Cheer up, it might never happen…

Dave Birch, who should know, on the coming collision of wireless networks, GPS and RFID tags in The Guardian. Dave’s pretty level headed about the implications but I’m sure that this has the potential for a major technology panic.

As I’ve pointed out here a dozen times before, though, every new technology is born into a complex human context that almost invariably diverts it from its manifest destiny – in this case to close off individual freedom once and for all.

This is why, for instance, we’re still here after 60 years of nuclear proliferation, why the record industry is still here five years after people started swapping MP3s and why we’ll never be replaced by a race of robotic clones. Despite our fears to the contrary and the occasional nihilistic counter-example (Stalin, say), human beings universally and collectively tend to neutralise apocalyptic change before it can do too much damage. I predict that most RFID implementations will ship with only a fraction of the Big Brother features they’re capable of.

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