Join 3,523 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


like little beepers
April 21, 2010 6:22 AM   Subscribe

Following Pennsylvania's lead, Georgia is poised to ban the involuntary implantation of microchips into people. With SB235 passing both the state house and senate, it is now up to Governor Sonny Perdue to sign it into law (or reveal that he's in the pocket of Big Microchip). The transcript of testimony before the house in favor of this legislation is truly eye-opening. Rachel Maddow had it re-enacted on her show.
posted by adamrice (149 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

 
“Microchips are like little beepers. Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum ... ”

Excuse me, my beeper just went off.
posted by mazola at 6:28 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Whoa.

Are they going to outlaw abduction and probing next?9
posted by Artw at 6:28 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


How is this not already covered under existing assault charges?

By the way... I get it evangelicals mark of the beast blah blah blah, but seriously isn't this already covered if someone inserts something into your person against your will, that's assault, law is already there. Do you need a law for knives and fingers and microchips and sporks...
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 6:31 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


involuntary implantation conjures up ugly visions to a fertile woman
posted by infini at 6:32 AM on April 21, 2010


This is so whacko I can't even manage a LOLXTIANS.
posted by contessa at 6:33 AM on April 21, 2010


Yay Pennsylvania. In the forefront again. Makes me proud.
posted by fixedgear at 6:34 AM on April 21, 2010


Yesterday, our State Senate opposed an earlier House decision that'd leave Georgia the only state in the Union without an Arts Council (and therefore ineligible for NEA funds).

But on the subject of sneaky guvmint microchips, our state legislature is in total agreement.

I've never been so proud. :eye roll:

(Of course, this situation did inspire the best tweet I've seen all week.)
posted by grabbingsand at 6:34 AM on April 21, 2010


I'm impressed the Republicans are against this. Microchips seem like a good way to track all those pesky illegals.
posted by graventy at 6:34 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


“Terrorists could take that ankle bracelet off with a saw and strap it to a dog and let them run around,” Moul said. “We need to know if these people are returning to the war to fight against America.”

This person should have a brain implanted in his chip.
posted by three blind mice at 6:37 AM on April 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


It just struck me that reading their words aloud on national TV might not be the best way to deal with someone who may have a paranoia disorder.
posted by The Whelk at 6:37 AM on April 21, 2010 [14 favorites]


oh thank god
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:39 AM on April 21, 2010


Well I do agree with this bill, there's no question about it.

I do question whether it goes far enough. Can a business require you to be chipped in order to work there? It's not forced, but it's pretty violative of one's rights. That's what I would consider the more dangerous threat.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:40 AM on April 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


Nah, it's all these little metal things buried in the street--that's how they get you.
posted by MrMoonPie at 6:41 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


involuntary implantation conjures up ugly visions to a fertile woman

It taps into a long history of forced intrusions into other people's bodies, from rape to sterilization to unethical medical experimentation. And it captures many people's discomfort with the increased permeation of commercialized technology into every moment of our lives.

So while I'm happy to roll my eyes at some of the silly things being said, I'm all for any additional barriers to commercialization of the intersection of my body and medicine. This particular law skews silly, but involves something important.
posted by Forktine at 6:42 AM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yikes, that's kind of a dick move on Rachel Maddow's part.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:43 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm guessing they'd be against, say, decent healthcare for the mentaly ill?
posted by Artw at 6:45 AM on April 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


See FPP below.

Only half kidding: given the volume of letters and calls that elected officials get every week from people convinced they are under surveillance by the government, this can definitely be considered a response to constituent concerns.
posted by availablelight at 6:46 AM on April 21, 2010


Also, WTF at this being somehow a hick-Republican-Southerner issue? While it's true there's not a SCOURGE OF LIBRUL MICROCHIPPERS out there or anything, this seems like a nicely forward-thinking way to ensure that privacy concerns keep up with changing technology (and not even all that far out, given that we already regularly microchip animals to keep track of their locations in case of emergencies). I wish someone back in the 50s had been thoughtful enough to come up with laws against filming people in certain types of private businesses; it's strikes me as severely privacy-invading that I have to come under the ever-recording gaze of the panopticon every time I want to catch a cab or stop into a bodega for pack of Chiclets.
posted by Greg Nog at 6:50 AM on April 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


What the what? I'm not even sure where to send my LOLS here.
posted by chunking express at 6:51 AM on April 21, 2010


"Just imagine, if you will, having a beeper in your rectum ... ”

In a search for justification, it sounds like she's really scraping bottom.
posted by griphus at 6:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


This bill doesn't go far enough. What if it were a requirement for employment? I'm sure these outraged Republicans would then be defending the "right" of corporations to only hire people who get career chips.
posted by 0xdeadc0de at 6:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, that Rachel Maddow's show thing was awesome. Why is it not OK to mock straight up ridiculous ass shit like this?
posted by chunking express at 6:54 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Also, WTF at this being somehow a hick-Republican-Southerner issue? While it's true there's not a SCOURGE OF LIBRUL MICROCHIPPERS out there or anything, this seems like a nicely forward-thinking way to ensure that privacy concerns keep up with changing technology

Well, it would makes sense to wait for someone to at least try it. And, btw, there are lots of laws governing when and where people can be filmed, but the first amendment generally protects filming in public, and usually it's illegal to record audio with it. It isn't like "oh, we didn't make a law way back when, now everyone is totally allowed to film whatever they want, whenever they want, and there's no way we can change the law now!"
posted by delmoi at 6:55 AM on April 21, 2010


I'm torn between being against involuntary implantation being a reasonable thing to oppose and the sense that the people behind this bill probably aren't doing it for reasonable reasons.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:56 AM on April 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Gotta love it. As Maddow points out, the microchip ban bill was sponsored by two guys named chip: Republicans Chip Pearson and Chip Rogers.
posted by ericb at 6:57 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Suckers. The joke will be on these backward-ass southerners and christians when I get chipped up. I'm maybe going to get the ocular implants and the muscle twitchers, but I'm definitely getting the neuroenhancer chips. Once again, christianity's superstitions find themselves on the wrong side of progress.
posted by fuq at 6:57 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


It just struck me that reading their words aloud on national TV might not be the best way to deal with someone who may have a paranoia disorder.

