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It's another morning and it's time to weed through the various emails, postings and messages that came through the night and early this morning. I make no secret of being a liberal these days. So, I get a lot of trash in my mail box and news feeds.

Have you got the one about the RFID chip, yet? Yes? You delete it, too? I get rid of this nonsense as soon as it appears. That might help me, but for those who fearfully and fervently believe "the gub'mint is out to get me" paranoia conspiracy theories believe this clap trap. They believe it and base their votes on this hogwash.

First off a Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects. They are currently used in dogs and cats to help owners find lost pets. The fear is that these chips will be put into all of us for tracking purposes.

The problem with writing a "myth" or debunking piece is that readers take away the myth or falsehood and not the debunking. Playing whack-a-myth with RWNJs is annoying at best and I've never found an effective way to deal with it. Currently I ignore it - right wing or left wing conspiracy theories, but I wonder if I miss opportunities doing that.

So, I took it on with predictable results.

It started with a reference to this page which refers to this fluff piece from way back in 2007 where Brian Williams hands off to Tom Costello to talk about what our future identification techniques will look like. The pertinent point about RFID chips plays between 0:15-0:30. You read that right, 15 seconds.




Oh, Betsy! Grab the tin foil! We're all going to get the mark of the beast! Except we're not. It's goes over iris scans, fingerprint use and facial recognition techniques far more than the 15 seconds that Tom Costello devotes to RFID chips used for unresponsive, unconscious Emergency Department patients. I responded, hogwash! Prove it in the ACA bill, give me the Section and paragraph number.

That didn't happen. I was accused of drinking kool aid.

Seriously, I searched the NBC news site for RFID chip and got this:

Skylander Toys Robot

Apparently NBC doesn't want anyone remembering that 2007 fluff piece. Anyway,

He was not amused.

So, I tried again,

No, really, even the guy running the RFID Journal (Mark Roberti) says chipping America is bogus and he wants people to stop emailing him about it.

He doesn't trust "technocrats".

Ok, here's a crowd sourced fact checker, Skeptics. These crowd sourcers do better than a lot of journalists. They picked up on the fact that the language came from the failed H.R. 3200 from the 111th Congress that was never part of the ACA (aka Obamacare). It's NOT part of the ACA.

ACA? SchmACA

Ok. Ok. Surely you'll accept this right wing blogger's take. She's conservative, hates biometric ID and says the language from the failed HR3200 was never put into the language of the ACA. There is no mandate to insert an RFID chip into anyone, but there is language regulating Class II medical devices have serial numbers to be tracked.

Ok, so I have the wrong bill it has to be a law somewhere!

Funny he said that. There is H.R. 4872 from 111th Congress which did pass; but if you go to Section 519, page 1014 you see NOTHING calling for a mandated insertion of anything into anyone. By then the snark beast had hold of me, "I totally understand your fear of probes as anyone wearing tin foil hats is, but you shouldn't confuse a tin foil hat for an assguard."

That got censored.  

It didn't matter what source I used, showed or referred to. It didn't matter if it was simple or a complex explanation. He read on the internet that we all were going to be chipped by 2017, so it was true. Never mind that what I found was also on the internet, but in his mind, false. (Logic has never been this guy's go to skill.)

So, that's the end of today's insanity. I think I'm going to go make some tea.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips for reality (13+ / 0-)

    because, but that's ok, you read it on the internet, so it must be true.

    sigh

    If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

    by JDWolverton on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:01:47 PM PDT

  •  Just what is an RFID chip and why should I (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton, Jon Sitzman, G2geek

    a) be afraid of it b) not care about it c) file this story under "well intentioned, but confusing?"
    Sorry, but as an old school journalist, I still need to have the five Ws and all that goes with it.  As my first J teacher said, "assume no one has ever read about this before," when making references.
    Thank you.

    You all laugh because I'm different; I laugh because you're all the same

    by sajiocity on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:15:45 PM PDT

    •  I guess I've been around tech so long, I forget (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Sitzman

      to do that.  I'll put it in. Thanks for the reminder.

      Radio-frequency identification (RFID) is the wireless use of electromagnetic fields to transfer data, for the purposes of automatically identifying and tracking tags attached to objects.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:21:07 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's Friday, I wrote this for amusement more so (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jon Sitzman, afisher

      than to inform. I included some good links for FYI info, but really, my intention to day was to generate the wry chuckle, grin, smile and/or laugh if I was lucky.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:28:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  A RFID chip is an electronic tag that responds (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDWolverton

      to a radio frequency pulse (transmission) with it's own radio transmission, similar to an old crystal radio set except that .  Typically they are passive devices (they use the radio signal itself for power) and can typically be read up to 15 feet away*.  The idea is that everyone would be implanted with such a chip, similar to what they do with dogs, to allow a person to be easily identified from a distance.  Of course, such readers could be built into the door of every shop and even built into things like those walk/no walk signs and networked together to allow everyone to be fully trackable at all times.  Of course, such a system would be expensive as hell and a logistical nightmare which is why it won't happen but there is no technical reason why it couldn't be done (and each chip could in theory be required to carry a dose of neurotoxin to be released upon receiving the right signal but nobody has built even a proof of concept device like that yet).

