Will we allow ourselves to become Cyborgs?

Will we allow ourselves to become Cyborgs?
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One of the comments in the article says "first it's cool, then it's convenient, then it becomes legally required. Then you're a bad parent if you don't put it on your children, and finally, your kids can't go to school without it."


A Swedish company is now implanting their employees with a microchip that functions as a swipe card to open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.

We knew it was coming, but are we going to sit back and allow this as we have with all of the prior invasions of privacy that we casually shrugged off, accepted, and now have to deal with? It will be sold to us as convenience and "Cool Tech". "Early Adapters" will preach "I gotta have it, dude!". Nobody will read the entire 868 page "User Agreement", and then the corporations will jump in, reading your personal data and whereabouts with chip readers in sidewalks, in store aisles, in traffic sensors, on drones, and on airlines. Cops will read your RFID chip and write updated violation and criminal information back into it. Your boss will be able to see if you are having any sexual relations with coworkers, the bartender will not only know your favorite drink, but just like the police officer, will know how many you have consumed based on the chip's recently developed alcohol concentration subroutine. And of course, you won't be able to start your brand new BMW without one, board an airline, or make any credit purchases. On-board memory capacity will not be an issue, as virtually every interaction, location, physical health status, and who knows what else will be uploaded in realtime to "The Cloud". The infrastructure to support it is already in place.

Some of us know exactly where this will go.

This will make the smart phone look like a sticky note or an abacus.

I am curious about your opinion. Are you a person that really thinks this is cool? Do you believe it will be the next big beneficial leap in technology? Or do you believe that it will be the final nail in the coffin of privacy?



Robert Hubbard Added Apr 4, 2017 - 2:29pm
No. Not cool.  It is just as described.  A methodology to know who, what, when, where and how much about everyone that "they" want to conform.  Independent thinkers (those without the chip) will be ostracized and labeled as "troublemakers."  Those that "have" will have the chip.  Those without will be the "have nots."  Not that we don't have that today, but with the chip, it will be easier to segregate the "undesirables" from the conformists.  Uniformity and conformity is the "desired norm." Everything and everyone else are the left-behinds.
Robert Hubbard Added Apr 4, 2017 - 2:31pm
Then there's the biblical connotations. A whole separate string.
EXPAT Added Apr 4, 2017 - 2:57pm
Excellent assessment of where the developed world is headed. I wrote a similar article awhile back where people had an Apple Chip implanted that provided  APP information direct to the brain.
But your analysis is much more realistic, and won't authority be tempted to upgrade the chip to include behavior modification via the nervous system.
Richard Plank Added Apr 4, 2017 - 3:00pm
Actually this has been done before, using active RFID under the skin for entrance into a Spanish nightclub about 2012 or so.  Probably not the first.  The question is relative Bill.   How it might be used is what may or may not be cool.  All societies have rules and regulations and all rules and regulations have unintended consequences so it is not even easy to grasp much less come to any general conclusion.  AI works in simple  things and never makes mistakes why an AI robot can beat out a human in games as eventually the  human makes a mistake much sooner than a robot  has a malfunction.  Some things repetition and consistency is good and it impacts all of us mostly positively.  Some things it is not.  Being alert and active to the plus and minus is what we as a group have to be.  Only we can control whether or not this is the final nail in the coffin.  Note the major assumption on my part of our ability to control.
George N Romey Added Apr 4, 2017 - 4:21pm
Since everything "high tech" is considered must have by people and business yes the robots will replace us as we kill each other off or die of starvation. 
Bill H. Added Apr 4, 2017 - 4:24pm
Thanks to all so far for the comments.
I can just imagine the many ways that this technology can and undoubtedly will be misused initially under the guise of "convenience" and then more and more in the name of corporate profits.
Sadly there are many out there similar to the people shown on the video that will blindly accept it as a part of normal "progress".
I'm sure Apple is working on the premier model of the IBrain at their skunk works right now.
Dino Manalis Added Apr 4, 2017 - 5:23pm
Robots are enough, we don't want humans to become cyborgs!
Richard Plank Added Apr 4, 2017 - 5:57pm
I agree with you Bill, but I really think the notion of corporate profits is coming to a close.  It may take 25 years it may take 50 years, but new business models are already out there.  Currently investors have an option, but eventually they will be very limited due to a zero or negative growth situation.  Everything is driven by population growth; when that stops what becomes of all we cherish?  A lot of it goes in the crapper.  If  you believe this planet can hold 20 billion people then it will continue  until at least then.  I think it needs about 4 and after that we start really harming it.  So at 7.5 climbing to  10 by 2100 I am not too sure we face a good future and by 2200 could be extinct as a species.  About 1995 I finally abandoned the assumption that had comforted me for so many years; that is science and technology will fix it.  Well guess what?  Sometimes it causes more harm than good so that assumption went in the crapper.  Unless we make some major breakthroughs in science  and tech this planet is doomed or we make a conscious effort to slow and go to a negative growth model by limited births or have some calamity and kill off a lot.  I like the low birth rate version.
Tamara Wilhite Added Apr 4, 2017 - 6:11pm
Cybernetics are moral and value-added when making up for handicaps - artificial joints to repair what arthritis has destroyed, artificial eyes to restore sight to the blind, artificial kidneys and pancreas to improve and restore human lives.
