For years people have been predicting that the One-World Government wants us all to have a chip implanted under our skins so we could be monitored and controlled. Fundamentalist Christians see it as the Mark of the Beast, the dreaded 666 predicted in Revelation.
Well, I’ve got news for us, the chip is already here, and most of us already are wearing it, though not under our skin. It’s in our cell phones. You may have noticed that lately all cell phones are GPS enabled, allowing satellites to track our position to the nearest two centimeters. Our cell phones already act as watch, personal organizer, MP3 player, and video/still camera. And that’s just the beginning.
So rather than have Big Brother hold us down and slide a chip under our fingernails, they’ve managed to have us sign two-year contracts and pay a stiff monthly fee to carry this chip. Someday soon, your cell phone will be your wallet. It will carry a chip that records your identity, bank account, medical and credit history. You’ll use your cell phone to shop. When you want to buy a soft drink from a machine, you’ll wave your cell phone in front of it. When you purchase things at a store, you’ll do the same. When you register at the doctor’s office or hospital, they’ll just read your medical history and insurance information off your cell phone.
GPS allows not only Big Brother to know where you are, but also merchants who would like to advertise to you based on your location. For example, if you’re a member of the Radio Shack Battery Club, and you’re walking through a mall, your cell phone may suddenly vibrate. You’ve just received a new text message from your friends at Radio Shack, reminding you that one floor below and 200 feet south, 9-volt batteries are on sale!
All the best methods of social control have the controlled pay for their incarceration. If you get a ticket for the police for, say driving without insurance, and you later show proof of insurance, they still charge you court costs, usually about 50 dollars. If you’re on probation or parole, in addition to the fines, you have to pay for the luxury of being under their thumb.
The weight we bear from being regulated is difficult enough, but to pay our regulators for the privilege of having them oppress us is the ultimate insult. If I want to work in a low-paying child care center, I still have to take several classes so I can be certified to work in that least remunerative of professions. And I have to pay for those classes. From a legislative viewpoint, punishing the workers is cheaper than funding child care.
Of course, the newest and latest technological development almost always looks like a gift, not a shackle. Email is an amazing thing, but it’s possible to get hooked on it to your detriment. And now many cell phones are email enabled as well, so you can neurotically check your messages 100 times a day, if that’s what it takes to make you feel less lonely. And there’s a perfect storm of people trying to sell you something via email. Many of them pretend to be your long lost college chum in order to get you to look at the latest penis-enlarging pills. Check your junk-mail directory for details.
Getting back to the cell phone chip, you may wonder what’s so sinister about a chip that helps you pay for things, allow rescuers to know where you are, and keeps track of your medical records. Well, what happens if you displease the authorities? They simply turn off your chip. Now, you’ve suddenly become a phantom, a non-person, certainly a non-player. So you’d be insane not to play by the rules, because there aren’t many options for those who don’t.
The police and the courts are quick to inform us that driving is a privilege, not a right, and if you displease them they can pull your license. Maybe in a country with mass transit, loss of a driver’s license wouldn’t be the kiss of death, but especially for those who live in the countryside, or in small towns with few employers, it’s an open invitation to start growing marijuana or cooking meth. I mean, what else are you going to do?
I wonder what offense will mandate having your chip turned off. Bankruptcy? Late payments of bills? Writing columns like this one?
You can buy a whole book of Dan Coffey’s essays online: My World & Welcome To It.