Tag: China

by Paul Seaburn        December 29, 2017        (mysteriousuniverse.org)

• During a four day period in December 2017, the US, Russia, China and Japan all launched rockets carrying satellites into space.

• On December 22nd, the US SpaceX launched 10 more Iridium Next satellites, adding to a constellation of over 60 satellites providing worldwide voice and data communication.

• Also on December 22nd, Japan launched an H-2A rocket, putting a climate monitoring satellite in polar orbit, and a demonstration satellite in lower orbit.

• On December 26th, China launched a Long March-2C carrier rocket with remote sensing satellites to conduct electromagnetic environmental probes.

• Also on December 26th, Russia launched a rocket carrying Angola’s first-ever telecommunications satellite, but announced it had lost contact with it shortly after it entered orbit.

• Coincidence? Is there something going on? Or have we reached a point where rocket launches to put more satellites in orbit have become a weekly event?

 

It’s been barely a week since the government released two UFO videos … that’s more than enough time to start connecting this “disclosure” to other events/dots that are strange, government-or-military-related and potentially linked to space travel, UFOs and government cover-ups. Just such a confluence of incidents occurred over the past week when the US, Russia, China and Japan all launched rockets during a brief four-day period. All were reportedly carrying satellites and some had unusual circumstances surrounding them. Let’s start connecting.

Credit for noticing the four launches in four days goes to the folks at UFO Sightings Hotspot, who think the satellite payloads means that “Something” Is Being Monitored In Space!” That’s obvious, but what? And why four different programs?

The US. launch was the iconic and infamous SpaceX launch of a completely recycled two-stage Falcon 9 booster from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California on December 22 11:27 p.m. EST (8:27 p.m. local California time). This was the launch that launched 10 more Iridium Next satellites and thousands of UFO sighing calls as the rocket blazed a condom-shaped trail across the evening sky. The Iridium satellite constellation consists of over 60 active satellites covering the entire planet to provide worldwide voice and data communication. While this historic launch caused quite a stir, it doesn’t appear to be unusual.

On the same day, Japan had its own unusual launch from the Tanegashima Space Center. One H-2A rocket released satellites in two different orbits by first putting a Shikisai climate monitoring satellite into a polar orbit around 500 miles (800 km), then reigniting twice and dropping a demonstration satellite in a lower orbit between 280 and 400 miles (450-643 km). Spaceflight Now reported that the Japanese launch occurred just 72 seconds before the SpaceX liftoff – the shortest interval between two successful launches in history. Coincidence or intentional?

Just four days later, China launched remote sensing satellites on a Long March-2C carrier rocket from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center. Chinese media reports the satellites will conduct electromagnetic environmental probes and other experiments. However, Spaceflight Insider points out that China has been very secretive about other launches in what is called the Yaogan-30 project and most experts believe it’s a secret military project.

That brings us to the Russian launches. The Russian space agency Roscomos launched a rocket from the Baikonur Cosmodrome carrying Angola’s first-ever telecommunications satellite late on December 26th, but announced it had lost contact with it shortly after it entered orbit.

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by David Cassel        December 10, 2017        (thenewstack.io)

• China is building the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the hopes that it could find evidence for life on other planets. The five-hundred-meter (five football fields wide) Aperture Spherical Radio Telescope (or FAST) will also be able to hear aircraft-radar waves. This is but one of a growing number of radio observatories in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa that will cooperate on space research.

• What happens if the Chinese actually do hear something? International protocols require the disclosure of first contact, but this is a non-binding protocol. China could make such an alien signal a state secret.

• If we do get an alien signal, how should we reply? Stephen Hawking says that we should be wary of answering back at all. NASA has already been broadcasting signals out into space. The most recent was on September 5, 2017 which stated: “We offer friendship across the stars. You are not alone.”

• Quoting from the original article from The Atlantic, “No civilization could last tens of millions of years without learning to live in peace internally.” “Anyone we make contact with will almost certainly be older, and perhaps wiser.” “We may be humbled to one day find ourselves joined, across the distance of stars, to a more ancient web of minds, fellow travelers in the long journey of time.”

 

China is well underway on building the world’s most powerful radio telescope, with the hopes that it could find evidence for life on other planets, noted a new article in the Atlantic, “What Happens If China Makes First Contact?”

The facility’s chief scientist has pointed out proudly that “We look for not only television signals but also atomic bomb signals. We’ll give full play to our imaginations when processing the signals… as we don’t know what an alien is like.”

China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (or FAST) will also be able to hear aircraft-radar waves, according to the Atlantic, or another “fading artifact of a civilization’s first blush with radio technology” in its ongoing search of “tens of thousands” of star systems.

The Atlantic describes the telescope, nestled in the Karst mountains, as “a radical expansion of the human search for the cosmic other.” The site’s senior science and technology editor ponders the massive human construct that would listen for aliens: “Five football fields wide, and deep enough to hold two bowls of rice for every human being on the planet, it was a genuine instance of the technological sublime.”