I agree, but I wonder how much overlap there is between Rachel Maddow Show viewers and people who believe the federal government has implanted microchips in them.
posted by box at 6:58 AM on April 21, 2010


Why is it not OK to mock straight up ridiculous ass shit the mentally ill like this?
posted by EarBucket at 6:58 AM on April 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Not just Pennsylvania, from the article: "California, North Dakota, and Wisconsin have enacted laws similar to the ban Josephs is proposing."

And the proposals in those states cover a particular implantable chip approved by the FDA for tracking purposes, and not allowing courts to implant them. So paranoid, but not that paranoid.
posted by blahblahblah at 7:02 AM on April 21, 2010


Is she mocking the mentally ill or the lawmakers who are giving this poor, but deluded woman a platform? I think it's the latter.
posted by longdaysjourney at 7:02 AM on April 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


So paranoid, but not that paranoid.

I have had serious conversations with other parents who say they would chip their child (like you chip a pet) were the service available.

So, yeah, paranoid, but not that paranoid.
posted by anastasiav at 7:05 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


On a previous visit to the mod parlor, two years ago, he had paid to have a bunch of 'sites implanted in his muscles-- little critters, too small to see or feel, that twitched Bud's muscle fibers electrically according to a program that was supposed to maximize bulk. Combined with the testosterone pump embedded in his forearm, it was like working out in a gym night and day, except you didn't have to actually do anything and you never got sweaty. The only drawback was that all the little twitches made him kind of tense and jerky.
posted by sotonohito at 7:05 AM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Here is a link to the actual testimony from Georgia yesterday. Her testimony starts about 40 minutes into it. She's clearly mentally ill, and this whole incident just made me kind of sad and sick to my stomach.
posted by dortmunder at 7:05 AM on April 21, 2010


Obviously there is some mental illness and/or serious stupidity going on here.

That said, a law banning the involuntary implanting of microchips strikes me as a pretty good idea. RFID, for instance? "It's already assault" isn't much of an argument when WalMart buys legislation that creates an exemption "to streamline worker handling" or whatever.
posted by DU at 7:07 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, is there a specific part of the healthcare bill that these people are willfully misreading, or is this just a general anti-healtchare wharrgarbl?
posted by dirigibleman at 7:11 AM on April 21, 2010


Watching the Maddow "re-enactment," it's pretty clear they're sneering at the witness at least as much as the state legislators hearing her testimony. Even the actors playing the Republicans read their reactions incredulously. Go after the idiots passing laws like these, absolutely. But this woman's sick, and mocking her is really beyond the pale. Maddow ought to apologize.
posted by EarBucket at 7:13 AM on April 21, 2010


It was not funny, and no one laughed.

“Ma’am, did you say you have a microchip?” asked state Rep. Tom Weldon (R-Ringgold).

“Yes, I do. This microchip was put in my vaginal-rectum area,” she replied. Setzler, the sponsoring lawmaker, sat next to the witness – his head bowed.

“You’re saying this was involuntary?” Weldon continued.

The woman said she had been pushing a court case through the system for the last eight years to have the device removed.

Wendell Willard (R-Atlanta), chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, picked up the questioning.

“Who implanted this in you?” he asked.

“Researchers with the federal government,” she said.

“And who in the federal government implanted it?” Willard asked.

“The Department of Defense.”

“Thank you, ma’am.”


It is funny and I am laughing.

At least she had the sense not to say "space aliens."
posted by three blind mice at 7:16 AM on April 21, 2010


the thing that is ridiculous about a law banning the involuntary implanting of microchips is not that there is anything to defend about involuntary implantation of microchips - it's that the involuntary implantation of microchips is a fringey, nut-job interpretation of apocalyptic biblical foofaraw, and that sort of thing is not a great platform to use for legislation.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:17 AM on April 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


How is this not already covered under existing assault charges?
The seriousness of an assault charge is related to the amount of physical damage done. An unwanted touching that does little physical harm may not even be criminal. The idea here is that involuntarily implanting a microchip is harmful vastly disproportionately to the physical harm done by the implantation. One notes that this is the same rationale for having rape and sexual assaults be separate crimes.
posted by planet at 7:18 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


... involuntary implantation being a reasonable thing to oppose ...

I've just about had it up to here with the anti-facehugger attitudes I see on display in this thread.
posted by Ritchie at 7:20 AM on April 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


The problem with this legislation is not that it covers the ha-ha I've been implanted by aliens and the CIA against my will. It covers that well. It doesn't cover the real potential abuses of these chips: coercive. Either by an employer, or as a means of early parole, or students in place of being expelled or as means to gain certain rights: for example a pilot's license, etc. All of these can be coerced.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:24 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


This isn't any different than the insanity in state legislatures around Satanic child abuse some twenty years ago. Same sad shit: crank legislators bring mentally ill witnesses to testify at hearings. The idiots bringing forth this nonsense are the ones exploiting the mentally ill and deserve as much ridicule and contempt as can possibly be heaped upon them.

Unfortunately, it appears that insanity has become the norm in politics on the part of both the elected and the majority of their constituents.

Talk all you want about pendulums swinging back and forth. This is broken beyond fixing.
posted by warbaby at 7:25 AM on April 21, 2010


It's a good thing that I plan on spying on people by secretly injecting them with nanites.
posted by GameDesignerBen at 7:25 AM on April 21, 2010


It doesn't cover the real potential abuses of these chips: coercive. Either by an employer...
The problem with calling what an employer does "coercive" is that many of us wouldn't do anything that we do for our employer if not for the employment relationship. Nonetheless, it doesn't seem quite right to say that my employer is "coercing" me into doing all these things I'd really rather not do (i.e., my job duties).
posted by planet at 7:27 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


You guys saying "the bill doesn't go far enough" and "what about employment?" clearly didn't read the bill (the SB235 link):

Section 2(b):
No person shall be required to be implanted with a microchip.

Section 2(a)(4):
'Require' includes physical violence; threat; intimidation; retaliation; the conditioning of any private or public benefit or care on consent to implantation, including employment, promotion, or other benefit; or any means that causes a person to acquiesce to implantation when he or she otherwise would not.
posted by Sangermaine at 7:28 AM on April 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


The funny (as in totally hypocritical) thing about that PA law is that it explicitly allows microchips to be implanted in "terrorists" and any one else by "court order," so it's actually pro-forced-microchip-implantation.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:34 AM on April 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


The idiots bringing forth this nonsense are the ones exploiting the mentally ill and deserve as much ridicule and contempt as can possibly be heaped upon them.