Enhancements to create "super" people should be rejected.
Bill H. Added Apr 4, 2017 - 6:50pm
Richard- I know there is a big rock out there in space with our name on it. Stuff like this will just make the inevitable happen quicker.
Tamara- I totally agree 100%. Technology when used correctly is an undeniable benefit to all. When greed utilizes technology in negative ways for profit, it gives technology a black eye.
Back in 1974, I was involved with a group of  techno-nerds working on finding ways to utilize the new Altair 8800 home computer (the first of it's type) to automate many tasks. We were in constant contact with people like Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Monte Davidoff, and Don Tarbell trying to work the bugs out of this new hobbyist technology. There were discussions about "crossing the line", relating to how attempting certain functions may make people uncomfortable and turn them off to the technology.
Not only have we crossed that line, but with what is now happening, it may actually trigger a technology revolt, which I personally would like to witness before I die. 
Leroy Added Apr 4, 2017 - 7:55pm
Technology has always been a double-edged sword.  It's definitely cool.  I would love to have a robotic exoskeleton that made me 50 times stronger.  I could do almost any labor intensive task with ease.  Of course, it could also make someone dangerous.  Gasoline is highly dangerous, but I use it every day.
I turned off all the tracking features of Google.  It didn't last too long.  I missed all the things that Google could do.  Yes.  It can be used against me.
And, I love my Amazon Alexa.  Don't know what I would do without it.  Between Google, Alexa, and IFTTT, there is so much you can do.  Maybe I'm a child at heart, but I enjoy telling Google to open the garage door and hearing it say, "Aye. Aye. Captain".  To appreciate it, you really have to give up a lot of your privacy.  Is it worth it?  Time will tell, but I certainly enjoy it. 
Bill H. Added Apr 4, 2017 - 10:56pm
Leroy, I suspect your garage door salesman will contact you after 1500 operational modes for a "yearly maintenance service" since he will probably be getting all of the data on your garage door activity from Google.
Alexa will be listening for those giveaway "moans" from the bedroom that will be passed on to the companies that market Viagra and Cialis.
You would be entirely surprised to see how your data is acquired, sorted, and distributed in this day and age. I'm not sure who your broadband supplier is, but by any chance have you noticed a recent increase in  TV commercials related to your hobbies, health, or other activities such as buying habits lately?
If I uttered any more details about what I know or was involved in during my tenure in the broadband communication industry, I would probably loose my pension.
The key "hooker" is convenience, "coolness", and self satisfaction.
I remember it was the same in a way for smoking when I was in High School.
Any resemblance ?
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 5, 2017 - 1:40am
Short answer: Yes. 
The same way you meekly allow big pharma/gov't to poison you with immunizations and allow corporations to invade your privacy just to get a job. You have been taught and have embraced abject obedience. 
Mircea Negres Added Apr 5, 2017 - 5:10am
Good one, Bill. I'll look at the article you referenced shortly. The situation you described reminds me of the movie Demolition Man and the following quotes:
"Edgar Friendly: You got that right. See, according to Cocteau's plan, I'm the enemy. Cause I like to think, I like to read. I'm into freedom of speech and freedom of choice. I'm the kind if guy who wants to sit in a greasy spoon and think, "Gee, should I have the T-bone steak or the jumbo rack of barbecued ribs with the side order of gravy fries?" I want high cholesterol. I want to eat bacon, butter and buckets of cheese, okay? I want to smoke a Cuban cigar the size of Cincinnati in a non-smoking section. I wanna run through the streets naked with green Jello all over my body reading Playboy magazine. Why? Because I suddenly might feel the need to. Okay, pal? I've seen the future, you know what it is? It's a 47-year-old virgin sittin' around in his beige pajamas, drinking a banana-broccoli shake singing "I'm an Oscar-Meyer Wiener". You wanna live on top, you gotta live Cocteau's way. What he wants, when he wants, how he wants. Your other choice: come down here, maybe starve to death."

"John Spartan: Now, Phoenix could be anywhere, but not being coded could hurt him and limit his options...
A Cop: That is correct. Money is outmoded. All transactions are through code.
John Spartan: All right, so he can't buy food or a place to stay for the night. It would be a waste of time to mug somebody... Unless he rips off somebody's hand, and let's hope he doesn't figure that one out!"

to which my response is often
"John Spartan: Why don't you just shove a leash up my ass?"
I think in the future coming our way "more Soylent Green, anyone?" will become quite prevalent...
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 5, 2017 - 8:47am
Great story and yes it will be abused, as is all technology in one form or another either by individuals or corporations or Governments.
Ever hear of those card readers where someone gets close enough to read your credit card through your clothes?  Then they use the information to make a fake card with your info to steal stuff.  What happens when they figure out how to steal the info from your implant?
Today we have special wallets to keep your credit cards in, so will we have to wear special gloves to protect our implants?
Technology will be the end of the human race as we know it some day, nuclear weapons could do that easily enough and now that some extremely unstable Nations are looking to have them that seems inevitable but we also have crazy designer chemical weapons and I have always believed the reason why we always get the flu every year is because some drug companies  keep releasing new versions to help sell their products, lol.
