They sat at one of the small wodden tables in the bar and ordered gin and tonics. Kline clouded the lenses of his glasses with a quick breath each and wiped them with his handkerchief. He put them on and looked at Western.
What do you see? said Western.
Did you know that there's a system that can scan your eye electronically with the same accuracy as a fingerprint and you dont even know it's being done?
Is that supposed to comfort me?
Kline looked out at the street. Identity is everything.
You might think that fingerprints and numbers give you a distinct identity. But soon there will be no identity so distinct as simply to have none. The truth is that everyone is under arrest. Or soon will be. They dont have to restrict your movements. They just have to know where you are.
It sounds like paranoia to me.
It is paranoia.
The waiter brought the drinks. Kline raised his glass. Cheers, he said.
Happy days. What else have you got in the way of good news?
You shouldnt despond. Information and survival will ultimately be the same thing. Sooner than you think.
Difficult to say. Electronic money. Sooner rather than later.
There wont be any actual money. Just transactions. And every transaction will be a matter of record. Forever.
You dont think people will object to this?
They'll get used to it. The government will explain that it will help to defeat crime. Drugs. The sort of large scale international arbitrage that threatens the stability of currencies. You can make up your own list.
But anything that you buy or sell will be a matter of record.
A stick of gum.
Yes. What the government hasnt figured on yet is that this scheme will be followed by the advent of private currencies. And shutting these down will mean the rescinding of certain parts of the Constitution.
Well. Again, I'm sure you know what this conversation sounds like.
—Cormac McCarthy, The Passenger (p. 284–285)
Here's what I think. I know it's vague. Life (for sure organic life) finds a way. It finds a way to live on its own terms. I hope those who are arrogant enough to work against this simple cliché are also arrogant enough to forget it.