My day gig is at a bookstore, and I think the same thing every time someone buys something by Sylvia Browne, or Kevin Trudeau, or Esther Hicks, or "The Secret." Goofing on that woman's testimony isn't going to get us anywhere. Ridicule for the dicks who knowingly put her on display seems like a better answer. Hell, I won't even get an E-ZPass for my car because I don't want anyone to know where I'm at, so on some base level I can sympathize. The Maddow thing does scan as kinda mean, and I'm a fan. Ehh.
posted by mintcake! at 7:35 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Strange bedfellows: people who might legitimately be concerned about technology and privacy, fundamentalist religious folk, and paranoid delusionals.

My father would not use a credit card for years because he was afraid the card numbers were what John was warning him about in the book of Revelation's description of the Mark of the Beast.
posted by jefficator at 7:35 AM on April 21, 2010


So, is there a specific part of the healthcare bill that these people are willfully misreading, or is this just a general anti-healtchare wharrgarbl?

Most of the peopleI've seen who oppose the bill from the right appear to believe that it contains UHC or single-payer, sooooo

It does make me wonder if we're going to see right-wingers going to doctors thinking that UHC was passed and getting angry about being asked to pay. "Well, I guess OBAMACARE doesn't apply to REAL AMERICANS!"
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:38 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm prepared to guarantee that it will occur, repeatedly.
posted by aramaic at 7:49 AM on April 21, 2010


This doesn't seem unreasonable, given that the only way to effectively track people is through implanted- wait a minute, where's my iPhone? I haad it right here just a second ago, and now I don't see it! Where is it? WHERE IS IT?

Oh THERE you are! OK, it's all OK now. Daddy loves iPhone. Does iPhone love Daddy? Beep. Beep. Beep.
posted by happyroach at 7:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [22 favorites]


Two more things:

1. The ridiculousness of the law comes from the fact that it's unclear what exactly the point of it is. As others have pointed out, involuntary implantation is already illegal as assault. planet wrote "the seriousness of an assault charge is related to the amount of physical damage done." I find it very hard to believe that forced implantation of a foreign object into someone's body would not be prosecuted as assault. Which is another reason why this law is ridiculous and suspect: it makes doing this act a misdemeanor. That's fairly bizarre if your concern really is to prevent abuse. And while the proposed Georgia law does not currently seem to have exceptions for court orders, I'd be surprised if it doesn't eventually allow for them.

So what exactly is the law accomplishing that doesn't already exist? The only explanation, and the reason it's getting labeled as a "a hick-Republican-Southerner issue", is that this is simply pandering by the sponsors to the fundamentalist voters who have some fears related to this. The other legislators go along because...why not? It's a harmless vote for them. This leads me to point 2...

2. Does anyone know why some Christians feel that the "Mark of the Beast"/"Number of Beast" will be a microchip? I know there are always some crazies in any group, but I've seen this in several places. What's the basis for this? Who is spreading it? Was there some fundamentalist Biblical scholar who proposed it or something?
posted by Sangermaine at 7:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Can you imagine how scary it would be if people really did get these things implanted under their skin, though? Or! What if they could track you down via the GPS in your cell phone!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:53 AM on April 21, 2010


mintcake!: Goofing on that woman's testimony isn't going to get us anywhere. Ridicule for the dicks who knowingly put her on display seems like a better answer.

Clarification: this "dick" is goofing on the committee that received such "testimony."

There may well be arguments for and against - the tin-foil hat paranoia which seemed to dominate the discussion epitomized by "that woman's testimony" - is not one of them.
posted by three blind mice at 7:55 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


(great minds, I guess, happyroach -- UNLESS YOU CAN READ MY THOUGHTS)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:56 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I realize the the point of the post is to point and laugh at people, but the underlying issue seems reasonable. It's one of the 'well, duh!' laws... of course you shouldn't be implanted with anything against your will. Making it explicit, as opposed to hoping that a judge will believe that it's covered under the more general assault laws, strikes me as perfectly sensible.

Many authoritarian types are into asking forgiveness rather than permission, so getting a preemptive 'no way' into the legal code strikes me as a tiny, but clear win for the good guys. Sure, it's not high on the list of pressing threats, but having it on the books won't hurt anything.
posted by Malor at 7:58 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The seriousness of an assault charge is related to the amount of physical damage done. An unwanted touching that does little physical harm may not even be criminal.

But implantation by its very definition involves puncturing the skin.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:02 AM on April 21, 2010


Talk all you want about pendulums swinging back and forth. This is broken beyond fixing.

How? Why cannot someone go to someone who is bringing this crazy person before us and tell them "Hey, what you are doing is wrong. This isn't really happening. You are legislating from madness, and it is unhealthy to do this, either for the person you're supporting or for the health of our society."

One may say that it is because they are without shame. But if enough people were to say this to them, instead of just overlook it for whatever reason, they'd either be forced to acknowledge what they are doing or show themselves to be crazy by promulgating crazy. Why is this essential social mechanism not operating?
posted by JHarris at 8:03 AM on April 21, 2010


Clarification: this "dick" is goofing on the committee that received such "testimony."

Yeah, that was directed at the committee and not anyone here. Sorry if it came off that way. We pretty much agree about this, I think.

Also: happyroach's comment just blew my mind a little.
posted by mintcake! at 8:04 AM on April 21, 2010


If you've received any kind of vaccination in the past 30 years then you already have the nanobots replicating in your bloodstream. Too late for you scoffers!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:06 AM on April 21, 2010


Wow, there are a few otherwise-sensible commenters in this thread who are really bringing the concern-trolling. The point, which you unfortunately seemed to have missed, isn't Rachel Maddow going all HURF DURF PARANOID SCHIZOPHRENIA, it's that the Georgia Legislature brought this unfortunate woman in front of a committee and had her recite her delusions into the legislative record. Ostensibly not-mentally-ill representatives, who one would hopefully trust to be at least a bit more responsible than the average joe, are making this into a real law that will be on the books.

In short, this is why we can't have nice governments. Let's keep the focus here, people. Maddow's show isn't now and never has been about making fun of the disabled.
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:06 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


And the guy sponsoring this bill just happens to be named Chip Pearson?!
posted by Flashman at 8:08 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sangermaine: "Does anyone know why some Christians feel that the "Mark of the Beast"/"Number of Beast" will be a microchip?"

I'm not sure who was the first to think this, but it follows a logical progression. The mark of the Beast is supposed to be something that will prevent you from taking part of commerce if you don't have it. Originally Social Security numbers were thought to be the mark and others have believed it to be credit card numbers. Now microchips seem to fit the bill.