Of course, China isn’t the only country involved in the hunt for alien life. The article cites a growing number of radio observatories that will cooperate on research, including new space observatories in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. Russian billionaire Yuri Milner also invested $100 million in a new program in 2015. The article suggests that through this ongoing effort, “we may come to know a new metaphysics,” as it reaches its grand conclusion. “We may be humbled to one day find ourselves joined, across the distance of stars, to a more ancient web of minds, fellow travelers in the long journey of time.”

The Atlantic piece argues that researchers from SETI Institute, an organization entirely dedicated to searching for life elsewhere in the universe, have taken the search to the next level, becoming “philosophers of the future.”

They have tried to imagine what technologies an advanced civilization might use, and what imprints those technologies would make on the observable universe. They have figured out how to spot the chemical traces of artificial pollutants from afar. They know how to scan dense star fields for giant structures designed to shield planets from a supernova’s shock waves.

Although not everyone is so optimistic we will find anyone out there…

The Fermi Paradox

The SETI Institute also has a whole page dedicated to “the Fermi Paradox,” named after the nuclear physicist “best remembered for building a working atomic reactor in a squash court.” Given the age of the universe — ample time for leaving some sign of existence — Fermi had asked the question: where is everybody? Why are there no signs, anywhere, of alien lifeforms, given this vast universe, and a vast scale of time?

Counter-arguments have been proposed — for example, that “early extinction could be the cosmic default for life in the universe” because the earliest habitable conditions for any planet also tend to be unstable. Another theory says we’re just too early in the dawn of the universe to see other advanced civilizations. Others argue we’re too late — that advanced civilizations invariably extinguish themselves. Or maybe the relics that aliens left behind are the laws of physics embedded in our reality.

There’s even been some discussion of a “postbiological artificial intelligence that had taken control of its planet.” (The Atlantic argues that “Maybe the self-replicating machinery required to spread rapidly across 100 billion stars would be doomed by runaway coding errors.”) And this is where theories become indistinguishable from science fiction.

It might have transformed its entire planet into a supercomputer, and, according to a trio of Oxford researchers, it might find the current cosmos too warm for truly long-term, energy-efficient computing. It might cloak itself from observation, and power down into a dreamless sleep lasting hundreds of millions of years, until such time when the universe has expanded and cooled to a temperature that allows for many more epochs of computing.

Famed Chinese science fiction writer Liu Cixin shares a similar theory with The Atlantic: that the absence of signals just means extraterrestrial civilizations are really good at hiding. An older civilization would, after all these years, surely know by now the risks of making contact. Cixin believes that no alien civilization would ever send a beacon — unless it was a “death monument” announcing their civilization’s impending extinction.

Can we even be sure we’d recognize signals from a civilization that’s had billions of more years to evolve?

And yet, we search…

Beyond Contact

So what happens if these researchers actually do hear something? First, there’s the prosaic answer. “International protocols require the disclosure of first contact,” reports The Atlantic. But then there’s an important caveat: these protocols “are nonbinding.”

Maybe China would go public with the signal but withhold its star of origin, lest a fringe group send Earth’s first response. Maybe China would make the signal a state secret. Even then, one of its international partners could go rogue. Or maybe one of China’s own scientists would convert the signal into light pulses and send it out beyond the great firewall, to fly freely around the messy snarl of fiber-optic cables that spans our planet.

But beyond that, there’s already a surprising amount of serious consideration being given to the inevitable follow-up question: if aliens do contact us, how should we reply? Science fiction writer Cixin advises humankind not to detail our own history to the aliens, because “It’s very dark. It might make us appear more threatening.” The Atlantic editor counters that aliens may already have spotted the flash of our atomic weapons, adding “The decision about whether to reveal our history might not be ours to make.”

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by Kalee Brown          October 26, 2017         (collective-evolution.com)

• Eerily similar to an ominous social rating system featured in an episode of the Netflix series Black Mirror, China plans to implement a “Social Credit System” by 2020. The Chinese government describes the system as a method to improve trust nationwide and cultivate a culture of “sincerity”.

• Try to envision a world in which you’re constantly monitored, judged for your actions, and literally evaluated based on every choice you make and action you take. Life becomes one big popularity contest.

• The Chinese will be ranked on different categories, including behavior (time you spend on social media and playing video games), personal preferences (the types of purchases you make and how much debt you have), and interpersonal relationships.

• It’s clear that this ranking system could create a lot of separatism and division, and allow the elite to gain even more special treatment than they already enjoy.

• What happens when you voice your opinion, particularly if it goes against the government’s regime, in hopes of inspiring positive change within society? You could get a lower score, rendering you ‘less trustworthy’ and ultimately affecting:
• – your ability to get a mortgage, a job, a loan, etc.;
• – your eligiblity for public office;
• – your access to social security and welfare;
• – a stricter regulations and “frisking” at Chinese customs;
• – your ability to sleep in a bed in overnight trains or stay in higher-starred hotels and restaurants;
• – your children’s ability to attend expensive private schools.

• If we can no longer challenge our current state of being and question our surroundings, then how can we continue to advance as a collective?

• The irony of this social ranking system was that it forced people to become insincere and disingenuous. Rather than improving their sincerity like China hopes their program will, it will end up encouraging people to simply play a “number’s game,” striving to please others and doing anything they could to fit into society’s norms. The risks far outweigh the potential benefits.

