I've got you under my skin
I've got you deep in the heart of me
So deep in my heart that you're really a part of me
I've got you under my skin
Thus spake and writ Cole Porter in 1936. And little did Mr. Porter know how prescient those words were at least as to the advent of chip implantation and Transhumanism. The question to date is “Just who the ‘you’ is whom we have subcutaneously?” Well, it seems legions have not yet traversed the subcutaneous regions, but transdermally, we’re there.
It seems harmless enough. Recently RT published this fascinating piece I reference and commend to you.
Inking data collectors on your skin could become the next step in wearable technology, allowing them to obtain health and other biometric data from the body without a pause.” (e.s.)
It describes the latest advance in fashion tech, biometric tattoos or Tech Tatts. How delightful and seemingly innocuous. Helpful, even. And while you most probably reacted as most do, marveling at the advances that technology has made, I cringe. It’s the beginning of the end. And notice how it promises to be helpful in the collection of health and medical data, history and the like. So, what’s the big deal and what could go wrong? First, some history and fundamentals.
Easy does it. Before drastic change occurs or is introduced, psychologists and behavioral experts have long advocated the notion of successive approximation and the process of habituation in easing a subject into something new and then conditioning her to it gradually, systematically and, for all practical purposes, under the sensory radar. Psychologist B.F. Skinner famously gave us the practice of shaping in his conditioning paradigm as to behaviors wherein successive approximations were employed, i.e. successive and gradual steps towards a desired goal.
Now, that didn’t hurt, did it? People are becoming more and more conditioned and used to the idea of technology being not only a part of their external accessory selections, like jewelry and mobile telephones, but slowly as an internal item. You heard me, internal. Look at the transitions. Technology has gone from desktop to laptop to iPhone and Droid to the ill-fated Google glass to the watch and eventually to the tattoo. Google’s already announced the throat tattoo (which may double as a lie detector of sorts, but that’s for another day). Tatts will eventually involve UPC-style patterns that will be the guaranteed rage. Why? Because I say so. And as such, the miniaturization and personalization and successive approximations all point to the inevitable – the internal placement of the latest accouterment. For that is the ultimate goal, the Big Enchilada. Internalized monitoring and control. Of you. Monitoring devices that you will hand over to whomever with not only a smile but will pay handsomely for it.
No static at all. Meet the RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chip. Right now it’s about the size of the proverbial grain of rice and will able to be implanted subcutaneously with a dab of topical anesthetic and then, you’re good to go, as they say. Good to go and be monitored, tracked, surveilled and a part of a 24/7 real-time panopticon worldview grid. Sound scary? You ain't heard or seen nothing yet. And we’ll never get to the implanted RFID chip unless we gradually introduce it through successive and gradual movement and approximation to the desired goal. In your body. Where it will invariably stay no matter the promise of its easy and painless removal. But wait, didn’t we start off with a piece on tech tatts? Yes, we did. But it’s not stopping there. That was a mere amuse-bouche, a tantalizing morsel that whets the appetite.
Medical history and abducted children. Just the promise of having medical history available on your tatt or chip for that dread emergency seems to be the siren call for so many who become hypnotized by the benefits of either chip or tatt technology. Especially as more incidents of senile dementia and Alzheimer’s are reported. There will understandably be a comfort in knowing that a loved one, if located wandering about confused, will be able to be identified and concerned family members notified. And just think if the notion of Amber Alerts went the way of the buggy whip. If a 21st century version of OnStar for kids allowed parents to not only locate lost or abducted children but know where they are at all times. Just imagine.
Coming soon to an appendage near you. Mark my words, the RFID chip will be the hottest item that sheeple consumers will wait in queues for hours just to be the first on their block to be tagged and chipped.
So what’s the big deal with the RFID chip, anyway?
What could go wrong? I’m glad you asked. As you know, RFID chips are already in passports, credit cards, license tags, name it. And this doesn’t take into account EZ-pass toll reading devices, subway and public transportation Metrocards, building passes, computer devices and mobile phones, name it. Already, as we speak, you are a walking geo-location device, already on more real time grids than you can imagine. So, why’s one more device such a big deal? Consider this.
Now you see him, now you don’t. There will come a day when everything that denotes who you are is contained within an RFID nugget sliced and slipped into you. It contains everything of who you are. Bank accounts, money, physical location – its an existential piece of evidence that you indeed are. That you exist. (Your metaphysical, epistemological and solipsistic argument here.) Friends and acquaintances will see your approach and very presence not before their eyes but on their devices. You’ll never carry a wallet or credit card or cash for that matter. It will all be contained on your chip. And then further consider this scenario.
The 21st Century Jean Valjean. A defendant is convicted of a crime before a magistrate and tribunal. He’s adjudicated guilty and instead of physical, brick and mortar, hoosegow confinement and incarceration . . . his chip’s turned off. And POOF! He doesn’t exist. No access to money, no ability to travel, he doesn’t even show up on his friends’ devices. He simply doesn’t exist. He’s vanished.