What it comes down to is that the mark is something people are going to freely accept because it is seen as a beneficial thing to use for commerce. Since our society and technology is heading more and more towards ease of self-identification for making purchases, every new advancement causes Dead End Timers to freak out about the mark of the beast.
posted by charred husk at 8:08 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, and:

Does anyone know why some Christians feel that the "Mark of the Beast"/"Number of Beast" will be a microchip?

When I was young, I had some exposure to a couple of the really fringe religious nutcases, and at the time, it was going to be tattoos on your forehead. Eventually, that morphed into barcodes on your forehead, and RFID is just another kind of barcode. Further, it's one that you can't easily see or detect without help, and could be easily implanted during almost any surgery that cut the skin, so that's going to send chills up the spine of anyone who's grown up in that mindset. To them, surgical implantation of tracking devices is going to be the 'obvious' explanation for how their prophecies will come out.

I dunno what the hell they're going to do, once computer facial recognition gets common. The central authority won't need a barcode to track you. They'll know exactly where you are all the time, simply by machines seeing you on cameras. Within a couple of decades, we will probably be living in a Panopticon, no tattoos required. The Mark of the Beast will be your face.
posted by Malor at 8:09 AM on April 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Oh, whew. I first read that as chimp and was like WTF Georgia?

I mean, I'm still all WTF, but it's less Wild Kingdom Gone Horribly Wrong now.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:11 AM on April 21, 2010


The Mark of the Beast will be your face.

Dazzle Makeup
posted by The Whelk at 8:12 AM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


Why is it not OK to mock straight up ridiculous ass shit the mentally ill like this?

When teh crazies are making law for teh sanes, I reserve the right to point and laugh.

(I'm reminded of Professor Fate's line in The Great Race here: "Oh, of course I'll keep it to myself. Until the water reaches my lower lip, and then I'm gonna mention it to SOMEBODY!")
posted by octobersurprise at 8:14 AM on April 21, 2010


This doesn't seem unreasonable, given that the only way to effectively track people is through implanted- wait a minute, where's my iPhone? I haad it right here just a second ago, and now I don't see it! Where is it? WHERE IS IT?

Oh THERE you are! OK, it's all OK now. Daddy loves iPhone. Does iPhone love Daddy? Beep. Beep. Beep.


Hilarious! :D :D
posted by zarq at 8:14 AM on April 21, 2010


Reading the title I thought this was going to be about the rights of convicted criminals. Seems strange not to see them mentioned even though they're probably the most likely recipients of unwanted microchip implantation.
posted by ODiV at 8:15 AM on April 21, 2010


If you've received any kind of vaccination in the past 30 years then you already have the nanobots replicating in your bloodstream. Too late for you scoffers!

It's that kind of crazy which will have rubella outbreaks killing off half the populations of the midwest in 30 years.

I am getting so sick of the insulation and cultivation of crazy in our society.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 8:16 AM on April 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wow, there are a few otherwise-sensible commenters in this thread who are really bringing the concern-trolling.

Not concern-trolling; I genuinely think Maddow's being a dick.
posted by Greg Nog at 8:17 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


The Combine is patient.
posted by gottabefunky at 8:25 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Million to one shot, Jerry! Million to one!"
posted by willmize at 8:25 AM on April 21, 2010


It's that kind of crazy which will have rubella outbreaks killing off half the populations of the midwest in 30 years.

Actually the people afraid of vaccination tend to be upscale, educated city dwellers. Not that there aren't conservatives who are into it.
posted by delmoi at 8:27 AM on April 21, 2010


I'm torn between being against involuntary implantation being a reasonable thing to oppose and the sense that the people behind this bill probably aren't doing it for reasonable reasons.

I sure hope they move to ban death panels next.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:38 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Sangermaine, addressing your #2.

The Austin NPR station, 90.5, recently had a telethon, which was slightly more annoying then their neighbor, 90.1, aka "the crazy station" (Which is possibly a pirate station? Unsure.) So I listened to it for a week on and off. One of their favorite topics is "chips" and at least one major agitator for the idea of rfid=evil is Katherine Albrecht. She's written a few books with inflammatory titles like "Spychips: How Major Corporations and Government Plan to Track Your Every Move with RFID". She's got a weekly show thats all about the latest "chip" news. I also listened to an Australian based show on this topic, and remember quite a stink being made in Austin over a policy that requires owners to chip their pets if the pound picks them up stray.

So, while I'd like to say this is some small subset of people with paranoid mental health problems, It's much larger than that. Programing and people like these are taping into the worst fears and reactions from people. Every commercial was for emergency seed banks, MREs, guns, gold, prayer books that will make you wealthy, etc. Heck, after listening to this station in small doses I was starting to feel paranoid. Can't imagine what I'd feel like if I were scared of technology, scared of non-white people being in power, having my ass handed to me in national elections, and having these ideas pumped into my ear.
posted by fontophilic at 8:40 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Once upon a time I worked for a wonderful community environmental organization that will have to remain nameless to protect their dignity. As the primary development guy, I was one of the only staff members who was consistently in the office. The program staff tended to have meetings and seminars and demonstrations and conferences to attend, so they rarely answered the phones.

One afternoon, I got a call that started out pretty standard. The man on the other end of the line suggested that there was an environmental problem in his mother's office building. He suspected mold. I walked him through some steps that he could take, and then suggested that I would follow up our call with an email if he provided me his email address.

It was strange when he told me that he didn't have an email address. But that was just the tip of the weird iceberg. He didn't have an email address because he didn't use computers. He didn't use computers because he was being remote controlled by CIA operatives, who had implanted a chip in his brain years ago and were using transmitters to remotely torture him with excruciating pain.

He offered to mail me his newsletter.

I declined.
posted by greekphilosophy at 8:40 AM on April 21, 2010


Ridicule for the dicks who knowingly put her on display seems like a better answer.

Presumably they heard her story before she gave public testimony? I haven't looked at this story in depth but just scanning this it feels like everyone has momentarily been possessed by the spirit of Beavis because she said "vaginal-rectum area". Given what is known about say, oh, MKULTRA, a charge that somebody in defense research somewhere did something along these lines sound entirely plausible and downright tame to me. Mandatory implantation of defense personnel is an idea that has been tossed around for some time now. The fact that she doesn't seem to know how they work, ala, tortured with co-workers' cell phones, shouldn't equate to immediate dismissal. Historically, low status marginal types seem to be preferred for this kind of monkey business.

