Up & Coming Weekly

March 26, 2019

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 6 of 32

6 UCW MARCH 27-APRIL 2, 2019 WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM The eyes have it by PITT DICKEY OPINION I have seen the future, and it's spooky. You may have seen it, too, if you watch cable news morning shows. I was half awake, having only consumed a half-cup of coffee, as the TV blared on about the latest horrors. Mercifully, a com- mercial appeared where everyone was happy. Usually, news shows are sponsored by Big Pharma, pushing some drug to cure some dread disease — or pushing a drug to get you off the drug they sold you to cure a dread disease. I'm looking at you, Sackler Family, purveyors of Oxycontin. You have to listen to the ugly side effects of the drug du jour while the people in the commercial are having no side effects at all. is commercial was different. e people were having a great time. ey were skipping long lines, getting on uncrowded airplanes, go- ing to see sporting events and moving with the "speed of life," as the ad said. Wow. I want to move at the speed of life. Can I become one of these happy, peppy people who don't have to wait in line like the commoners? Where do I sign up? ere appear to be no side effects from this wonderful product, unlike Big Pharma's narcotics. e wonderful new product is brought to you by a company I shall rename Acme BioCooties in honor of Wile E. Coyote. Acme BioCooties takes you to the head of the line. Acme BioCooties is a biometric identification company. It is the digital version of 23andMe, the DNA/ancestry testing company that's been all the rage lately. Instead of spitting in a vial, send Acme your fingerprints and a scan of your eyeballs. You go to the head of the class, or at least the front of the line. Tired of having to show pesky personal identi- fication documents? Just sashay over to the Acme Biometric Approval 500 Machine. Take a loving look into the Ghost in the Machine's eye scanner and press your fingertips on a finger reader. If Big Brother likes what he sees, you can skip the line. is leaves all the little people in line admiring, envying and hating you for your line-skipping status. All animals are equal, some are just more equal than others. In the meantime, ask yourself the musical question: "Have I sold my soul and identity for the ability to skip other people in line?" Acme brags it is currently at more than 40 airports and all major league baseball parks. Acme converts the images of your eyeballs and fingertips into a series of encrypted ones and zeros "that is unique to you and only you." What a dandy brave new world. I always wanted to be converted into a series of encrypted ones and zeros. is is the goal of all humanity: to be an encrypted number. Tattooed numbers on arms and identity papers are old hat. Biometrics will make it all so much easier to move along, track, and if we get a bit out of line, to control. What could go wrong? Acme proudly reports it has been approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. at should make you feel warm and fuzzy. Acme asks: "Are you ready to be unstoppable? Imagine every place you customarily show ID to gain entry. Now imagine Acme ID." Acme is also seeking partners to use its biometric identifier. "It will strengthen security, increase fraud protection with real time data and analyze and leverage real-time customer data." As Jerry Lewis once sang at his MDA tele- thons, "You'll never walk alone." Acme says it is always thinking about new applications powered by biometrics like "check- ing into doctor's office at the tap of a finger" or paying for stuff with your finger prints. e website says more than 20 million people have already signed up to be ones and zeroes. e basic price is $179 a year until you run out of money. Your biometric numbers are encrypt- ed and securely stored in the cloud. And as we all know, the cloud is safe from being hacked. You don't believe me? Ask the North Koreans, or a 16-year-old hacker. On second thought, don't ask. Already, some stores no longer take cash, requiring credit cards. A few cities have passed ordinances outlawing cashless stores as not ev- eryone can obtain a credit card. Too bad for the poor people. e poor have no credit cards to buy bread? As Marie Antoinette said, "Let them eat nonbiometric cake." Most people, excepting Captain Hook, have fingers for Acme. So, what have we learned today? When biometrics takes hold, rich people won't have to wait in line. Be like Esau. Sell your soul and identity for a mess of pottage in the form of line- skipping. Once biometrics becomes universal, it will do away with cash. Let your fingers and eyes do the walking through the speed of life. Just hope that you don't run afoul of Big Brother's rules. He might terminate your biometric identity. It could be dif- ficult to buy vittles if you can't pass the eye scan test because you've been cancelled. Perhaps being an encrypted series of ones and zeroes may not turn out as well as one might hope. Big Brother is watching you. Big Brother loves you. He grants and taketh away your encrypted number. Don't make waves. You'd better be good for good- ness sakes — especially if you like to eat or want to buy anything. Are biometrics the wave of the future? Should they be? PITT DICKEY, Columnist. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. writ-er [rahy-ter] – noun 1. a person engaged in writing books, articles, stories, etc., especially as an occupation or profession; an author or journalist. If you see yourself in that light, Up & Coming Weekly would love you to join our creative, talented, community-oriented lineup of contributing writers. If you are interested in joining our writing team, email sample articles or questions to: editor@upandcomingweekly.com. For more information, call 910-484-6200.

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