Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Your Biometric Future

Yesterday after leaving work, I decided to stop by the apple store (I hate to go there as it seems so frikkin Nazi-like/antichrist in it's starkness) to see about getting a wired remote for my ipod.
I've been using larger dj 'can' headphones & the jack has been starting to develop a short due to the larger input plug getting pushed side to side in my pocket.
so, I decided that the extention with the remote on it would be a good solution.
not surprisingly, they did not have what I needed.
the apple store has a tendency to only carry the newest products in the line.
they are not about meeting the needs of past customers as much as about coercing people into buying the latest & greatest.

but that is not what I am writing this for...I just wanted to give a little background.
while I was waiting for someone to answer my question as to whether or not they had what I wanted ( and for some reason I seem to be one of those people that they refuse to approach - maybe I look a little too sharp in the head or something, haha) I got to watch one of the latest updates on the "checkout" system.

It was nothing that big or outlandish, simply a handheld portable wireless credit/debit thingy.
(think like those UPS delivery signature things but even smaller)
that was not what was so disturbing.
what was disturbing was watching the pavlovian reaction of the customer.
When the saleswoman whipped that thing out & said she could take care of him right there if he could just show her his credit card & photo ID he got a grin like she had just offered to give him a frikkin blowjob.
The entire psychology of how the transaction went down (pun intended) was downright scary.
a perfect example of the way in which false psychological cues are given to make the customer feel that they are "special" or "privileged".
most people do not have a grasp of how this type of coercive technique works, so they become extremely susceptible to it.
if you are interested in educating yourself about such things, I HIGHLY suggest reading the Douglas Rushkoff book Coercion: Why We Listen To What They Say.

this is but one further step on the road to a cashless, microchipped society.

and here is your warning - REMEMBER THIS ALWAYS!

THE NUMBER ONE TOOL THAT WILL BE USED TO IMPLEMENT A MASSIVE CONTROL GRID IN WHICH EVERYONE'S INFORMATION / MOVEMENTS /ACCESS TO GOODS IS COMPLETELY TRACKED IS GOING TO BE CONVENIENCE
that's right, pure & simple, unadulterated appealing to your laziness.

One of the first things I would like to express about this is that I am note necessarily against the technologies, as I believe that those who cannot take personal responsibility with their actions at some point have to pay teh piper, and if one is unwilling to be responsible, someone else is going to take over that responsibility for them. We live in a world of finite resources and NO ONE has the right to be irresponsible without there being an equal and opposite response.

Within the last few years, the Chicago Transit Authority has begun to implement a cashless/convenience system.
Within this system those who choose to use cash to pay for their fares are penalized for not letting the CTA collect their personal information.
REPEAT - AND IT WILL NOT BE EXPLAINED IN THIS MANNER ELSEWHERE

IF ONE REFUSES TO ALLOW THE CORPORATION TO COLLECT AND TRACK YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION AND USAGE, YOU ARE PENALIZED AND FORCED TO PAY A HIGHER PRICE FOR GOODS AND SERVICES.
it is NOT the opposite which many people believe it to be. You are NOT getting a discount. Your supposedly "discounted" price is the baseline price which those corporations figure their profits from.
The same is true with "preferred customer cards".
We all know that these corporations are not running these programs for anything other than the benefit of teh profits of the corporation. They are not in business to give handouts.
It is a technique to reverse the notion that one is being paid for the Corporation's privilege of collecting & selling the personal information of their customers.
but people do not want to think about that.
they would rather believe that they are "special".
they would rather go on pretending that these corporations actually have some sort of humanitarian or chivalrous attitude towards doing business with them.
this is utter absurdity.

one of the things that these corporations seem to have to do in order to make this happen is to leave themselves certain legal loopholes so that they cannot be sued for discrimination.
In the grocer's, it is usually that the checkout person can & will put in a "generic" ID to give the discount. Yet if one wants to use the self-checkouts, which one will notice through experience is being pushed quite a bit in many of these stores, one MUST have their own "preferred card" as there is not clerk to enter in the generic code. If one wants the "generic discount" one is forced to wait in increasingly long lines in stores which manage to open fewer & fewer lanes with actual clerks.

with the CTA Chicago Cards, they have made them available to use without registering them. One still gets the benefits of the discount, but if one loses the card, one loses the value, just like with the older style cards.
once again notice teh element of convenience being used to sell your privacy away.
if you register the card, you can obtain a replacement with the amount which was still on the card minus a 5 dollar processing fee.
you should go to the CTA's website & look around for yourself. If you can find where they actually let the customer know how they actually use the information & what kind of tracking of ridership they do with that information, let me know because I do not see it being communicated in a public forum.
and this is where the main problem lies.
it is one thing if people are given an HONEST choice and are given actual information on what they are participating in, but these types of programs tend to refuse to do so.

do some searching on the web, find out the truth about biometrics & how they are being implemented.
you may be surprised.
it is happening NOW.
and if we do not let ourselves be heard in expressing what kind of relationship we wish to have with these technologies, then we get exactly what we deserve.

the more we give our responsibilities away, the more we become enslaved.
all of these technologies and institutions are supposed to be there to serve us, not to enslave us. We are not alive to serve them, but vice-versa.
we must remember this & be vigilant in these amazingly swiftly changing times.
our freedom and liberty depend on it.

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