Does she have a legitimate case? Did somebody find the craziest person in town to be the memorable soundbite for an important new technology issue? Or is she actually just an un-vetted crank who said "vaginal-rectum area"?
posted by well_balanced at 8:42 AM on April 21, 2010


The Whelk: "Dazzle Makeup"

I, for one, greet a future where everyone wears Ziggy Stardust makeup with open arms.
posted by idiopath at 8:48 AM on April 21, 2010


Or, like me, hope that they use HP's camera pickup (not) for all the melanin ;p
posted by infini at 8:50 AM on April 21, 2010


The mark of the Beast is supposed to be something that will prevent you from taking part of commerce if you don't have it.

I first came across this logic in the late 70s via one of the first dedicated computer geeks I'd ever met (barcodes were just starting to show up everywhere). It was one of those dope smoking paranoia-as-entertainment moments (funny AND scary) and the chill it gave me still resonates. So if anything, seeing that the batshit-insane lobby have taken it up makes me fear it's "reality" even more.

That is, if I was a player in some diabolic satanic conspiracy who's end goal was the total subjugation of all humankind via implanted digital chips (probably to turn us all into fuel for evil robots), one of my first "plays" would be to undermine the credibility of any who would rationally question the implications of the technology.

Long live the New Flesh.
posted by philip-random at 8:50 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Can't imagine what I'd feel like if I were scared of technology, scared of non-white people being in power, having my ass handed to me in national elections, and having these ideas pumped into my ear.

Like Eugene Terre'Blanc perhaps...
posted by infini at 8:51 AM on April 21, 2010


oops. that should have been ...

Long Live The New Flesh
posted by philip-random at 8:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not concern-trolling; I genuinely think Maddow's being a dick.

Derail, but I think Maddow is kind of squirming in her position of late. She's trying to occupy the position of court jester like Jon Stewart while also trying to be a "legitimate" reporter and editorialist. Granted, she has the stink of infotainment like anyone else with a presence on the major news networks, but she also seems to be more interested in actually reporting on and exploring underlying issues than most other MSM talking heads barely give mention to. It could be as much a fault of the audience as anything--we're all becoming so used to having everything served up with smirks and snark that straight analysis and facts don't seem to register.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:52 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not about employers being able to implant microchips -- rather, it's to prevent the Federal Government from requiring the populace to be implanted. Because Obama is the anti-christ. 666.
posted by contessa at 8:54 AM on April 21, 2010


Derail, but I think Maddow is kind of squirming in her position of late. She's trying to occupy the position of court jester like Jon Stewart while also trying to be a "legitimate" reporter and editorialist.

I feel like Stewart's far more palatable. I find the Olbermann/Maddow smirking and sneering incredibly off-putting, and I agree with them on most issues. I can't imagine what it does to independents.
posted by EarBucket at 8:56 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Hell, I won't even get an E-ZPass for my car because I don't want anyone to know where I'm at, so on some base level I can sympathize.

In Illinois, they took the little cameras that took a shot of everyone's license plates to see if they paid down becuase divorce attorneys were subpoening that shit like crazy.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:03 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


it's that the Georgia Legislature brought this unfortunate woman in front of a committee and had her recite her delusions into the legislative record.

Did they bring her in, though?

It looks from the descriptions more like she was in the audience and came forward to speak when the chair asked if anyone else wanted to be heard on the bill.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:03 AM on April 21, 2010


"Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or on the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name."

The idea isn't too complex — an identifier such that you cannot conduct business without it — and it's rather flexible in interpretation, but the message is fairly clear: Christians ought to fear the rise of a dominant, unavoidable method of identification and transaction processing, which utterly controls the market in a regulatory sense, as a herald of the End Times. A New World Order, global currency, human tracking for tax purposes, all of these can be vaguely fit to the concept.

This could be interpreted as a Social Security Number or Tax ID Number, but they aren't necessarily part of your body, whereas an implanted microchip is far, far closer to the quote. Nor may the "mark" be a static symbol — it would be easily reproduced, if humiliatingly applied. For the mark to be anything other than the tacit recognition that you are under some new force, it would have to be unique but verifiable.

With that in mind, the microchip fits the definition rather well. To get any better, it would have to glow a sickly green under your skin, made the return digits checksum to 616 or 666 (depending on flavor), and it left a scar in the shape of a pentacle once applied.
posted by adipocere at 9:05 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


So if I get a guiche (nsfw), would that shield my taint from having a microchip implanted?
posted by homunculus at 9:10 AM on April 21, 2010


whoa... thank the gazillion gods I'm not a christian (with all due respect to my christian brethren, of course)
posted by infini at 9:10 AM on April 21, 2010


To get any better, it would have to glow a sickly green under your skin, made the return digits checksum to 616 or 666 (depending on flavor), and it left a scar in the shape of a pentacle once applied.

Also, I'd probably get one, just 'cause that sounds BAD ASSSSSSS
posted by Greg Nog at 9:12 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Derail, but I think Maddow is kind of squirming in her position of late. She's trying to occupy the position of court jester like Jon Stewart while also trying to be a "legitimate" reporter and editorialist.

Yeah, I don't watch her show much anymore for that very reason.
posted by homunculus at 9:13 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Does she have a legitimate case? ...
posted by well_balanced at 11:42 AM on April 21


Epony ... oh, hell.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:20 AM on April 21, 2010


This is not just a right-wing crazy kind of thing.
posted by pianomover at 9:22 AM on April 21, 2010


I have wondered why we don't put chips into the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (without them knowing, of course) and let them go free. Some of them would likely lead us directly to some people that we would really like to get our hands on.
posted by flarbuse at 9:25 AM on April 21, 2010


Isn't this something Dennis Kucinich supported? Whoa, talk about bipartisanship!

Now if only we could only get all the loonies to agree with each other on taxes, the economy, abortion, the Middle East, global warming, trade policy, healthcare, the Mac/PC debate, finance reform, education, and favorites, we'd be set!
posted by Afroblanco at 9:29 AM on April 21, 2010


Who needs forcible microchip implantation when we already have ubiquitous surveillance-cams paired with face recognition software that has 100% accuracy?
posted by HyperBlue at 9:31 AM on April 21, 2010


Here's a responsible take on the situation.

