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The Year of the Child: From Milk Carton to Iris Database

January 1, 2007

I really do wear sunglasses that double as blast shields for a medical reason. There is also the social reason, of course, in gaining distance from people who might otherwise stare at my eyes. Why would they do that? They’re just common blue eyes. But no eyes are common; every iris is unique.

Irises are as unique as fingerprints. Iris scan technology has been “out there” for quite a while, fueling the paranoia of Marco the Beast fans.

It’s for the children. It always is. Iris scan technology is going to keep all the children from getting lost. Or if they do get lost, at least their identities can be ascertained if they’re found.

Galveston, Texas, near Houston, will be scanning its childrens’ eyes and establishing a database. Alzheimers patients will also be scanned so that if they escape, they can be returned to their proper places. The corporation producing the scanning technology and database systems of course hopes this will catch on nationwide. For the children.

I get lost a lot. When I was in China, I took off on walks expecting to get lost. The streets follow no grid pattern, I couldn’t read any signs, and everything looked alike–dusty. I would carry a matchbook from my hotel and show it to some stranger when I was ready to go back, and the friendly person could read the name of the hotel and would lead me back there, grinning and bowing and treating me like a small dumb child. The Chinese are very friendly, helpful people, and enjoy helping lost Americans. They are also fascinated by blue eyes.

As a child I was lost a lot in the sense that I didn’t always show up at home on time. My irises were unscanned and there were no databases back then. My mother called my friend’s parents and I was promptly extradited to my home.

But now, with the epidemic of lost, stolen, or strayed children and runaway elderly, I can see why their unique iris prints belong in databases. And for this particular project in Galveston County, a child’s iris prints will be expunged from the database when the child reaches 18, unless he or she is still missing.

Just think, the moment the baby opens his eyes onto the world, his irises will be scanned and entered into a database. It will be a touching moment. He won’t ever have to choose whether to place Marco the Beast on his forehead or his hand–I think that’s about paying homage to the world system with the mind and works anyway. He won’t have to worry about Big Brother watching him. Big brother won’t have to; he can just look into his eyes from a remote computer.

Think of it–we could be a carry-free society. No money, no credit cards, no ID–just go through the scanner. Blink into your computer screen and your bank pays your bills and taxes. No passport, no background or credit checks unless the iris scanner beeps. The windows of the soul would reveal all, to anyone with a scanner and the power to motivate submission to it.

Besides, lost children have dominated our milk cartons and income tax form books long enough. It’s time to put them in a database and forget about them.


Victorbravo said…
This makes my eyes hurt.It is interesting how technology makes the older Marco deBeast fears obsolete. Barcodes are passe, and the stock of the implanted-chip companies is probably falling this year.

5:01 PM  

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