 

Can you imagine a rating system being fully implemented into society that is not only meant to establish your “trustworthiness,” but is available for everyone to see? Well, China is seriously considering doing just that, as detailed in the State Council of China‘s document published in 2014 called “Planning Outline for the Construction of a Social Credit System.”

Though this hierarchal system is currently voluntary, it is set to become mandatory in 2020. If you’re getting sort of a deja-vu feeling, that’s totally understandable. The system China proposed sounds eerily similar to an ominous social rating system featured in an episode of the Netflix series Black Mirror, which depicted a chilling Big-Brother-type, social-media-obsessed future.

First, let’s review the details of China’s social rating system, called the “Social Credit System” (SCS). Try to envision a world in which you’re constantly monitored, judged for your actions, and literally evaluated based on every choice you make and action you take.

There will be different categories that you’ll be ranked on, including behaviour, personal preferences, and interpersonal relationships. From the people you hang out with to the amount of time you spend on social media and playing video games to the types of purchases you make and how much debt you have, the world will know. You can say goodbye to privacy under SCS, because Big Brother is stepping in to monitor your every move.

Of course, a lot of this already happens. Many governments including the U.S. already spy on their citizens, social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram collect an overwhelming amount of information on you, and Google is secretly recording pretty much everything you do. Google keeps the texts/videos you send and literally tracks your every move thanks to your trusty Google Maps app.
The primary issue with the rating system is, not only are they monitoring citizens even more than they do currently, which is already a substantial and arguably inappropriate amount, but they’re labelling their actions as “positive” or “negative” as well. Should we really be comfortable allowing the government to dictate what’s right or wrong?

Sure, there are certain laws that are in place for a reason, but ultimately the government does not always operate in favour of society because they often put the needs of corporations over the needs of their own citizens. Laws are often heavily influenced by corporations whose main goal is profit, not the betterment of humanity as a whole.

Many governments allow corporations like Monsanto to fill our food supply with carcinogenic herbicides, they let Big Pharma influence their drug approval processes and advertise drugs to the public, and they allow the meat and dairy industries to dictate what their food guides deem healthy for our bodies, despite going against doctors’ recommendations.

This is precisely why rating systems in societies could pose a huge problem: We all have different moral compasses. Much of what the government does, you may not support. So, what happens when you voice your opinion, particularly if it goes against the government’s regime, in hopes of inspiring positive change within society? Well, you could get a lower score, rendering you ‘less trustworthy’ and ultimately affecting your ability to get a mortgage, a job, a loan, etc.

Of course, you could decide to speak out against them, and hope your rating wouldn’t affect your overall well-being, but how would that affect your friends’ and family members’ ratings?

The Chinese government has described the system as a method to improve trust nationwide and cultivate a culture of “sincerity.”

The policy reads, “It will forge a public opinion environment where keeping trust is glorious. It will strengthen sincerity in government affairs, commercial sincerity, social sincerity and the construction of judicial credibility.”

According to the policy documents, if you receive a low score on the SCS, then you could face the following penalties:
o You won’t be eligible for positions in public office
o You will no longer have access to social security and welfare
o You’ll face stricter regulations and “frisking” at Chinese customs
o You’ll won’t be able to apply for any senior level positions in the food and drug sector
o You won’t be able to sleep in a bed in overnight trains
o You won’t be able to stay in higher-starred hotels and restaurants and will have more difficulty travelling
o Your children could potentially suffer because they won’t be allowed to attend more expensive private schools

It’s very clear that this ranking system could create a lot of separatism and division, and allow the elite to gain even more special treatment than they already enjoy. This type of hierarchy is in no way conducive to equality, or a society that allows love to lead their decisions. We do not need to implement social ranking systems in order to increase sincerity within society; we simply need to have more compassion for other people and treat them like equals.

The rating systems could seriously halt our personal growth, innovation, and thirst for knowledge as well. The government would be able to see exactly what books you’re reading and what you’re researching, and if it goes against the grain or challenges the current regime, then you could end up with a lower score. How are we going to be able to grow as a society if we don’t question the status quo?

We learn to improve ourselves by challenging the current norms and by stepping outside of our comfort zones. Renewable energy sources seriously threatened big oil and the government, yet this field was able to grow and advance because experts challenged our current energy system. We have made extreme advancements in health care because people found flaws in previous practices and had faith that they could improve them. This can be applied to quite literally every single industry, which is why these ranking systems could negatively affect growth, innovation, and our entire economic system as a whole.

If we can no longer challenge our current state of being and question our surroundings, then how can we continue to advance as a collective? As a collective, many of our strengths lie in our differences. A diverse society includes people with all different strengths and brackets of knowledge, but if we’re all racing to get a better ranking, then we could lose a lot of those differences in trying to become “people pleasers” and adhering to social norms.

How much could we be penalized for our creativity and forward-thinking under social ranking systems? It’s difficult to say. Perhaps there would be some benefits from this particular system being implemented in China, but until it is fully mandatory, we have no way of knowing the exact outcome.

 

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