"...the bill has become a routine example of the Republican tendency to attack problems that don’t exist, and ignore the ones that do."
posted by warbaby at 9:35 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love former Governor Roy Barnes's take on this, that if someone's really holding him down and forcing a microchip into his head, “it should be more than a damned misdemeanor.”

Second, do the panico-Christian contingent really believe that the AntiChrist will be thwarted in his plans to mark all men with the mark of the beast because the Georgia State Legislature makes it a misdemeanor? The freaking Anti-Christ? I mean he spits in the face of God!
posted by Naberius at 9:40 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's not forced, but it's pretty violative of one's rights.

Yeah, but you don't have to work there. You still have the freedom to work somewhere else.

/sarcasm, in case it wasn't blindingly obvious
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:41 AM on April 21, 2010


Epony ... oh, hell.

Oh, I fully see how this is probably just amateur GOP-ing playing to the 666 fears. The AJC editorial claim is made that the lady in question had an actual court case concerning these charges. My question is have any of the reporters covering this story examined to see if such a case exists and what it consists of? Or should we immediately dismiss the suggestion that something like this has occurred because the woman is described as "hefty" and said "vaginal-rectum"? If she just wandered up out of the crowd and began running the CIA is controlling my brain with microwaves routine then I'm happy to dismiss it as well.
posted by well_balanced at 9:46 AM on April 21, 2010


The Anti-Christ is not supposed to come stomping in with squadrons of demons in SS outfits, heading to maternity wards to chuck unbaptized infants into his hellish machine, which, once powered with enough souls in the state of original sin, will fire a cannonball through God's heart. He's subtle. He's supposed to show up when the world is ripe like a banana: for all of its softness and sweet flavor, it is black and heading towards rot. As a false prophet, he is only there to mislead those who are already wavering and bring the world to ruin through corruption, not outright force.

That means no felonies, no giant black temples with red lightning shooting off of them, no ritual nun-burning ... not in the beginning, at least. First for our convenience, then for our safety, next for our own good, and you knew where it goes from there. The Anti-Christ is the guy you got mixed up with in college and you had a great time for a while and he knew all about you. He was squeaky clean and had the confidence that said, "I know what I'm doing." And you bought it. He really got you and he wanted the best for you, but you can't quite pin down when it all changed, what led you to this situation, now, in jail and sick and with no hope. You're a frog nearly boiled and you never did pay attention to how much you were sweating.

As long as those basic precepts are in place, implanted microchips, first on your pets, then, hey, maybe on your kids, and then ... oh, and then, yeah, that would be something to fear.
posted by adipocere at 9:51 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the answers from everyone.
posted by Sangermaine at 9:53 AM on April 21, 2010


The Anti-Christ is the guy you got mixed up with in college and you had a great time for a while and he knew all about you. He was squeaky clean and

Well that lets me off the hook. Everyone I got mixed up with in college was coated in a thin film of THC resin.

Hail Satin.
posted by philip-random at 10:02 AM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


yup adn the only place that guy I got mixed up with in college led me to was this
posted by infini at 10:42 AM on April 21, 2010


My question is have any of the reporters covering this story examined to see if such a case exists and what it consists of?

Probably the case of Slim chance v. None. Or maybe it was the case of Endless-harassing-calls-oh-lady-leave-us-the-fuck-alone v. Some-poor-schmuck-of-a-court-employee. Whichever one, I'm betting she tries to appeal.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:48 AM on April 21, 2010


Funny enough this thread gave me a favorites count of 666.... THE NUMBER OF THE BEAST! ZOMG TRIBULATION!!!!!
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 10:48 AM on April 21, 2010


I've just gone to have a quick look at the relevant bits in Revelation and I can't find anything at all saying that the righteous should resist the Mark.

So shouldn't the Revelation-is-literal Christians just go "yep, here it comes, just like it said" and get back to doing what they do, secure in the knowledge that Jesus is coming?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:00 AM on April 21, 2010


When INVOLUNTARY IMPLANTS are OUTLAWED, only OUTLAWS will have INVOLUNTARY IMPLANTS.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:02 AM on April 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


Pope Guilty I was raised southern baptist and I'm pretty sure the mark of the beast happens during tribulation, which is after the rapture, the only of god's chosen left on earth will be the 144 from israel and anywho recieve christ after the rapture. So those 144 should resist the "mark" but all the bible thumpers in Georgia should be in "heaven" by then.
posted by ExitPursuedByBear at 11:07 AM on April 21, 2010


Little beepers in my rectum,
little beepers full of ticky tacky...
posted by symbioid at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Maybe they're just really, really insecure, then.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:08 AM on April 21, 2010


When INVOLUNTARY IMPLANTS are OUTLAWED, only OUTLAWS will have INVOLUNTARY IMPLANTS.

*genuflects* Resurrection of the meme!

All Hail our Involuntary Implant Overlords!
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:11 AM on April 21, 2010


All Hail our Involuntary Implant Overlords!

Stay outta my DVDs!
posted by griphus at 11:16 AM on April 21, 2010


Christ, what a beeper in my asshole?
posted by dirtdirt at 11:16 AM on April 21, 2010


>It looks from the descriptions more like she was in the audience and came forward to speak when the chair asked if anyone else wanted to be heard on the bill.

...so the Georgia lege is run just like the town council meetings where the local loudmouth can come up to the mike and demand, just as they have every week for the last three years, that the parking enforcer that gave them a ticket three years ago should be fired toot sweet? Ooooookay.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:16 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have wondered why we don't put chips into the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (without them knowing, of course) and let them go free.

Probably because they don't walk through RFID detectors linked to the NSA very often. Or more generally

[morbo]ID CHIPS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY![/morbo]
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 11:19 AM on April 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


I built an Involuntary Implant Overlord but it got taken down by Void rays.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 11:27 AM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


....rectum? It nearly killed 'em!
posted by electroboy at 11:53 AM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I was raised southern baptist and I'm pretty sure the mark of the beast happens during tribulation, which is after the rapture

Technically, that's just if you believe in a pre-tribulation rapture. A lot of folks, like post-milennialists and Calvinists think that the rapture is going to come after the tribulation.
posted by infinitywaltz at 1:38 PM on April 21, 2010


Geez, I knew there were myriad reasons I disliked living here.

Just asking: how is it that this lady was put on the list of folks who were testifying? Did no one actually ask her about what she was going to say?

