Blessed Titus Brandsma, pray for us.
A short post this one.
First, I mean in terms of living memory, we had notes and coins.
Then we had cheques.
Then we had debit and visa cards for which we signed.
Then we had 'chip and pin'.
Cheques as guarantees gradually are in the process of being phased out.
We start to emerge into an economy in which cash is not necessary for most things. We even accept charges in some shops because 'chip and pin' is convenient. Well, I do anyway.
So, we are conditioned to a state in which, in financial affairs, transactions can be cashless.
Then we have the internet revolution and mobile phone technology.
Both technologies are offered to us at affordable prices. We love them!
In the supermarkets, at least, we see a trend develop in which shop assistants begin to ask us whether we want receipts or not. Knowing we dislike paper clogging up our pockets, we refuse them often.
In the supermarkets, we see developing a trend for 'self-checkout'. It's a success, by and large, with many customers enjoying the convenience (albeit with mechanical error).
Then, I visit a good friend and see that the friend in question has received a new card from his bank offering a 'contactless payment' service. Oh, its not just his bank, but other banks too, as happening upon a 'Verifone' chip and pin machine in M and S tonight, I see that the machine accepts 'contactless payments'.
So, we're being conditioned, by banks, to accept 'contactless payments' either by card or, incredibly, mobile phone.
Incrementally, we see technology transforming human affairs in communication, interaction, finance and many aspects of human life.
It's all wonderful and terribly convenient. Perfect for our fast pace of life as consumers.
But gradually, we're being conditioned. And for what? Well once we accept contactless payments for long enough, I suppose that the next step could be the advance of technology so amazing that we could have something planted in our very persons which could be, if you like, our own unique product code.
Thank God, that IBM are a trustworthy company for this next stage in the world of financial transactions. I can't see how this could go wrong...
Imagine that! What a co-incidence! The same US company responsible for the barcoding of the Jews, homosexuals, communists and Catholics, Protestants, dissidents, non-arayan race, disabled and 'unfit' of Germany during the Third Reich of the 20th century, being responsible for the barcoding of human beings in the 21st century! I wonder how the story ends!
Two commercials from two companies. Two companies you can trust. Oh yes. But remember there's no 'conspiracy' folks. It's just the way things are, or the way things are going.
Perhaps, after all, the Brave New World of which Huxley wrote is not about who will be a loyal citizen of the State after all, but who will be a loyal customer. It strikes me that we are entering, if we have not already entered it, into a phase in which all human affairs are governed by money alone.