Thursday, December 28, 2006

The next generation of mobility: implants

Here is a cheery thought as we enter 2007 - a future of implanted individuals? Can this really happen...? How could it come about? Well, Kevin Haggerty, associate professor of criminology at the University of Alberta has written an op-ed piece in the Toronto Star that outlines the likely social proceedures. In 'One generation is all they need' Haggerty writes that

'By the time my four-year-old son is swathed in the soft flesh of old age, he will likely find it unremarkable that he and almost everyone he knows will be permanently implanted with a microchip. Automatically tracking his location in real time, it will connect him with databases monitoring and recording his smallest behavioural traits.

The remaining holdouts will grow increasingly weary of Luddite jokes and subtle accusations that they have something to hide. Exasperated at repeatedly watching neighbours bypass them in "chipped" lines while they remain subject to the delays, inconveniences, and costs reserved for the unchipped, they too will choose the path of least resistance and get an implant.

In one generation, then, the cultural distaste many might see as an innate reaction to the prospect of having our bodies marked like those of an inmate in a concentration camp will likely fade. In the coming years some of the most powerful institutional actors in society will start to align themselves to entice, coerce, and occasionally compel the next generation to get an implant.'

A compelling read...

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