Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The adventure of Charles and his microchip

The adventure of Charles and his microchip

I'm sure most of you have heard by now the tale of Charles, the cat from Albuquerque who ended up in Chicago eight months after disappearing from home.

The story has a happy ending since he was found and identified because of his embedded tracking microchip.

Microchips? A good thing? Well, yes. In this case. Notice the poison ingredient that is missing from the story: Government. Mixing science (microchips) and government makes something with potential for good into a tool for harm. It's like handing a cocked and loaded gun to a drunk, angry, jealous psychopath while the object of his anger is standing three feet in front of him taunting him. The adventure of Charles has a happy ending precisely because no government got involved.

I would have no objection to people choosing to have microchips implanted, for medical or other reasons. My objection comes when microchips become mandatory (or a de facto requirement in order to function in society). Then, allowing government access to the information on the chips adds potential for extreme misuse. If you wish to have a chip implanted in you, that is your business. Just don't expect me to go along.