A recent post in Squatlo Rant got me thinking
The act of thinking doesn’t set single me apart as any kind of intellect; after all, even Louie Gohmert occasionally has some disjointed piece of shit run through his grey matter.
But, in the Squatlo Rant post we find that a number of schools have been using eye scanning technology on the students. Squatlo makes the point that this is just a more sophisticated form of bar coding people – a way to create a data base to identify and track people all the way from school age to the end of their life.
For people my age and over fifty this raises our hackles and seems a definite step toward Big Brother control. My contention, however, is that this will not be a problem for younger generations.
When I was young telephones were hard wired into houses. There were no computers and no internet. Records, if there were any, were kept locally, on paper and in file cabinets. Many people did not have Social Security numbers and many, born at home, had no birth certificates. News coverage was not 24-7 but came on at six-o-clock, for an hour, on the radio; or in a newspaper.
Gradually, over a period of time, our information became coveted by businesses and the government. We learned to register for the draft; we applied for credit cards; we became comfortable furnishing our Social Security numbers for identification. The reason we adjusted to these intrusions were because they came in small increments and over a period of time.
Then in the nineties we moved from a paper world into digital. We saw the advent of computers storing our information when we applied for college, purchased insurance or applied for jobs. In the late nineties the World Wide Web exploded and our information could then be shared. People forty and older, for a while, resisted the new technology; but the young people moved seamlessly into the new age. This was immediately followed by the total acceptance of cell phones – and again the young generation led the way.
Today our information is ‘out there’ on Twitter, Face Book and blogs. We do not hesitate accessing our bank accounts on the web, or sending our credit card information on line to L.L. Beans. Credit companies like Equifax maintain a running update of our financial dealings and furnish our credit score to anyone requesting it. Most people even have their income tax information filed on-line. For us older people this has come fast, but for the young this is as normal as microwave Hot Pockets.
We are now required to get a Social Security number for an infant; but I can see, that as the technology improve, one day, perhaps soon, we will eye scan every new born. The records of people’s lives can then be compiled, not by a Social Security number, but by the much more secure eye scan. The way information is shared, we may someday pay for our purchases at Wal-Mart with an eye scan; and purchase on-line with an eye scan from our cell phones. Once upon a time there was talk of implanting chips in people for total identification purposes; but eye scans are less invasive and make more sense. I believe the younger generation could move seamlessly into accepting this as another technological convenience.
We seem to have a fear of moving into the Big Brother world of 1984; but I might contend we are already there.
If you have not read 1984 by George Orwell (Eric Blair) you should.
See if you can find a correlation to today:
The enemy of the moment always represented absolute evil.
If all others accepted the lie which the party imposed – if all records told the same tale – then the lie passed into history and became true. Who controls the past, ran the party slogan, controls the future: who controls the present controls the past.
Imprisonment without trial, the use of war prisoners as slaves, public executions, torture to extract confessions, the use of hostages and the deportation of whole populations not only became common again, but were tolerated and even defended by people who considered themselves enlightened and progressive.
In the past no government had the power to keep its citizens under constant surveillance.
Double think: (reversed reality – ie: Though shall not kill; but the glorification of war.)
The essential act of the party is to use conscious deception while retaining the firmness of purpose that goes with complete honesty. To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any facts that has become inconvenient…
The proles (people) are only intermittently conscious of the war. When it is necessary they can be prodded into frenzies of fear and hatred, but left to themselves they are capable of forgetting for long periods, that the war is happening. It is in the ranks of the Party, and above all of the Inner Party, that the true war enthusiasm is found.
The Patriot Act, wire tapping, the prison at Guantanamo Bay and drone assassinations, among other legacies of the George W Bush administration, have carried up past the point of personal privacy and personal freedom; and we can see from the speed of apprehending the Boston Marathon bombers that our whereabouts can be tracked efficiently. To us, who remember a time before, this is alarming; but a generation from now, as we slide into the comfortable seat offered by Big Brother, it may well be the norm.