Also, why can't I fast-forward through the actual debate?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:44 PM on April 21, 2010


"Is there a chip in your taint? Was it put there without your knowledge or consent? According to Georgia state law you are the victim of a misdemeanor, but you may also be eligible to receive civil damages. The law firm of Hungadunga, Hungadunga, Hungadunga & McCormick has over 50 years' combined experience in chip/taint related litigation. Call now to get the compensation you deserve!"
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 2:39 PM on April 21, 2010


Chips can also be placed in the tunk.
posted by Artw at 2:43 PM on April 21, 2010


And chocolate chip cookies can be dunked in milk.
posted by ericb at 2:46 PM on April 21, 2010


I have a working theory that the idea of chips and barcodes and the like as vehicles for the Mark of the Beast originated with (or at least was popularized by) the 1972 film A Thief In The Night. It was very popular in churches, and visceral in its depiction of this kind of thing (and I don't know of any earlier source for it).

There are clips from it on Youtube, including its fantastically catchy theme song.
posted by bubukaba at 3:10 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


> 'Microchip' means any microdevice, sensor, transmitter, mechanism, electronically
> readable marking, or nanotechnology that is passively or actively capable of
> transmitting or receiving information. Such term shall not include pacemakers.
>
> 'Require' includes physical violence; threat; intimidation; retaliation; the conditioning
> of any private or public benefit or care on consent to implantation, including employment,
> promotion, or other benefit; or any means that causes a person to acquiesce to
> implantation when he or she otherwise would not.
>
> No person shall be required to be implanted with a microchip.

This is one of those threads which bring home to me how little I 'get' the Metafilter fanbase. Does the house really think involuntary chip implantation is no biggie and worrying about it is only for LOLnutjobs? Notwithstanding the obvious desire of both government and corporations to track everybody and everything? Notwithstanding that turning cat-and-dog chips into RFID broadcasting chips will take maybe fifteen minutes of progress? That specifically outlawing it is just another one of those incomprehensible bizarro things that iggrunt toy legislatures down Souf do to keep the nation amused? Well, if that's the take here on coerced chipping I think you all should head over and rescue this thread (and its ensuing meta) where we have meltdown conditions over the suggestion that the HIV+ population should be quarantined by the government. Tell 'em don't quarantine, that infringes human rights, just RFID-chip those folks, consenting or no, because that's of such small concern that even here where we specialize in outrage at the drop of a hat it's already earned the Metafilter uber-progressive point-and-laugh nihil obstat.
posted by jfuller at 5:22 PM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


jfuller, the difference is that people have actually advocated for quarantining HIV+ people, whereas forcing people to be implanted with microchips.....ehhhh, not so much. I can't speak for anybody else, but my take on it is that the language in the bill is basically dressing up an issue that is only of real importance to (1) people who thing the Book of Revelation is a factual projection of a real human future and (2) people who suffer from severe mental disabilities. Not to say that their views as a constituency are any less valid than people who don't share those fears, but passing a law such as this is a response to an unstated, unlikely threat.
posted by contessa at 6:14 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Does the house really think involuntary chip implantation is no biggie and worrying about it is only for LOLnutjobs?

Yes, I think that is accurate. I don't see anyone in government advocating for involuntary implantation of microchips, under present or past administrations. It doesn't worry me, and
given all the big real problems in the US, I find it laughable that people think it's an issue.

(Corporations tracking workers and such is a real issue, but that's not covered by this at all)
posted by wildcrdj at 7:01 PM on April 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


That specifically outlawing it is just another one of those incomprehensible bizarro things that iggrunt toy legislatures down Souf do to keep the nation amused?

Pretty much, yes. As remarked on earlier, involuntarily implanting a chip in someone is a crime already covered by existing laws against assault, a crime likely to carry harsher penalties than any proposed in this legislation. So what, exactly, does this legislation accomplish?

Isn't it funny how so many of the allegedly "small-government" types are always happy to exercise the power of the State to do things that don't need to be done?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:59 PM on April 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


> (Corporations tracking workers and such is a real issue, but that's not covered by this at all)

Jeez. Link the text, they don't read it. Quote the text in-thread, they don't read it.

'Require' includes physical violence; threat; intimidation; retaliation; the conditioning
of any private or public benefit or care on consent to implantation, including employment,
promotion, or other benefit

posted by jfuller at 8:00 PM on April 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


jfuller, you make good points. Points that I agree with, in fact! But those of us who have some concerns about civil liberties and the erosion of privacy tend to be out-shouted by the "MARK OF THE BEAST" folks and the "GUB'MINT PUT CHIPS IN MY ASS" folks (bless their souls), making the whole issue easy to ridicule.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:37 PM on April 21, 2010


Compulsory sterilzation was still being performed in the U.S. during the lifetimes of some of the regular posters on MetaFilter. In-groups have been marking out-groups for thousands of years. There's no reason to expect it to stop.
posted by carping demon at 11:16 PM on April 21, 2010


Good thing laws against compulsory sterilization were passed!
posted by Artw at 11:27 PM on April 21, 2010


Not to say that their views as a constituency are any less valid than people who don't share those fears

R.D. Laing notwithstanding, for the purposes of making laws, I hope that the fears of the mentally ill and the religiously enthusiastic are less valid than the views of people who don't share those fears, else we should pass legislation against the rabbit that howls, the voices that scream at us, the bugs that crawl under our skin, and the coming of the Anti-Christ.

In the real world, the average person faces dozens of threats to privacy everyday, from spam and unwanted phone calls to identity thefts and surveillance cameras. Possibly, smart legislation could help protect constituents against these threats, but I see little evidence that the legislatures so concerned about involuntary microchipping are as concerned about those genuine threats to privacy. Maybe they lack a Confederate flag-wrapped mentally ill person to speak for them.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:06 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you need a law for knives and fingers and microchips and sporks...

We do need a law for sporks. Our flatware is becoming ambiguous, and I find it threatening.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:19 AM on April 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


else we should pass legislation against... the coming of the Anti-Christ

Fair point, but I would love to draft that Bill.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:21 AM on April 22, 2010


I also find it amusing/depressing that lawmakers, and really more people than I'd like to think, are so illiterate on the topic of technology that they cannot form a reasoned opinion, only react with fear. When you have such a famine of knowledge, a crazy person sounds like an expert.
posted by fontophilic at 8:25 AM on April 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


When you have such a famine of knowledge, a crazy person sounds like an expert.

