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Sci-fi Writer Elizabeth Moon Believes Everyone Should Be Chipped 409

Bob the Super Hamste writes "The BBC has an opinion piece from science fiction writer Elizabeth Moon who believes that everyone should be chipped or barcoded at birth. Her reasoning is that it would prevent identification mistakes and even allow soldiers to identify combatants from non-combatants. Her comments came as part of a discussion on future wars hosted by the BBC World Service."
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Sci-fi Writer Elizabeth Moon Believes Everyone Should Be Chipped

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  • 3 Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dcollins ( 135727 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:33PM (#40083133) Homepage

    Horrible, dystopian, inevitable.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:35PM (#40083151)

    It's called DNA.

  • Dear Elizabeth (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SilverJets ( 131916 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:38PM (#40083169) Homepage

    I am not a number.

    Kindly STFU.

  • Re:3 Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by smash ( 1351 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:38PM (#40083177) Homepage Journal
    Only if their prints are on file. If everyone is chipped at birth, their chip ID will certainly be on file from birth.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:38PM (#40083179)

    I have been a serious fan of Elizabeth Moon for years - she is an awesome SciFi author; however, this is just nuts! Sure it would eliminate a lot of mis-identification cases, but I would bet that 10 seconds after they started to do this, there would be those who would get theirs replaced with other peoples' id chips. Talk about identity theft! "Honestly officer! That could not have been me that robbed that bank!"...

  • by AbRASiON ( 589899 ) * on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:44PM (#40083213) Journal

    I'm not even a smart guy and I can put 2 and 2 together here.
    NOTE: "Sci-fi writer" ,............ this screams "please read my books" or "I have a new book coming, I need my name out there in popular culture for a couple of weeks!"

    We're better than this aren't we?

  • Re:3 Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by knuthin ( 2255242 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:49PM (#40083245) Homepage

    You think it's worth getting your self permanently IDed just so that a bunch of soldiers could identify each other in combat? Wouldn't that application demand ONLY the soldiers to be chipped?

    Also, you really need to give your privacy away with shit like that?

  • Re:Elizabeth Moon (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Dyinobal ( 1427207 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:51PM (#40083263)
    Seriously you'd black list an author simply because you disagree with something they said? Man I cannot imagine how many good books I'd of missed if I did that. I don't have to agree with someones world view to enjoy something they write and moon does write some good scifi and they aren't just a way for her to espouse her beliefs world views etc.
  • by Okian Warrior ( 537106 ) on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:52PM (#40083273) Homepage Journal

    Dear Elizabeth Moon:

    The world does not have one culture. Many do not have the same goals or motivations as yours, some have a different culture, religion, history, sense of self, pride and worth from what you experience in your circles.

    I understand how one comes to love one's own culture. It's obvious, really: you make certain choices and it suits you well, the natural conclusion is that if everyone made those choices, they would do as well.

    This is wrong, and you should learn to identify the ways in which it is wrong. Hasidic Jews do not try to force their ideas on everyone else, we generally don't allow White Supremacists to force their views on everyone else, and we try not to allow other cultures to terrorize us into following their views.

    We are not breaking the law, we are quite happy doing what we do, and we don't need to be forced into things "for our own betterment". You needn't concern yourself about our welfare.

    At all.

    Feel free to convince everyone in your circle of friends, associates, or community to chip, but please don't try to force your views on everyone, who may have a different opinion.

    Signed: Someone with a fucking clue.

  • Re:3 Words (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Rude Turnip ( 49495 ) <valuation&gmail,com> on Tuesday May 22, 2012 @11:55PM (#40083291)

    The first 4 words that came to my mind when I read this proposal were yourself, Elizabeth, fuck, & go.

  • Re:3 Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Altrag ( 195300 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:10AM (#40083393)

    There's a major upside to current identification methods requiring time and effort -- it relegates their usage to only those people with the resources available to identify you.

    With a chip system, even if the government by some miracle of fortune managed to keep their database secure (which is highly unlikely,) it wouldn't be long before someone realizes that the encrypted message itself is necessarily unique, and therefore could easily be used to start generated an (effectively unencrypted) database without even bothering to break the encryption.

    Of course, there's always the "nothing to hide; nothing to fear" argument, but everybody has something they want to (or need to) hide from somebody.