      Basically imagine being required to wear a copy of your driver's license (including the bar code on the back) as a 8x10 sized photo around your neck 24/7 and it being impossible to cover up or remove and that will get you pretty close.

      *They are different than the contactless credit cards you may have as they are what is known as "far field" devices that run off of a radio signal.  A contactless card is a "near field" device that is closer to an electrical transformer and has a range of a few inches.  That being said, different types of RFID tags use different frequencies and thus have different ranges.  Also note that will a fancy antenna and more powerful transmitter can increase the range somewhat the fact that it is powered by the reader limits the effective range even if you were willing to build a terawatt level transmitter (1 TW is about 1/15 the total energy consumption of everyone on the planet, btw).

      You have watched Faux News, now lose 2d10 SAN.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 12:31:13 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Off to a FEMA camp with you! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, JDWolverton

    This is one of the more calmer conspiracy theories I've heard from my right wing nut friend down the road.

    Every time I go down and visit him he has a new crazy conspiracy.  Did you here the one about the agreement between the government and the aliens that allows the aliens (space aliens) to gather food along the 37th parallel?

    This is a guy who keeps aluminum foil over SatTV box so they can't watch him.  Think that's crazy?  He also put aluminum foil over his electric meter for the same reason.

    •  Usually it's "They're comin' for yer guns!" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollwatcher

      sometimes "Benghazi!" This one got me today. At first it was a full eye roll and I planned to ignore it, but then, I didn't.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 02:33:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Actually, dog chip readers are used by rubbing (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton, Jon Sitzman

    the reader along the surface or near surface of the dog/cat. I have never heard of an AVID chip reader, for instance, that can work from 15 feet away. Rather, sometimes they don't read well at all for various (generally user) reasons,  and not all readers read all chips.

    There is a whole group of folks that won't use AVID or other microchips on dogs/cats because __fill in the blank CT__.

    But hey, no matter. CT folks don't digest facts; rather they just barf out nonsense.

    The only hawk I like is the kind that has feathers. My birding blogs: http://thisskysings.wordpress.com/ and canyonbirds.net

    by cany on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 01:13:31 PM PDT

  •  it's all a plot by the "Big RFID" corporations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton

    to make more profits.

    (snicker)

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 02:39:58 PM PDT

  •  Oh, the crazy neighbours. Yeah, I got one too (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JDWolverton

    She thinks people are trying to break into her house, her car and are stealing her electricity.

    She tapes her car up after every use, takes the dog and ALL precious belongings(7 shopping bags worth) with her whenever she leaves the house. Has cloves of garlic spread on the floors, has built a wire fence around her trailer and has 14 locks on the front door and another 6 on the cage wire entrance to the walkway. Has taped up her medicine cabinet( cuz people are trying to crawl through it) and ..get this..has staples sheets over the entire floor of every room in the home (again,cuz people are trying to crawl through the vents, heat registers and whatever)

    She lives across from me, and hates me for having the bad manners to interrupt a conversation she was having with another neighbour. The conversation was being held in the public road of the trailer park. The old dear is in her eighties, so most of us keep an eye on her. She has no phone and no friends, so we make sure she's still alive and kicking every day.

    Yes, she's clinically paranoid, but she won't admit it or see anyone about it, and by law, cannot be forced to deal with it unless she's harming herself or others.

    A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

    by Gwennedd on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 02:41:35 PM PDT

    •  "cloves of garlic"? for the vampires? /nt (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDWolverton

      In the end, reality always wins.

      by Lenny Flank on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 02:52:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I have a semi-looney neighbor... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JDWolverton, Gwennedd

      ....who does many of the things you describe.

      She takes two suitcases of valuables with her when she goes to the store.

      She thinks the car dealer switched her car when she took it in for annual maintenance.

      She thinks people got in her house (while she was out shopping with all her valuables in their suitcases) and switched her living room table lamps for crappier lamps. They get in and out thru the attic crawl space.

      She's elderly, lives alone, and doesn't seem to have any kin.

      I'm concerned about her. Not sure how I can help beyond keeping an eye on her when I'm home, which isn't often...

      It's striking how she shares some manias with the woman you described.

      "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

      by leftykook on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 03:06:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think that if you looked up the diagnosis (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JDWolverton, leftykook

        and aspects of paranoid schizophrenia in the DSM you would find that both our neighbours share this mental illness.
        https://en.wikipedia.org/...

        There is little you or I can do for them, besides keeping a lookout for their wellbeing. It's very sad actually that they have to live the kind of life their illness dictates. Imagine having to live with that level of anxiety every day.

        A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

        by Gwennedd on Fri Aug 29, 2014 at 06:36:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  She symbolizes my own fear of aging.... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gwennedd

          ...Imagine being old, alone and mentally challenged....
          (shudder)

          "Ronald Reagan is DEAD! His policies live on but we're doing something about THAT!"

          by leftykook on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 07:27:24 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ah, but we have family and friends. (0+ / 0-)

            When one has either of those, you are never completely alone.

            For what it's worth, both of these people don't realize they have a mental illness.

            And, yeah, it's a horrible way to live in your elder years. Many people do, especially in cities where you're just one of a faceless sea of people.

            A fo ben, bid bont. - Welsh proverb. ( translation: If you want to be a leader, be a bridge.)

            by Gwennedd on Sat Aug 30, 2014 at 02:06:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

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