Human GPS Microchipping: Embrace it or ban it?
Mar 14, 2011
Who are you? Where are you? What have you done?
Tiny GPS microchips with your personal info can be slipped under your skin, leaving you lighter, ID tossed in the shredder. But wait… is this a sensible techno-transfusion? An H+ enhancement that liberates us from Luddite wallets crammed with primitive currency and dozens of stupid, unwieldy cards?
ChipOr is it… dangerous? Biblical apocalyptics say it is the “Mark of the Beast” – they think microchipping is mandated in the health care reform of Barack Obama, aka “The Anti-Christ.”
More rationally, will microchips cement “Big Brother’s” control of the “sheeple”? Nick Rockefeller reportedly told filmmaker Aaron Russo in 2007 that the goal of “bankers and the elite” was to microchip everyone “to control the whole society.”
Are microchips the new yellow Stars of David that Nazis forced Jews to wear? The numeric tattoos scrawled on concentration camp forearms? Are we being marched into a future holocaust? VeriChip is backed by IBM; fretful theorists point to an IBM-Nazi alliance.
Will microchips really make us “safer”? Can they be “cloned”? Will they cause cancer? Are they a step forward in the evolution of humanity, or the final annihilation of individuality? Wisconsin, North Dakota, and a half-dozen other states outlawed mandatory microchipping. Web presences like “We The People Will Not Be Chipped” warn US citizens that microchips will incarcerate us in brainwashed slavery.
HISTORY OF RFID TECHNOLOGY
Other nationalities are not so terrified. Twenty-three percent of Germans polled said they’d be happily ‘chipped if benefits were promised, and citizens of the United Kingdom, arguably the “most spied upon people in the free world” with 4.2 million public surveillance cameras, are anticipating perhaps being “‘chipped like dogs in a decade.”
What do I think? My first response, for everyone who is terrified that OverLords will monitor us with this new uberveillance, is… wise up! Your bank transactions are already logged, there’s GPS on your car and cell phone, so… unless you’re swimming miles offshore, they already know where you are!
I believe GPS microchips have enormous potential to simplify, expedite, and secure our daily lives. Below I have listed 15 ways they can be utilized, followed by my micro-opinions.
PASSPORTS – Everyone loathes the long queues at international airports. With microchips, we’d simply saunter through turnstiles, unless we’re blocked because we’re “illegal.” Citizenship would be awarded with a syringe; the INS would be armed with scanners. By 2008, 45 nations had already added microchips to their passports, now they just need to get rid of the paperwork. Warning: The fingers of pickpockets can’t swiftly steal a microchip, but we’ll definitely hear scare stories of spies with small scalpels slicing people open in bathrooms.
ALZHEIMER’S PATIENTS, ETC. – Grandpa won’t get lost when he escapes from the Florida rest home, because he’s wearing his GPS. Nurses can let him roam at will, snatching him up right before dinner. Implementation already took place with 200 Palm Beach clients; soon ‘chips will be offered by every self-respecting sanitarium. Also available for homebound dementeds and potential fugitives from asylums. Five Stars. Solid Societal Plus; Seems Inarguable.
LOST AND ABDUCTED CHILDREN – Cuidad Juarez and Disneyland. Two horrible, dangerous places where innocents can find themselves mercilessly separated from Mommy and Daddy. If Mickey Mouse can’t help, and reluctant Mexi-cops suddenly “retire”… you can track down little hide-and-seekers via GPS microchips. Brazilian millionaires are presently tagging their tots to thwart kidnappers, other nations will follow, plus theme parks. A survey conducted by the Future Foundation revealed that 75% of British parents would buy a device that kept track of their child’s movements. Warning: J. Paul Getty III had his ear mailed with a ransom note; future parents might find a bloody chip in theirs.
CRIMINALS – The jailbird numerals on striped pajamas is fashion passÃ©, but GPS microchipping prisoners in a secret section of their anatomy is trÃ¨s courant! Prison breaks would be nullified, and wardens could determine penitentiary violators. Who started last night’s gang rape? Just rewind and examine the GPS intersection. Two-And-A-Half Stars because it’s a human rights violation, an abolition of hope, and a dismal curtain-drop on a glamorous tradition bench-marked by Frenchies like Henri Charriere (Papillon), Jacques Mesrine, and Jean-Pierre Treiber.
CLUB MEMBERSHIP – Baja Beach Club in Barcelona and Rotterdam has offered microchipping to its VIP clients since 2004. The excellent amenity guarantees easy access to exclusive features, plus the ATM component keeps tab on your booze and chow intake. Five Stars. A Win-Win No-Brainer. My 24-hour Fitness already has a fingerprint scanner; this upgrade would save me another 30 seconds—that’s 10 reps, plus rest.
HEALTH INFORMATION – You collapse in an intersection, with a coma. What’s wrong? Paramedic scans ‘chip for health record and vital stats, quickly administers proper medicine and procedure. Life saved. Hooray! Plus, this record of weak spots stuck in our flesh will remind us to eat wise and exercise. Heart-risk activities could also be safe-guarded—Grandma with her struggling aorta won’t be allowed on the roller coaster. Warning: Enables quarantining of HIV/AIDS individuals and other infectious humans.
RESUMES- Your job record is updated in the 16-digit Verichip and passed on to potential employers. Far more efficient than LinkedIn. Warning: Would your ex-boss be able to stick in his scathing evaluation of you? Plus, isn’t “resume doctoring” a creative fine art? I (theoretically) support “truth and transparency” but isn’t this going too far? On the other hand… resume polishing is a totally boring time-suck, ‘chipping is far more efficient. A Toss Up, I Can’t Decide.
