One of the most common batshit crazy prophecies I have come across, most often in conjunction with those “Book of Revelation”-type conspiracy things, is that of people being forced to receive “The Mark”—getting microchips implanted in their hands or whatnot. These chips are like a “hotline” to the Anti-Christ or Satan, and people who refuse to have them implanted are killed.
Wisconsin vending machine software firm Three Square Market will be implanting the chips during an August 1 “chipping” event. They are not forcing their employees to take the Chip, but rather it’s on a volunteer basis.
One thing right off the bat: this technology is not new, or radical. Pets have been chipped for years, and it’s increasingly encouraged that they have the procedure. And instead of this type of invasive surgery in which the chip is implanted—as pictured via dystopian sci-fi and aforementioned doomsday prophecy narratives—the chip Three Square Market is using is tiny and is actually “injected”—not implanted per se.
The Three Square Market chips allow employees to open office doors, log in to their computers, and even buy snacks and items. Their spokesperson says there is no GPS component for tracking.
So I mean…there is nothing really sinister here.
This technology absolutely could be used for more sinister things, couldn’t it? I mean, part of the reason pets are chipped is to track them down via GPS. Three Square Market seems like a decent and friendly company that wouldn’t abuse this technology…but what if 5, 10, 15 years from now it becomes standard that workers across all major companies are chipped? And what if these new chips do have GPS? And what if the workers end up being totes cool with the GPS thing because there is some sort of Pokemon-type game attached to it, so most don’t question it?
And what else can be bundled into these chips of the future?
So it’s this weird thing…you have the fringe batshit crazy paranoid prophecies that talk about The Chip. Then, over time, the tech for implantable microchips becomes a reality…
And so maybe, in a way, you need to treat some of those batshit crazy paranoid prophecies the way you’d do any dystopian science-fiction. It’s fiction…but there are some “potentials” buried in that fiction that maybe we should take a second look at, or at least consider as the future goes marching on.
Implanted microchips might never be that “hotline to Satan.” But maybe…in the future they will be used to track your bathroom breaks. And maybe they keep track of all your vital bodily functions and what you eat or drink or smoke and send the info to the insurance agency and your premiums will be adjusted accordingly. And maybe you smoke or inject or snort the wrong thing and that info gets “read” by this technology and sent to the relevant authorities (or at least to your boss).
I’m not against new technology. And I absolutely believe that this implantable/injectable chip tech is going to be commonplace not only in the business world but with humans in general. I believe one day these chips will basically act like your credit card, health insurance card, and so on.
However, there isn’t an “either/or” here. It’s not like I have to embrace all this tech without voicing my concerns, OR be a paranoid raving Luddite screaming about the Anti-Christ. But sometimes, when I talk to people on this general subject…it sure feels that way.
For example, I had a recent conversation/argument with somebody on Facebook regarding AI taking jobs. And he sort of just lumped in any notion of this concept with irrationality and crazy conspiracy nuts. It was either I do not express any concern over/belief in robots & tech causing unemployment—even though some of the biggest names in industry have expressed this concern/belief—or I am the person with the Book of Revelation YouTube videos screaming about the Anti-Christ.
Not quite that simple, folks. I agree it’d be quite comforting if it was, but it ain’t.