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Friday, January 10, 2014

A Brave New Tattoo

It was a bad idea to write about combining the myriad permits, licenses and stamps that are required by the various state, federal and local bureaucracies for a person to be on public land. I had suggested combining them into an interactive personal bar-code that could be monitored by drone aircraft from a central location.  A simple bar code would do away with our antiquated Soviet-style travel permit system and make it easier for us to get all the licenses, permits, tags and punch-cards that are required to be on United States soil. Personal interactive bar codes would allow our bureaucrats a greater opportunity to enhance the stewardship of our natural resources while protecting us from the social costs that are borne by us all. 

Imagine a world where you can never be lost.  With the miracle of the personal interactive electronic device the government would know when you are sleeping and know when you're awake. The government would know if you are bad or good so we'd be good for goodness sake.

 Unfortunately the idea of having a personal bar code to replace the sheaf of documents we are now required to carry was too easily confused with the “Mark of the Beast,” mentioned in the Bible. And for that I must apologize. The alert reader(s) were kind enough to warn me, “don’t go there.”

So I didn't. That was then. 18 months later technology has caught up with this column. A December 29 Peninsula Daily News article, “Electronic Devices-On or Inside You,” described a number of new personal electronic devices that can be swallowed, implanted or tattooed on a person.

A Seattle man has implanted rice-sized radio frequency identification tags in his hands that allow him to do away with the hassle of remembering all of the keys and passwords that are required to get into his home, car and computer. All he has to do is wave his hands and all of the gadgets will open or close or turn on or off which would make this the greatest labor saving device since “The Clapper.”

A Google-owned company wants a patent for an “electronic skin tattoo” that would allow people to listen to music without headphones and talk more clearly on their smart-phones in a room full of people yakking on their smart-phones. In addition, the electronic tattoo could include a galvanic skin response detector that would measure the way your skin conducts electricity. This would be helpful in determining if the person speaking on a smart-phone is nervous which could be a good indication that they are engaged in telling falsehoods.

Don't worry the electronic tattoo is not to be confused with the Mark of the Beast mentioned in the Book of Revelation.  No way. The Mark of the Beast goes on your forehead or right hand. Google's electronic tattoo would go on your throat or on a trendy collar around your neck. Nokia has proposed a tattoo that would vibrate when your phone rings. The possibilities for a vibrating tattoo are endless.  Futurists have long envisioned an interactive electronic device that would provide an individual's permit status to the authorities along with vital sign information which could be used in polygraph analysis, blood alcohol/drug screening and a host of other data gathering opportunities

Sure some silly civil libertarians will whine about how these devices affect our Constitutional rights but with the Patriot Act and the recent Supreme Court rulings on warrantless searches and self incrimination the Constitution has become irrelevant in today’s modern world.  You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide.  We'll thank ourselves later if we do the right thing now.

1 comment:

  1. Pat, great to see you are hard at work/life. I'm interested in a river trip from mid April to mid May. Lets talk.