VOTER REGISTRATION – What’s with all the cardboard shuffling at polling places? Why can’t I vote anywhere I want in the city? Will we always use that stabbing machine inside the musty shower curtain? ‘Chipped voter registration can streamline our tedious democratic process, where our name is always misspelled and alphabet-challenged volunteers take forever to find us in the 20-pound logbook. Scan me in, please! Warning: Fringe Party members will be totally harassed. No more sneaking into enemy conventions. Okay for moderates, but extremists beware. Will political activists be stalked and liquidated?
NEW BORN, NEW DEAD – Your baby got mixed up at the hospital, and you ended up raising a brat that’s not even yours—what could be worse? Infants could be ‘chipped right after their navel gets knotted. When they turn 18, their piercing pals could extract the ‘chip, which also served as a GPS locator— did Junior go to study group or a crack house? Similarly, when loved ones die, they can be ‘chipped to prevent grisly mishaps. GPS tells you they’re peaceful in the cemetery; they haven’t been desecrated for dental fillings, and no one is playing soccer with their head at ALCOR. If they’re cremated, you can watch on a monitor as their GPS chip explodes—kinda “spiritual” in a geek way. Five Stars. Kid control is excellent. Avoiding death deception is equally advantageous.
POLICE, SOLDIERS, GUNS, GUN OWNERS – The manufacturers of Browning and Smith & Wesson have developed an implant-firearm system where your gun gets twin-chipped with you—this means the weapon can only be fired by your personal trigger-finger. If an unarmed burglar in the dead of night wrestles away part of your arsenal, well, he’ll still be unarmed. Plus, you don’t have to worry about your brother’s snoopy kids prowling in your closet and accidentally blowing off your daughters’ heads. Pairing policemen with guns that can’t be used against them is obvious, and ‘chipping solders to track down POWs and MIAs and identify “Unknown” casualties is equally positive. Four Stars. Everything is excellent on this one, except… what about the heroic revolutionaries that break into the dictator’s arsenal? If they’re not ‘chipped compatibly with the ballistics, does the glorious uprising fail?
SECURITY CLEARANCE – Who gains entrance to corporate headquarters on weekends? Who can twirl the dials at the nuclear power plant? Who can stride into the “Situation Room” or creep into the cockpit of a crowded 747? On a slightly less urgent note, who gets to surf on my laptop? With ‘chips, only the entitled can enter exclusive zones; the minions are halted by “Access Denied.” In Mexico, the Attorney General, his staff, and 160 members of an anti-crime computer center have already ‘chipped themselves to control access. Warning: Sounds good because I always forget my password. But a big negative is… does this mean I can’t sneak into extra films at the multiplex? Also, wouldn’t companies use ‘chips to keep track of off-work employees? If you call in “sick” will you get busted if you then fly to Vegas?
BANKING INFO – I have eleven plastic rectangles in my wallet that harbor my miserable finances. Whenever I’m coerced into a purchase, I fumble with all of them, seeking sufficient coinage. Obviously, it would be far “handier” if my credit and debit cards were microchips separately implanted, one on each finger. Warning: Mine are only worth the meat you could nibble off, but… wouldn’t evil-doers simply chop off your fingers to gain access to your ATM? The digit ID has to be on your digits, too, because, well, we can’t have people squishing their butts up against the screen to get a good crack-read. But still, I hate plastic—all that drama when I lose them—so I’m awarding this option Four Stars.
LIBRARY CARD, GROCERY SHOPPING, MISCELLANEOUS CONVENIENCE – I want a casual, near-naked life, unburdened by thick documentation and green bills entombed in gamey leather. If my wallet was ancient history, I could meander in light pants to the local library to pick up some murdered-tree books for my Kindle-rejecting kids, then skip over to Trader Joe’s for some discount New Zealand lamb chops. No more desperate pocket-plunging looking for proper ID because the biblioteca card and the Xmas gift certificate are right at my fingertips. So is my Kaiser card, if I spring a hernia trudging up Lombard hill. Five Stars.
LOVE LINKED – Romantic humans can become more biologically absorbed with the dear one, by combining their nervous systems via microchips equipped with sensors that communicate with each other. Now Jack knows that Jill wants to eat Thai food, but Jill knows that Jack is aroused—you think the waitress is hot, don’t you Jack!? I know you do! You can’t lie anymore! One Star. Way too intimate for me.
STYLISTIC – If we need 25-30 microchips for different functions, where do we put them all? I predict aesthetic patterns, like the Tiv of Sudan that Leni Riefenstahl photographed. Eyebrows, ears and upper lip “mustaches” would be popular, plus stars around nipples, navels, and legs. Teen foreplay would include a game of “Find my Naughty ‘Chips” and kissy-face rich people could hide them in lips full of botox. Four Stars. Not for me, but I like to watch.
All that’s above is just my mere opinion. Bear in mind that microchips probably will be “optional” in many categories at first, then they’ll be “suggested,” then “recommended,” and perhaps finally “required.”
Do you agree or disagree with my evaluations? Leave your comments below.
Hank Pellissier, an IEET Affiliate Scholar, has written dozens of often-controversial transhumanist / futurist articles for IEET, H+ Magazine, the World Future Society, and other publications, occasionally under his nom de plume, “Hank Hyena.” His e-book entitled Transhuman Conversion: the Pre-Singularity Era 2010-2040 will be available in August 2011.