The government sentced former Swiss banker Bradley A. Birkenfeld to three years in prison for abetting tax evasion. They also paid him $104 million dollars for blowing the whistle on tax evasion. (SLMedium)
How big data increases inequality and threatens democracy - "A former academic mathematician and ex-hedge fund quant exposes flaws in how information is used to assess everything from creditworthiness to policing tactics, with results that cause damage both financially and to the fabric of society. Programmed biases and a lack of feedback are among the concerns behind the clever and apt title of Cathy O'Neil's book: Weapons of Math Destruction." [more inside]
China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
People in Korea now have a new vocation available to them: snitching on other civilians for cash payouts from the government.
Inducement Prizes -- Best known for the Ansari X Prize, the DARPA Grand Challenge and the Clay Mathematics Millennium Problems, inducement prizes have a long history, but their recent successes have led to increased government interest, viz. challenge.gov, and resulted in the development of vaccines, thanks in large part to the work of Michael Kremer.* [more inside]
Crime Stoppers (motto: get paid to snitch!) is the Yang to the Stop Snitchin' (motto: stop snitchin!) campaign's Yin. This commercial, which I'm relatively convinced is not a parody, best illustrates the consumer value proposition behind crime stoppers.
New research finds that the human brain registers the avoidance of an anticipated punishment in pretty much the same way as it registers a reward. (See this link for a less technical discussion of the research.) Do these findings suggest that the use of punishment as a deterrent to undesirable behavior in effect actually motivates the undesirable behavior (as opposed to the use of negative reinforcement, or in other words, the withholding of reward)? Do punishment-oriented models of socialization/behaviorial conditioning actually encourage cheating, by in effect selecting for better cheaters?
$1,000 CDN ($880.80 US) reward for exposing anonymous blogger: A Prince Edward Island business owner wants to punish a person by breaking their anonymity. According to the CBC, the targets are PEI Liberal Party (peiliberal.blogspot.com) and The Guardian (theguardianpeca.blogspot.com). More info: Don't Sue
$1000 reward to anyone who can produce a published case of “repressed memory” (in fiction or non-fiction) prior to 1800. I figure this is something someone here on MetaFilter could dig up.
Osama bin Laden is offering $50,000 to anyone who catches a US soldier alive. An al-Qaeda spokesman also says bin Laden is offering $3,000 for US uniforms and $1,500 for assault rifles.
$1 billion bounty on bin Laden "'Now it's time to wipe out the wasp nests of terrorism,' says Edward Lozzi, a West Coast PR agent lined up to handle the fund." It's a free-market justice crusade in the name of the Amurrican People!
$5 million reward.