    The "nothing to hide.." argument stops being useful once you expand it beyond basic law enforcement duties (where you only would need to hide criminal behavior.) But unfortunately people get judged by more than the law in everyday life (bosses, significant others, family members, classmates, your pastor/rabbi/whatever if you're into that kind of thing, etc.) Expand that set far enough and you'll eventually hit somebody you'd rather not explain that drunken night from 15 years ago to.

  • Re:3 Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by eudaemon ( 320983 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:21AM (#40083471)
    Hi, paranoid science lady. Thank you for putting a friend or foe chip in every enemy soldier fighting against my glorious and righteous cause. I have adapted all my improvised incindiery devices to trigger from their presence. My soldiers can now quickly and safely sweep an area for enemy combatants with nothing more than an RFID gun. Encryption, you say? We destroy all the chips in our equipment so any response at all whether we understand it or not is enough to attack or retreat as we see fit. Of course the secret back door installed by your government was easily reverse engineered and decoded with a few million dollars invested with the right Chinese lab and their scanning-tunneling microscope. I understand your government is enjoying similar benefits now that there are no more anonymous protests, or really anonymity of any kind. You were so right! "something could happen", you said. And now that everyone is chipped it has! We've always been at war with Eurasia.
  • Re:3 Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Macgrrl ( 762836 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:41AM (#40083587)

    The 'file' will only be as good as the records management system used to maintain, store and secure such records. Given how poor most large scale record systems are, I would still expect identity theft to be rife, just harder to restore.

  • Re:3 Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by rev0lt ( 1950662 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @12:49AM (#40083627)

    Also, you really need to give your privacy away with shit like that?

    What privacy? Unless you live under a rock, you are already being monitored - from surveillance cameras to cable channel preferences.

  • Re:3 Words (Score:5, Insightful)

    by euroq ( 1818100 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @05:16AM (#40084833)

    Interestingly enough, there was a guy in my HOA (condo association) that was running for the president or whatever the name of the head executive officer was. Someone else in the HOA was a former member of the FBI and illicitly and illegally did a background check on him - the type of background check that was only available to the FBI and not someone just renting a home. He told everyone about what this guy did (robbery from OVER THIRTY years ago) and nobody voted for him.

    Perfect example of why it's bad to have this information in the government's hand in the first place. Once it's there, it's inevitable that it is going to be exploited and misused in a manner the original framers didn't intend.

  • Re:Utopia?? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Viol8 ( 599362 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @07:11AM (#40085327) Homepage

    "The difference between distopian and utopian is only in the application of technology."

    Your idea of utopia might not be mine.

    "Imagine the benefits of such a technology if there was no crime,"

    Does crime include violent uprising against oppressive governments?

    "Never again would a wrong blood transfusion be given, if you have an accident the ambulance would know your allergies instantly, not that there'd be as many accidents as disqualified drivers may actually stay disqualified. No need to worry about losing a credit card since the payment could be made based on the chip in you person. "

    Thanks, but i'll put up with that in exchange for not being some 24/7 monitored zombie.

    "Or how about the Bill Gates system of a house that is smart enough to adjust tastes depending on who is in the room, with art, music, mood lighting, etc."

    And what if there are 2 people in the room? Also for those of us who haven't yet degenerated into a lipid filled spheroid who can't move from a sofa its quite possible to do that manually in , oh , 10 seconds?

    "The difference between a distopia and a utopia is the existence of bad guys in the story, nothing more."

    And the difference between life and death is simply a beating heart, nothing more. Short of genetically engineering the entire human race to weed out "bad" genes (how do you define bad?), there will always be "bad guys".

    I suggest you take a break from star trek re-runs and wake up to the real human condition.

  • Re:3 Words (Score:3, Insightful)

    by just_a_monkey ( 1004343 ) on Wednesday May 23, 2012 @07:51AM (#40085531)

    To be fair, her starting point is "If I were empress of the Universe...".

    If I was Emperor of the Universe, you would all be tagged and chipped at birth too. And if the secret police finds the slightest sign of dissent, bzzt, doors won't open for you, computers won't let you access them, cars won't start, banks won't deal with you (and of course there is only electronic money), public buildings won't let you access, and so on. So behave!

The other line moves faster.