Something truly nasty is going to get out of a lab some day.
But if not, then we can look forward to an existence like what we saw in the movie Wall-E where machines and computers do everything and we just get fat and lazy and get "taken care of".
Bill H. Added Apr 5, 2017 - 11:54am
Absolutely Louis! I have friends that keep their cell phones in a shielded box while driving so that their auto insurance company can't monitor their real-time driving habits, such as actual speed versus speed limit, accumulated mileage, commuting areas, and favorite stopover locations, which they can do with information that they purchase from cell phone carriers and also resell to other users. Hackers can easily geolocate anyone with the same info sources. RFID proximity reader apps used with proximity reader devices that plug into cell phones can get your card info from several feet away if used with a high-gain antenna and a preamp. If you use a supermarket discount card when you shop, your health insurance company is well aware of how much beef, booze, and cigarettes you purchase, and will adjust your premium accordingly.
Many large retail outlets are using grid locaters within their stores that pinpoint your location via you cell phone within 1 foot in the aisles. If you have ever hung around the flat screen TV aisle at Walmart for a period of time and returned home to find an overload of flat screen TV ads on both your computer and TV, you now know why. Here is one case that raised some furor:
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 5, 2017 - 12:15pm
I noticed a long time ago that if you look up something on the internet like your television example at Amazon, suddenly places like facebook have those advertisements on them.
And I am sure if we got the chips as you talk about we would see even more, this brings to mind the movie minority report where they used eye scans for the same purpose and when the guy got new eyes, stores were telling him about items for sale the previous owner of those eyes liked, lol.
So we walk into a mall, and suddenly they address you by name and tell you about a sale on items you were looking up on the internet earlier in the day or even last week,
Leroy Added Apr 5, 2017 - 2:03pm
You're absolutely correct, Bill, although your particular examples don't apply to me. Google always knows where I go and where I have been.  Amazon knows what I have looked at on it's website.  So does Facebook.  It can be used against you.  With just a little information, anyone with moderate skills can triangulate almost everything about you.  Someone recent told us how James Comey was unmasked on social media.
Dr. Rupert Green Added Apr 5, 2017 - 4:15pm
@ Bill. 
"Some of us know exactly where this will go.
This will make the smart phone look like a sticky note or an abacus.
I am curious about your opinion. Are you a person that really thinks this is cool? Do you believe it will be the next big beneficial leap in technology? Or do you believe that it will be the final nail in the coffin of privacy?"
You are looking at the future. And any disgust is equatable to folks in the 1870s who laugh at those two "loony tunes" trying to make a flying machine. It is similar to the utterance of good Christian folks who remarked if God wanted men to fly he would have given them wings.  
Doug Plumb Added Apr 5, 2017 - 7:15pm
I certainly believe that there is a monolithic conspiracy, but technology itself has this effect on people. Rousseau, Plato and others have commented on the corrupting and weakening influence of technology. Jaques Ellul writes a well receeved book from the 70's, The Technological Society.
Bill H. Added Apr 5, 2017 - 8:31pm
Louis - Yep, I'll bet Apple is even now working on the I-eye!
Leroy - I have always avoided places like Amazon, Facebook, and I am not signed up for Google. I also use a VPN when needed to avoid getting ID'd.
Rupert - I shouldn't have used those examples, as it maybe does make it look like I approve of the implant device, which I absolutely do not. Again - I am for technology that improves lives without detracting from privacy, which it seems virtually all social media sites and most of the search engines are guilty of. I also am against the present trend of business priorities being based strictly on spreadsheet numbers with virtually no human "gut feel", emotions, or human logic involved.
Doug - Hopefully people will soon realize that many of the benefits of technology in this area are being outweighed by ever-increasing negatives and will begin to speak up and "just say no" to privacy invasion and search engine manipulation filtering algorithms (Do a search on Search Engine Manipulation Effect (SEME). We need to get people out of their search engine created bubbles and back to logical thinking (if this is possible at this point).
Louis E Weeks Added Apr 6, 2017 - 9:00am
So Bill,
I found myself thinking about your story so much that I decided to hit up a few of my geeky hacker friends I developed over the years and out of 11 computer geeks, only 1 showed any real concern with what negative aspects could come from this sort of thing, the other 10 all said they would love to get an implant and see just how much could be done with them.
They went into never having to carry any form of wallet and how everything from credit cards to drivers licences could be stored on a chip in your hand and scanned.  Two of my friends are women who complained at length at having to carry a purse when they go out being a pain in the ass and having the chip would mean no more purses.
The one holdout who did not think it a good idea said he would consider it if they were out for a few years without bad issues, so he wanted to wait and see, not openly against the idea.
So I think the idea you propose is going to be very acceptable to many people, especially those who are tech savvy and use their smart phones.  It should be noteworthy that all of my hacker friends own iphones, lol.  There is something about the trendy technology crowd that I believe makes them more susceptible to being manipulated into thinking all this is good. 
Bill Caciene Added Apr 6, 2017 - 9:10am
A microchip does not make us cyborgs, but I agree there is a slippery slope to worry about. However, is it really all that different from using our phones to do all those things?  Is it really an invasion of privacy if employees have the option to use the chip or not?
Bill H. Added Apr 6, 2017 - 11:59am
Louis - You have just described what scares me about today's society and how easily they fall into the trap. This is how successful corporate manipulation has become. Believe me, I spent over 30 years in an industry who's number one priority was just this.
Bill - Technically, it is not an invasion of privacy if one agrees to allow it to occur. The issue is that it will be sold to them initially to open doors and access printers. The next step will be just like you see with the phones, all kinds of apps and programmable sensors will be added that will be taken advantage of for the only objective of collecting personal information for the profit of the collector under the guise of personal convenience. 
Dr. Rupert Green Added Apr 6, 2017 - 1:08pm
Cyborg is bigger than the present discussion; its about a leap into the future. Currently technology is making people a problem. Fingers too big. I am sure some maybe thinking of evolution to have smaller fingers, but that would be an idiotic move.  Voice command is here. To explain the bigger picture, humans are star beings and their present body is incompatible for space travel, as the developing fetus was incompatible for the universe called the womb.  As cavemen evolved, humans will evolve into creatures suited for space travel. Thousand of years from now. Who has time to wait that long. In comes cyborgs.  But even so, we are still not ready. The space vehicle to make hyper jump as opposed to light year travel is far away. Interestingly, if religion did not hold sway, that vehicle could have been near developed, as well as we may have long been annihilated by earlier development of the N bomb.
Mike Haluska Added Apr 6, 2017 - 1:40pm
Bill H - I have a feeling that you would thoroughly enjoy the Syfy Channel's reimagining of "Battlestar Galactica".  They took a campy Star Wars rip-off and made one of the best TV programs ever.
Leroy Added Apr 6, 2017 - 2:06pm
Privacy is starting to become as big a problem as the lack of privacy.  Due to privacy rules, you can't see the other side of the closing costs of a real estate transaction.  It's a huge problem.  Unless you can see both sides, the accounting doesn't add up.  Today, I contacted Human Resources with an issue.  He cited HIPPA rules preventing him from knowing certain information.  I was advised to call a 3rd party.  The 3rd party was like "We only monitor the situation.  We don't do anything."  It has to get permission to talk to other departments before it can tell me anything.  I try to straighten out an issue with the health insurer. Even though I pay all the bills, I have to have my wife to give permission to talk about the billing.  When departments are only allowed to know a small subset of information, the responsibility is left to you to sort it all out where once you could call the responsible department and arrive at an answer. 
Jeffry Gilbert Added Apr 6, 2017 - 3:08pm
When departments are only allowed to know a small subset of information, the responsibility is left to you to sort it all out where once you could call the responsible department and arrive at an answer. 
Its designed to make getting an answer so daunting most people won't even attempt it. 
Bill H. Added Apr 6, 2017 - 3:31pm
Thanks, Mike - I am a big sci fi fan!
Leroy - I think the whole situation you describe is based around the issue of disappearing privacy. As an example, personal medical information needs to be kept from both existing and possible future employers to avoid discrimination based on pressure on employers from the medical insurance industry.
As corporations and other entities employ technology to try and find out everything about us, increased efforts must be made by others to protect that information.
My previous employer would use the GPS feature on the company issued Blackberry phones to observe which managers and directors were meeting up with other company employees after hours, and which local drinking establishments were frequented by company employees, along with how much time certain employees spent at the location. There was even a 3-person I.T. sub-department that was dedicated to spying on employees. I was "counseled" twice for violations. One for constantly disabling the GPS feature on the phone (which they cured by doing daily software polling), and the other for keeping the phone in a metal candy box while driving.
Leroy Added Apr 6, 2017 - 4:13pm
Bill, it is one of the reasons why I decline to let my company pay for my mobile phone service.  I don't use my mobile for company email.  I don't publish my number.  One recent employee who retired was "allowed" to keep his mobile which he paid for and his phone number.  If you allow the company to pay for the service, you pretty much gift it to the company for the privilege.
I always get the creeps whenever a boss wants to connect with me on Facebutt or LinkedIn.
Richard Plank Added Apr 6, 2017 - 5:28pm
Bill you used to work for a creepy company I would guess.  What is going on out there is that companies are even more concerned about secrecy since other forms of the protection of knowledge assets are becoming less appropriate.  So you had a staff of people spending all this time checking up on you?  back in the 80's one of the tech companies had something similar but they had a good reason; the government had cracked down on gifts and what not and violations could mean big penalties to them so they instituted a snitch system which reminded me of Germany in the 1930's and early 40's and I told my friend that over a bunch of beers; we had a good laugh.  I don't want to defend stupidity but sometimes these things might be necessary.   And as an employee you do have some fiduciary duty you might recall just as they have a duty to you, although admittedly the power is skewed.
Bill H. Added Apr 6, 2017 - 8:29pm
I worked for a major broadband communications company. It was a great company to work for, but after 9/11 our operation was considered a target for terrorists, so many security measures were implemented of which some were abused to satisfy the whims of upper management, security, and the HR department. Our company also supplied redundant data and telephone circuits for several local Federal buildings that contained offices for the FBI, CIA, DIS, and DHS, so many of our employees were required to have a TS security clearance which subjected them to constant monitoring.
We were not allowed to use personal devices to access company email or conduct any phone conversations pertaining to work or conversing with other employees.
Mark Hunter Added Apr 7, 2017 - 3:44am
Can't say I'm thrilled with the idea.
Thomas Napers Added Apr 7, 2017 - 8:26am
Bill - Regarding your last comment, are you in disagreement with the measures your company took to ensure the safety of Americans?  To be sure, some measures were probably unnecessary, but in light of the fact your customers were our most important government security and intelligence appartus can you blame your company for being extra precautious?  Besides, your company was probably only doing what it was required to do in order to do business with the government.  So to the extent you have any ill-will, it should not be directed at your firm. 
Bill H. Added Apr 7, 2017 - 12:36pm
I agreed with all of the security measures that were taken. Many of them were required to be able to provide communications services to the government agencies. I had also spent some time with another company working on military radar countermeasure projects, which not only required a TS+ clearance, but most of the work was performed at "black" sites well off the beaten track. I understand and completely agree with all requirements.
The only practices that I disagreed with (as I stated) were those illegal and/or unethical practices that were being performed by select people in the company simply to satisfy their own curiosity or to obtain information that could be used to terminate or cause resignation of older employees or those that they felt did not fit in with the "company culture". None of these were part of the government requirements, but were conducted using some of the tools and practices that were part of the government security package.
Joe Chiang Added Apr 7, 2017 - 2:00pm
There is one viewpoint not mentioned here.  I think everyone got the big brother issue nailed.  I am sure it will be MUCH worse than anything imagined here.
But we WILL have these.  In addition, it will be co-sponsored by the government.  So the government can get its "fair share" of your money, all transactions will be by an electronic chip.  Therefore, if you do not have a chip, you will not be able to buy a pack of gum, you will not be able to sell your car unless you have a chip.
The bio-people have already said the most reasonable place to put these is in your hand or on your forehead.  But what many people do not seem to realize is that the Bible said we would be in this exact situation, not being able to buy or sell unless you have the "mark of the beast" in the palm of your hand or on your forehead.  Just the accuracy of the Bible being proven out AGAIN 2000 to 3000 years AFTER it was written.
Leroy Added Apr 7, 2017 - 5:29pm
Here's a story that appeared today that is relevant to the discussion.
In some cases, employees have pushed back — so far, without much success. In California, a woman named target="_blank">Myrna Arias discovered that a company app she’d installed on her phone was tracking her whereabouts 24/7 — yet another form of employee surveillance. She uninstalled the app — and was fired. She sued, her complaint stating that, “Her manager made it clear that he was using the program to continuously monitor her, during company as well as personal time.” The case was settled out of court.
The article also talks about the trend of having a snack bar at the workplace that uses your fingerprint.  We have that.  Don't use it.  Then it talks healthcare incentives and how it can be used against you.  We have that. 
Bill H. Added Apr 7, 2017 - 7:58pm
The corporations have all agreed to try and get this technology implemented for obvious reasons (profits). Of course, they will try to implement it as "required for employment", and the self-professed "techies" will promote is as being cool or the latest tech innovation. I am in no way a conspiracy person, but it is obvious to me what could happen if the normal "no clue" populace allows this to advance.
Tamara Wilhite Added Apr 10, 2017 - 11:17pm
A common trend: You get the carrot now, it gets widely adopted, and now you're penalized for not doing it.
I can imagine such a trend with health monitors currently incentivized by health insurers ending up as a penalty if you do NOT wear one to show you're active enough to be worth the lower insurance rate. That isn't an implanted device, but it is constant monitoring.
Bill H. Added Apr 11, 2017 - 3:25pm
It's being implemented in a way by auto insurance companies in the form of real-time driving habit monitoring to achieve discounts. Of course they already get this info from your cell phone in most cases, but don't want you to know this.
Joe Chiang Added Apr 11, 2017 - 7:53pm
One of the BIG discussion in the education arena is data mining through computerized curriculum and testing.  These companies and the government already know more about you through your children's responses to school materials than you know about yourself.  And this will only get worse.  The purpose of this data mining is so children can be "guided" to the correct education plan as determined by some program.  That program NEVER leads to self employment, but to becoming a cog in some business.
Joe Chiang Added Apr 11, 2017 - 7:55pm
Just happened to go to an article about this very topic.  Here is a link to that article:  https://gadflyonthewallblog.wordpress.com/2017/04/08/standardized-testing-creates-captive-markets/
Stone-Eater Added Apr 12, 2017 - 6:34am
Just sick. And people seem not to recover from their stupidity.
Joe Chiang Added Apr 12, 2017 - 11:39am
I guess the "Stupid" pills we feed our children in Middle School work real well.  LOL  That is why they are able to "work fractions" in elementary, but in Middle school they are no longer able to "work fractions".  LOL  Actually the real problem is the incorrect way fractions are taught in elementary, but students are able to pass the elementary test on them.  But because they are not being taught correctly, they are not able to apply what they learned in Middle School and therefore cannot work Middle School fractions.  But the administrators blame the Middle school teachers because the children were able to "solve fractions" in elementary.  Maybe you have noticed, I think education is really messed up.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:27am
While I disagree with Joe's Christian mythology views I pray enough people subscribe to it, or something close enough to it that this nightmare never becomes required in our society. Things are screwed up enough as is. Even if no one abused this technology (yea right, good luck with that) who wants to undergo surgery for a new upgraded implant every few years? I don't foresee groups divided by adapters and non-adapters based on beliefs as much as $. As usual the poor will get screwed and crime, off the grid, grow by leaps and bounds in the new low tech neighborhoods. Best if we can just avoid this garbage all together before it gets out of control. 
Bill H. Added Apr 13, 2017 - 1:31am
Jenifer - It will be up to people to resist invasive technology like this. People have simply sat back and allowed corporations to cross the line on privacy invasion for too long. Just look at where we are now compared to when "hobby" computing first hit the scene in 1974.
If people actually got off their dead asses and made their voices heard, present privacy invasion levels could actually be reversed. The most effective means of change would be simply not to purchase software, do not use apps, or do not subscribe to social media that sucks the users for every last ounce of personal information it can grab.
As an interesting side note, a neighbor down the street from me shot a drone  out of the sky a few days ago that was being flown around the neighborhood by a local real estate agent with his favorite weapon, a Whamo Wrist Rocket sling shot from his childhood that he still had in the garage. So far it appears that the owner of the downed drone has no clue who nailed it! The drone has been buzzing around occasionally for over a year, and was noted for hovering for long periods over properties that were not for sale (especially his yard). He suspected it was trying to get some shots of his teenage daughter using the swimming pool.
 Some time back I wrote an article on drones here on WB.
Joe Chiang Added Apr 13, 2017 - 12:44pm
I hope I am wrong.  This scenario would be the worst of possible scenarios. But the Bible says it will happen through what it calls "The Mark of the Beast".  Nothing in the Bible has ever been proven false.  It just seems more than likely with the Biblical projection, technological capability, and a government/business cronyism and desire for data mining increasing that this method of data mining where individuals go, whet they read, what they buy, and maybe even what they think or at least what areas of their brain are being stimulated.  Would Obama or Hillary have implemented this had they been able?  I believe they would.  So what would stop the next President like them or the next.  Eventually one will get in power who will do this and the USA will cease existing as a nation and 1984 will be here just a few decades later than that prediction.
wsucram15 Added Apr 13, 2017 - 4:57pm
Bill good article and topic.  They would have to kill me to actually put something like that in me, however...you are tracked by almost everything you use.
Your phone, debit or credit card, license, phone, transit card or epass, etc... they all link. If someone with access ( or a hacker )wants that data, its not hard to get.  Now with new legislation, it will be even easier.
George N Romey Added Apr 13, 2017 - 5:28pm
Jeanne unfortunately it will be sold as a mandatory item.  Like today you can't get a job without a LI profile and you know that LI is selling your identity information.  
Richard Plank Added Apr 13, 2017 - 5:48pm
Hey Joe nothing in the bible has even been proven true either.  We toss around the word proof a little too loosely I think.   Must be from your days in geometry with their notion of proof.  After 3000 years or so of intellectual debate there is no one definitive answer but the general consensus is you don't prove anything you disprove a specific usually small issue; that is the data you collect does not fit the model you are proposing based on whatever theory you might be testing and you move on.   In math you have assumptions that are unproven so your proof is subject to those assumptions. 
In any case I really don't believe many of the dire predictions expressed here.  I suspect if it ever comes to that our species will likely go extinct first.  This will evolve over time;  The IOT or more properly the industrial internet a term  hijacked by GE is certainly a big issue here.   If you want a business view of business opportunity this is a easy but comprehensive read;
As long as we have a shareholder model of business rather than a stakeholder model of business you can depend on them to act in certain ways.  That will change, again or we will not survive, but those of us who think about it and are working on it see it 25-50 or more years out and it may be too late.
wsucram15 Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:29pm
Bill,  Good topic and article...Im not ready to surrender although everything we do is already tracked from your transit cards or chips in your car window to credit cards to photo is and so on...let alone your cell phone.
However, with those items we have an option to walk away, which I often do and I love it.  I actually dont care why they are doing chips into babies (which I have heard) or adults, they will have to force or kill me first.  Im not sure there is one person on the planet that needs to know where I am every second of the day, not one.
wsucram15 Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:31pm
I just saw the part about Google..I have a VPN.  Google tries to block me when I go into the tunnel and I get emails about it from both Google and Microsoft (I have outlook.) Im getting ready to change my email because of this..but Im afraid most of the tracking on data and information is here to stay.
George N Romey Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:35pm
I get emails when I sign into email from another device other than my laptop or phone and that tells me that I am being tracked.  The email always asks"did you just sign in on another device?"  Yes I did and its none of your business.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:41pm
Yes it's very annoying that Google won't stop tracking you. I use Puffin Browser for my Android device because it tricks websites into thinking I'm on a PC so I can get the entire site not the crappy mobile version. But Puffin servers run out of South America, so if I sign into Google on Puffin Google freaks the hell out. Ugh! 
Joe Chiang Added Apr 13, 2017 - 6:53pm
Richard.  There was 3000 years of prophesy which culminated in Jesus' birth life, death, and resurrection.  Adding all the years in the Bible is about 5000 years.  We now have proof, via the space dust accumulated on the moon, that indeed the earth and moon are about 5000 years old.  The flood was considered regional for a long time, but sea fossils on the tops of mountains all over the world prove otherwise.  Israel becoming a nation in modern times was thought to be an error until they became a nation in modern times.  And the list goes on and on.  If you have not seen the proof, then you have not been looking.  
BTW mathematical proofs are both direct proofs and indirect proofs.  Your mathematical reference only refers to one of those.  :)
Bill H. Added Apr 16, 2017 - 10:45am
This wasn't intended to become a political article, but then it is WB.
The main by-product of technology abuse is profit. Therefore a blind eye is cast when then negatives are obvious. The users or "subjects" of the technology are often unaware that a product or "app" they are using is collecting personal information as it was sold to them as something else (Amazon Echo, Google Home Voice Assistant) and they have no clue as to how the technology actually operates.
A good recent example of readily accepted invasive technology is the Waze app. It provides some pretty advanced GPS features, but is basically a way for just about anyone to know where you are, where you have been, your driving habits, who you are (based on your license plate), the fact that you are not home, how long it will take you to get home, and what ads to fire at you based on your location. Of course, your driving habits are shared with many of the WAZE "affiliates" including your auto insurance company and other companies that harvest information for you employer and law enforcement. Yes, the day may come when the next text message you receive will be a traffic ticket based on WAZE or simply phone GPS data. Of course, this can be instantly paid with your PayPal account or VISA card info from your phone.
If one is smart, they will resist technology like this, but of course I'm sure an advanced version of the WAZE app will simply be imbedded in version 2.1 of the implanted microchip operating system (IMOS V2.1).
Joe Chiang Added Apr 16, 2017 - 12:42pm
Bill, well said.  Data mining is a real problem that many people do not understand is and how bad a problem this is.  This IS the fight many parents are waging in our public schools today.  Data mining is embedded in on-line computer curriculum and testing, yes including the Common Core testing.  Even the camera on school computers is used to remotely be turned on to watch what the student is doing when not in school.  k-3 are being tracked in likes and dislikes so the computer writers can "Guide" the little one in what classes to take and what job they will be permitted to do when they grow up.
Red Breast Added May 5, 2017 - 6:19am
Interesting subject and assessment. Not cool!

“You could set up your life so you never have to worry about any password or PINs” – This is what many people say about it. Looks to be a norm.
This, for me is disappointing. That lots of people naively embrace this tech without thinking further.

While it is easy to demonize technology, I can’t imagine taking the chip for the crystal clear reasons you write: surveillance and enforced control.

Maybe one question would be: How to ensure individual privacy in society while allowing for efficient personal data storage and use. Any suggestions for an alternative solution?

If “staying backwards” regarding this tech is the only solution for maintaining the rights of a private individual – I will go for that. But those rights are about to vanish. And this is because people don’t care enough about their rights nor their privacy. Many are more concerned about having their instant short term needs satisfied than worrying about tech. So it’s very convenient for the stakeholders who want to push through this - there is little / no resistance.
Joe Chiang Added May 5, 2017 - 12:18pm
Will our government protect us from this?  Our government will probably embrace this technology to control incomes and taxes.  Prostitution?  Pay electronically and the government gets their tax cut.  She pays her "sales representative" (Pimp), the government gets their cut in taxes.  So sad.
Bill H. Added May 27, 2017 - 12:05pm
Thanks for all of the insight and comments!
Bottom line is that it is up to society to control their digital world. As long as we just sit back and allow the corporations to control it, they will make it even worse and we will simply become their puppets.
Years ago I dropped both my FB and LinkedIn accounts when I received the yearly "We are updating our Privacy Policy" note and discovered that buried in the text and sublinks was yet another major loss of my privacy being covered up as "A new feature designed to enhance your digital experience and tailor our features to further serve you better"
G Rajagopalan Nair Added Jun 26, 2017 - 9:54am
Our date with technology started right from committing the spoken word into writing, using paper and writing instruments, development of printing and publishing with later add-on like abacus, slide-rule, calculators, computers and smart phones, and the internet of things. AI and robots will populate commercial and personal spaces where humans are likely to evolve into super-intelligent beings operating as critical interfaces in a world of machines and humans. There is no point dreading the advance of technology because there is no stopping it. Humankind, presumably, is set to evolve and adapt to changes or perish in the process.
JJ Montagnier Added Jun 30, 2017 - 11:57am
We are going to run out of energy before this kind of thing can be implemented everywhere. At some point all available energy will have to be preserved for critical systems: 
Bill H. Added Jun 30, 2017 - 12:31pm
If we can retain control of our own technology and use it for our good, then that is fine.
We are constantly seeing more and more negative applications of technology resulting in more control of our lives and an ever-deepening probing of our personal and private information. We are also allowing our technology to make decisions for us, many of which should only be made by humans possibly using information supplied by technology.
This is the bad side.
wsucram15 Added Jun 30, 2017 - 1:01pm
BilH..this is the kind of stuff that keeps me up at night.
Its been a coupe of years or so, but I  trained in a I guess online class on how these things connect and what is used to connect point a to point b and so on...  I know I have talked about it.  For example Ez pass to license to credit card to location, depends on devices used, like cell.  (although in the demo they used a subway pass).  Now this is what they can do now and track you via your own cell phone with or w/o audio and video.   It can also be done in the reverse via your phone with a small imsi catcher by anyone, they are pretty cheap.  Creepy.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ucRWyGKBVzo
They monitored my city and utilized someone cell phone from across the world...watch it!
You can make your phone go black  but you need to remove the features most people LOVE about their phones.  I turn mine off or leave it home.  I really dislike cell phones...and my laptop is no different but again, when Im offline, its off and I NEVER take it with me.  My daughter loves WAZE...but any program NOW ASKS for location...keep that in mind.  Its still voluntary..at least for now.
However, your story would eliminate quite a bit of effort on the part of anyone to monitor protestors, other groups and people in general.  They would have to kill me. 
wsucram15 Added Jun 30, 2017 - 1:04pm
Great article Bill
George N Romey Added Jun 30, 2017 - 1:25pm
As government gets desperate for money they are going to use Big Brother to track your "illegal activity."  For example they will track your driving and if you go over the speed limit wham you will get a speeding ticket emailed to you.  Walk across a Do Not Walk sign, same thing.  Big brother will watch your every move and slam you as soon as you have tripped some law, somewhere.
wsucram15 Added Jun 30, 2017 - 1:51pm
Ive had that happen..the cameras are hidden.  Eventually they will be in the "new" cars.
Lady Sekhmetnakt Added Jun 30, 2017 - 2:41pm
...to answer the article’s question. 
Bill H. Added Jun 30, 2017 - 10:14pm
Thanks to all who commented on the "comeback" of this post I wrote way back in April.
Yes, many phone apps are very useful, but a majority of them are useful to the user and profitable to the company(s) that mine the data that the apps provide. As an example, the popular WAZE app collects location, speed, and mileage data that is sold to their "affiliates" (as they call them in the user agreement), which includes insurance companies, car rental agencies, auto dealers, and whoever else pays the app provider for the information.
Cameras in cars will soon be on continuously, streaming live video from your car to the "cloud", which is the big data storage "tank" that virtually anyone will have access to.
Our privacy is for sale, and the sellers are out to make the word privacy disappear from the English language.
wsucram15 Added Jun 30, 2017 - 10:39pm
It was a good article..glad it came back for a second round!
The Burghal Hidage Added Jul 1, 2017 - 9:35am
A nice warning. What an inhumane contrivance! One can not look up anything from a browser any more without being bombarded by inane and unwanted ads. This foreshadows the awful prospect of these becoming so intrusive as to play in our ears or our heads without warning. There is no escape! Be silent. Consume. Die.
These are the new commandments
Bill H. Added Jul 1, 2017 - 11:02am
Here is an interesting paper concerning privacy issues of phone apps:
George N Romey Added Jul 1, 2017 - 11:54am
Yes all the FB, Mark Zuckerberg, Twitter lovers one day will find their life being destroyed as Big Brother is able to monitor their every move just waiting for a "gotcha event."  We will be forced to become compliant puppy dogs always scared the master will smack us on the nose. 
Joe Chiang Added Jul 2, 2017 - 6:29pm
Been a while since I have been on WB.
1.  Energy will not run out within the next billion years or so.  We have fossil fuel for the next half millennium.  But 24/7 reliable renewable energy is on its way and will be available within the next century, long before fossil fuel runs out.
2.  Zuckerburg's FB has already banned influential conservative posts, groups, and advertisements.  I had ordered 275k ads to be sent out when I was running for office.  The results showed when people saw the truth, they voted for me.  But after 73k went out and 70k voted for me, I might have won if the other 200k went out. So Zuckerburg pulled my ads, no reason given.  I have heard he has done this over and over to other conservatives to silence the truth.
The biggest obstacle liberals have to overcome is the truth.
Bill H. Added Jul 3, 2017 - 1:17am
I was hoping to keep politics out of this article, as the issues described affect all people. If we are so polarized that we are unable to unite for the one thing left that I would hope we all cherish, then we get have earned what is coming.
Are we now going to polarize privacy?
Joe Chiang Added Jul 3, 2017 - 2:08pm
Sorry Bill, it has already been polarized.  Liberals want to control EVERYTHING!  The method is to 1.  destroy the family unit (DONE)  2.  Marginalize Christianity (DONE)  3.  Reduce our education to unthinking robots (Still in progress)  4.  Change our society to believe in the Community over the Individual (in progress)  There is more, but I think you will see the point.  Our nation is in serious trouble.  The biological is just a small technological manifestation of the overall problem.  the goal is control.  The chip in the hand or forehead mentioned above is just one way to control commerce, this is also Biblical and is referred to as the "Mark of the Beast".  
Bill H. Added Jul 3, 2017 - 3:30pm
Please keep the obviously slanted political rants to the political posts. Those writers love this kind of junk. When I write something that has nothing to do with politics, I don't appreciate people trying to turn it into another childish whining episode. We get enough of this crap from the usual "party-brainwashed" whiners out here.
Joe Chiang Added Jul 3, 2017 - 8:01pm
Ok Bill, no more comments from me.

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