listen to metal. I don't listen to anything, really - like I said, I'm a private corporation.









*not free
User avatar
Tailsteak
Site Admin
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:09 pm

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby Deepbluediver » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:24 pm

Are you being sarcastic or critical? It's hard to tell some times.

Yes, it's not the best system; I'm waiting for some one to suggest something better. Suppose every bank or credit card company needed to do their own background research on you before establishing a line of credit, or getting you a loan for a house. That's a $1,000+ fee just for reviewing your loan application, and then they might turn you down anyway. The exact math might be somewhat complicated, but the basics; those are pretty simple. Don't run a high balance, pay back loans, have a few but not TO MANY open credit cards, etc. Yes, there are cases of mistaken identity and fraud. Yes, we should be trying to clear that up, and when it doesn't happen quickly there is always the court system, in a worst case scenario. I wonder how often that happens? For the vast majority of people I think it works out pretty well; perfection is something we should all aim for, but not to many people actually achieve it. The beauty of capitalism is, screw up your business enough times, and people stop considering you trustworthy.

Alternatively, you could, like me, believe that at least 50%, maybe 2/3rds of people can't handle credit in any way shape or form anyhow. Maybe if more of our economy worked on a purely cash-based system, then maybe all those idiots wouldn't have gotten into such trouble in the recent housing crisis. Having high standards for giving out loans isn't a bad thing. You know who's willing to give a loan to just about anyone? The mafia. And then don't really do "default" or "foreclosure" or "bankruptcy", for them it's more like "pay us our money or we'll break your knees, and maybe your kid's knees too".
Last edited by Deepbluediver on Sun Aug 11, 2013 6:23 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Deepbluediver
 
Posts: 909
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2013 8:50 pm

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby Alex Starkiller » Sun Aug 11, 2013 5:32 pm

This is exactly why the barter system should be brought back.
Down dirty bitches, becoming the witches
Grindin' up and down 'cause they grantin' all my wishes
Bring out all my aces like this game was Poker
Banish all the witches, thank you based Madoka!
"Ante Up" - ForeverPandering
User avatar
Alex Starkiller
 
Posts: 1649
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:39 pm
Location: Mitakihara Town, making all sorts of contracts

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby Globus » Sun Aug 11, 2013 9:59 pm

http://xkcd.com/1057/

Also, the barter system is heavy, clunky, and you CAN bring it back if you find even one other person who also wants it back. Also, it is not really a system.
It is the usury system that needs to go, or if it is deemed necessary then the banks' ability to lend more money than they have.

Also, isn't there some sort of law that prevents you from knowing what bills did I pay or not pay?
User avatar
Globus
 
Posts: 890
Joined: Thu Oct 27, 2011 8:00 am

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby Alex Starkiller » Sun Aug 11, 2013 10:43 pm

>2013
>not wanting the barter system back
Plebeian.
Down dirty bitches, becoming the witches
Grindin' up and down 'cause they grantin' all my wishes
Bring out all my aces like this game was Poker
Banish all the witches, thank you based Madoka!
"Ante Up" - ForeverPandering
User avatar
Alex Starkiller
 
Posts: 1649
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 12:39 pm
Location: Mitakihara Town, making all sorts of contracts

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby kais » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:31 am

I'll be honest, it took me until the 5th paragraph to realize you were talking about real life... I don't really live in the real world yet.

At first I thought that this was something more along the lines of your silly 1-shot stories from tailsteak.com
Those were my favorite.

Regarding the economy, it seems like rather than devote all this work towards perfecting an economic system, we should limp along with whatever we have as long as it works and devote all our efforts to achieving a post-scarcity society. Might not work out in the end, but at least it would be interesting
--knowledge is power, guard it well.
User avatar
kais
 
Posts: 274
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:45 pm
Location: Northfield, MN

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby snowyowl » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:59 am

We should have open-source credit ratings. You know, so you can see what information goes into the calculations and how it all fits together.

What did you say? That would make it possible to manipulate your credit rating? Well, duh. It's already possible, if you can afford to pay a financial advisor to do it for you. This would just make manipulation more democratic and transparent, and make the flaws in the system more obvious and easy to fix. (Cynic's note: There are always flaws in the system.)

And if that works, we can extend it to credit ratings for publicly traded companies and maybe even governments.
... in bed.
User avatar
snowyowl
 
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:05 pm

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby Packbat » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:39 am

snowyowl wrote:We should have open-source credit ratings. You know, so you can see what information goes into the calculations and how it all fits together.

What did you say? That would make it possible to manipulate your credit rating? Well, duh. It's already possible, if you can afford to pay a financial advisor to do it for you. This would just make manipulation more democratic and transparent, and make the flaws in the system more obvious and easy to fix. (Cynic's note: There are always flaws in the system.)

And if that works, we can extend it to credit ratings for publicly traded companies and maybe even governments.

My mental model of Bruce Schneier says that a open-source system will be less flawed than a proprietary system in the same way that a public crypto algorithm will be more secure than a proprietary one.
User avatar
Packbat
 
Posts: 948
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2010 12:16 pm
Location: Three or four boxes downstream of the Interwebs

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby crayzz » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:24 pm

Packbat wrote:My mental model of Bruce Schneier says that a open-source system will be less flawed than a proprietary system in the same way that a public crypto algorithm will be more secure than a proprietary one.


Because the flaws will be exploited quickly and en mass, forcing the system to evolve quickly to account for that?

I'm actually guessing; I'm not sure what you mean.
crayzz
 
Posts: 925
Joined: Wed Feb 20, 2013 11:34 am

Re: I'm going to assign you a number.

Postby snowyowl » Mon Aug 12, 2013 1:45 pm

We mean that before the system is implemented, interested amateurs will be able to look over it and point out the most obvious and critical flaws.

It will also be harder for flaws to be exploited in secret by those in the know, thus breaking the cycle of poverty. Any glitches will either be fixed quickly or make the entire system obviously worthless - there won't be any "backdoors".
... in bed.
User avatar
snowyowl
 
Posts: 1175
Joined: Sat Nov 27, 2010 6:05 pm

Next

Return to Serious Business

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest

cron