And as the Singularity gets closer and closer, we're going to have way more experts.
posted by philip-random at 9:16 AM on April 22, 2010


And ummm, late in the thread, I realize (and not wanting to play to the batshit-insane-EXPERT contingency), but is there anyone out there who actually believes some form of chip implant would be a good thing?
posted by philip-random at 9:18 AM on April 22, 2010


So, since no one is proposing forcing chip implants, there is no reason to ban it. Wait until they deman we have chips implanted and THEN demand laws against it!

Why get vaccinated? Wait until you get exposed to the disease, THEN demand a cure.

Why buy insurance? Wait until your house burns down, THEN demand restitution.

Oh, those crazy southern legislatures! I bet they lock their house when they leave, even though they've never been burglarized. Bunch of right wing paranoid hicks.
posted by Goofyy at 9:21 AM on April 22, 2010


is there anyone out there who actually believes some form of chip implant would be a good thing?

Pet owners seem to like them. I can't say I'd be surprised if someone started pitching a service to parents or penal institutions.
posted by electroboy at 10:16 AM on April 22, 2010


pitching a service to parents or penal institutions.

Yeah, this is where I start step quietly across the line and grab for my tinfoil hat, because it all seems so rational. Why not tag criminals? They've transgressed the laws of the state. Grew marijuana for all we know. Why shouldn't we be able to track their every movement, their every purchase. And children? Well, it's in their best interest, isn't it? Keeps the pedos at bay. And, soon as they achieve an agreed upon age of maturity (say, age 35) well they can choose to have the chip removed. But why would they? It's done nothing but keep them safe from harm their entire lives, and well, it certainly negates all those troublesome pin codes, credit checks etc ... and you always get to stand in the shortest line at security check points ...

And so on.

Seriously, Satin works incrementally, even if you don't believe in him.
posted by philip-random at 10:24 AM on April 22, 2010


He's smooth like that.
posted by ODiV at 10:43 AM on April 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


I mean, as it is, there are consumer child fingerprinting and DNA sampling kits; AT&T pitches a kid tracker app for your child's cellphone. There's half a dozen states that require DNA samples to be taken from anyone arrested for a crime. Clearly a implanted chip is more invasive than a house arrest ankle bracelet, but I imagine some people would choose a chip to avoid being easily identified as someone on house arrest.
posted by electroboy at 10:59 AM on April 22, 2010


philip-random Several people, actually. From a computer security standpoint it'd be great. An implanted authenticator would solve a **lot** of security headaches. IIRC in Mexico some of the more secure government computers do, in fact, authenticate that way.
posted by sotonohito at 11:08 AM on April 22, 2010


Oh, is it time to do this now?
posted by limeonaire at 3:52 PM on April 22, 2010


Iowa GOP candidate: Implant microchips into immigrants in country illegally.
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on April 28, 2010 [1 favorite]


Just because you are paranoid doesn't mean people aren't out to get you.

I think this goes under the category of bad case making good law -- actually, ridiculous case making good law. Ultimately, I'm not unhappy these laws exist, though when I got my latest edition of the California Codes with this new addition a year ago, I admit I laughed out loud.

It may seem redundant re: battery, with obvious shades of Revelations, but on the other hand, the DOD/CIA/Mengele/early 20th century American Eugenicist organizations of the world do exist and have existed and quite frankly have occasionally engaged in pretty weirdo experiments at the cost of civil rights often against people who cannot protect themselves. Power corrupts, and every now and then the authorities in charge really can get out of line with some nefarious weird shit, especially because kooks occasionally get in pretty powerful positions.

I give Maddow a pass on this though. I mean, look, there's crazy and psychotic. On any given night you can listen to Coast to Coast on the radio and hear the crazies with a lower case "c." A lot of them aren't psychotic, just neurotic with an edge, with a lack of good critical thinking skills thrown in. My father died in a mental hospital with pretty nasty lifetime bouts of undiluted schizophrenia the throes of which got pretty out there during which he never sounded as good as this woman. It hurts to have people make fun of you, but in a political atmosphere where legislation is being enacted based on kookiness, public shaming through humor can be useful, particularly over the last few years of sometimes bizarro political activism at the mass scale with nary an ounce of empiricism undergirding these movements' ideas.

There are occasionally bouts of mass hysteria; shall we eliminate that from the possibility of fun poking as well? Certainly those poor souls during the mass dancing epidemics of the middle ages and the craziness surrounding the "Mad Gasser of Mattoon" were troubled as well...but insane? Victims to the point where fun-poking is a tasteless abomination?

It can work the other way too sometimes. There is a funny book that came out a few years ago called "Them" by Jon Ronson that covers the rise of the nut David Icke who believes that the Bush family, Margaret Thatcher, Kris Kristoffersen, and evidently, Boxcar Willie, among several others are actually shape-shifting lizard aliens known as the Annunaki (the whole line of thinking is idiotic, but for some reason I am especially struck by the Boxcar Willie of it all. How did he come up with that one?). In any case, Icke sells books all over the world and for a guy who is pretty kooky doesn't seem to me to manifest true psychosis. Sit down with Icke, and I suspect he can probably do his own taxes, tip waiters, and do all the things ordinary sane folks can do which true psychotics in a morass of full-fledged thought disorder generally cannot.

At an Icke reading Ronson attended, the Anti-Defamation League were outside protesting. Ronson investigates: Icke believes the shape-shifting lizard people wrote that grand-daddy of conspiracy hoaxes, the Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. This certainly might merit an appearance by the ADL, but Ronson -- and perhaps this was latitudinal journalistic gloss, but I'm not so sure -- Ronson meets with the ADL who, as I recall, averred repeatedly to Ronson that when Icke spoke about shape-shifting lizard Annunaki, he was actually speaking in knowing code about the Jewish people in an anti-Semitic way. This is not to say Icke isn't an anti-Semite. He might well be. I don't know. Nevertheless, Ronson spends I think a couple or three meetings attempting to convince the ADL that Icke really really does believe in the shape-shifting lizard aliens. And after reading some Icke myself, and listening to a few of his interviews, I believe he is in earnest. I don't think it's an act. He is a kook -- but not psychotic. At the end the ADL sort of relent.

Making fun of the village idiot is cruel, but when we start legislating based on kooky, I think a bit of humor isn't wholly inappropriate if not salutary, and in the current political climate, simply necessary.
posted by CarsonDyle at 1:33 AM on April 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


« Older MINDS ON THE EDGE: Facing Mental Illness is a mult...  |  Can't get enough of the Darwy... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments