Tom Cruise was once in a wacky little movie called Minority Report. I distinctly remember a scene where he strolls through a mall and the shops fling pitches at him … using his name. Creepy! Apparently the stores were able to scan his retina, retrieve his preferences and so forth, and all literally in the blink of an eye with time to tailor a persusion attempt tailored just for him.
“Psst. Tommy boy! Over here, over here! Listen, between you and me, we both know you read Fifty Cups of Earl Grey. Come on, man. There’s no sense in denying it. If that’s the way you roll, come on in! Don’t worry, we’ll keep it on the D-L. Check out this new all-leather KitchenAid Mixer complete with eye-bolts and D-ring snap ons, if you know what I mean.”
I don’t know about you but that kind of technology scares the shit out of me.
“Psst. Tom!! Over here. Did you know it has been over six months since your last purchase of Depends Brand Incontinence Products? It’s way past time for refill, buddy!!!”
In the very near future nothing we humans do will be unknowable. All will be revealed. With computer technology doubling in power every eight years that will soon mean something so powerful it’ll make Skynet and Terminators seem like tinker-toys. Ah, the good old days.
We all know by now that Google knows everything about us. We plug in, turn on, and voluntarily hand it over. We even run our email through their servers, and that’s a veritable treasure trove of highly personal goodies. Please, Google. Take some of that. Please, I insist. Help yourself.
Google even maintains a few things I wrote on the “internet” as far back as 1996 and probably earlier. Data really is forever.
The grocery store will soon tell you what you should and shouldn’t buy. They’ll already know every calorie and nutrient currently circulating through your bloodstream. Their databases will tie into Bloomberg’s Public Good database and suddenly certain items will be restricted and automatically removed from your cart. They will be prohibited. By law. And based on your status. “You can’t eat that. Too salty. You can’t eat that. Too sweet. You can’t eat that. Too beefy.” Government quite literally will finally function as a supernanny.
Our cell phones document who we call, record our texts, and even keep track of coordinates on the surface of this planet. And I haven’t even mentioned the government yet. They got a whole other thing going on in the name of protecting us. This is the same government (Supreme Court) that said your fucking garbage (of all things) placed out on the curb is fair game for anyone who wants it. What? You didn’t want to hold onto your garbage for all time? Then you deserve what you get, fool!
Then I heard the other day that researchers were able to correctly identify 50 individuals from samples of their DNA they had donated to “public databases.” Eh? You’re out donating your “genetic data” to study projects? Perhaps you asked for it and you got what you deserved. Who cares? The researchers did have a little help. The participants they found were men and researchers were provided with their surnames. This gave the researchers a bit of a head start since men’s last names don’t often change and their Y chromosomes can be traced. This got me thinking, though. How long will it be until just an accidental drop of our blood can be used to instantly run our identities through the DNA databases and more?
The day is coming soon when absolutely nothing about our lives will be private. It will become technologically and physically impossible. Even in your own bedroom. (Just ask the guy who had a roommate who videotaped him having gay sex and posted it on the internet.) Even in your own bathroom. Anywhere. Everywhere. No matter what.
By the way, that roommate with a video camera? After his victim committed suicide, he was found guilty of some minor charge, sentenced to 30 days in jail and three years probation. Now that’s justice.
Children in school are being outfitted with RFID chips. RFID is inexpensive and powerful. That means it will be used up the wazoo. They’ll embed them inside the cold hardened steel of gun barrels. There will never again be no such thing as an unregistered gun.
Hell, in fact, they’ll be able to prevent all crime, crippling once and for all the entire economic system of the planet. It’s all in a day’s work for the humble RFID chip and his partner the computer/database. Partners? Heh! “I’m getting too old for this chip.”
What privacy nightmares are coming that we haven’t even imagined yet? I decided to see what I could come up with.
This unique program of the future is just around the bend. The bend in your sewer pipe, that is.
It works like this. You live in a house. Your house has a toilet. Need I say more? Your house is in city limits. Your toilet is therefore required to be connected to the city’s sewer system.
Now, here’s the fun part. The city assesses you with taxes that are used to expand the system to the point that is has the technological prowess to monitor your … contributions … to the system.
In no time at all they’ll have a detailed report about the particular brand of … effluent … that you’ve discharged. Think they won’t? Check out the news stories about estrogen and other pharmaceuticals that we pee out into our rivers, even after it has been treated by our municipalities. What is it Rachel Ray likes to say? Yumm-o!!
Toxicology reports will automatically be copied to your employeer and the police. The fun thing about pee data is watching it spread. It should give you a warm feeling, at least at first.
Or how about the Great Pacific Ocean Caffeine Cloud located just off the coast of the coffee capital of the world, Seattle, Washington? No word yet on how that shit fucks with sea life. It’s “full time energy” for fish that works. Bonus.
Vatican Masturbation Reports (VMR)
I knew the day was coming when that particular heading would come in handy. Heh.
Every sperm is sacred. It is the Vatican’s holy duty to make sure that no sperm is left behind. Spurt forth in a mission for God for the Ovum or go to Hell.
I imagine it like this. Once the technology exists that can see through walls from 50 miles away, and they figure out how to hook it up to a computer, they won’t be able to resist the urge. Then they’ll have the ability to collect data about you, well, not being able to resist the urge.
This is important stuff, right? We have hundreds of years of history in this country of morality laws that try to control what our neighbors can or can’t do in the privacy of their own bedroom. So this is absolutely nothing new. It’s just a modest (heh) extension of that concept. Except now we’ll have the goods. Cold hard data. We’ll be able to catch those sick bastards redhanded, so to speak.
This report will be delivered to the Vatican and used only in appropriate ways. Like deciding who gets holy communion next Sunday and who gets denied and/or punished. The Vatican will also CC: it over to Santa Claus for naughty and nice analysis.
Eggs in One Basket
This one is simple. They’ll invent a device that can scan ovaries and count the number of ova contained within. Probability studies will then be used to determine who has been using their eggs appropriately and who has not. The latter will be referred for increased surveillance under the Patriot Act.
Somehow they’ll come up with a reason to produce pie charts about the myriad of ways you pick your nose, techniques used, quantities extracted, and where deposited. (Under the driver’s seat in the car is the perennial #1.) Finally the government will be able to produce graphs on this for the Snot Lobby.
Superman – Pryor Accounting
They’ll invent a financial auditing system so invasive and accurate that they’ll even know if you find one-half cents on the street. Do not try to use them to buy a Lamborghini.
Sexual Mapping Pervnome
The health benefits to society of a system that tracks and has full knowledge of every sexual encounter on the planet is obvious. If you ever lose a copy of your partners, activities and positions list, you can go to the nearest Sexual Mapping office and pay for a report. Just like getting a printout of your DMV driving history. Documenting who did what to whom and for how many cookies will have innumerable advantages. We won’t need the services of Maury Povich ever again. And we’ll know exactly which horndog created the latest STD craze that’s sweeping the nation. Oops. I mean meme. Heh heh.
This database keeps track of everything you’ve ever read, seen, walked by, or glanced at. Google’s proprietary algorithms (closely guarded secrets and the subject of much speculation) will predict all sorts of human behaviors including criminal activity. Just like in Minority Report they will attempt to arrest you before you do something bad.
And good luck getting a job!!! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Hilarious.
Well, that’s all I can think of for now. Perhaps you can come up with some of your own. Share them in the comments section below.
Sensors at your doctors office will catch and analyze the velocity, consistency and viscosity of your nasal projections, thereby rendering in real-time your political affiliations, top favorite tv shows and whether or not you can afford your doctor’s services.
Coming soon – hackers will provide nostrilly fitted canisters of roe vapor, thereby assuring you will always receive the highest level of medical care available.
Until you default on that first bill of course…
You make two excellent points. And this is a worthy addition to my privacy challenge.
First, computers are already able to diagnose certain medical problems with greater accuracy than human physicians. It’s based on a thin-slicing concept. Technicians can take a few readings and input into the computer along with symptoms they have been trained to recognize. No doctor needed. The computer can then produce a correct diagnosis more accurately than doctors.
Second, the concept of hacking. Ah, yes. How could I have been so negligent? Brilliant! Everything I just described will be subject to things like ‘swatting’ and other acts of subversion. Maybe you’ll pour a bag of cat food down your neighbor’s toilet so that the city will send an ambulance. Great fun!
For the record, I have predicted there will be a new sport called “Brake Dancing.” Once all cars come equipped with auto-brake systems that sense danger in front and stop the car, teenagers and hackers will make a sport of it. They’ll jump in front of cars to trigger a sudden full stop, causing Starbucks to fly every which way. Then they’ll point, laugh, and run away.
It’ll be featured on the X-Games soon.
That was awesome…..and slightly scary!!
Dystopia FTW! And thanks. 🙂 And if you’re not scared you’re not paying attention.
Good point….I have have been distracted by the retinal scan on the way into the office!! Haha
Don’t you find it weird that Facebook finds people for you to friend that you haven’t even began thinking about until they mention them? I’ve had FB suggest friending people I hadn’t heard from in like 10 years. Never looked them up! I didn’t even know they had FB accounts! How did FB know I even KNEW these people???? THAT is creepy!!
50 Cups of Earl Grey …that was priceless!!!
Yeah, that is weird. How do they know? That’s Facebook’s way of saying, “You should be scared about how much we know.”
I like how you thought critically and came to that realization! If you think about it, the information companies are shoving it in our faces all the time.
Thanks. The sequel to Fifty Cups of Earl Grey is Fifty Potties Darker. And it all gets wrapped up nicely in Fifty Very Relieved Bladders.
A fourth book in the series is now rumored and will simply be entitled, “The Re-Drinking.”
If you’re not working for the government…you should be. Ideas like this? Golden…showers and all. 😉
I know, right??? Wassup with that? If I was properly utilized I could be doing so much more. No wonder I’ve lived my whole life by the Golden Rule.