Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Politically Incorrect?

Subtitle, sometimes I just can't tell anymore.

Anyway, I'm coming home from Lynagh's (Wednesday jam is every other week now, this is the off week, but I seem compelled to go nonetheless -- old fart's jam has been replaced by the internationally renowned guitarist, the inimitable Ben Lacy). I'm stopped at the corner of Huguelet and Limestone, coming out of the UK campus. I particularly noticed tonight what I notice whenever I'm stopped there: the pedestrian (don't)walk traffic signals talk continuously (walk now, don't walk, but maybe much more???). I had presumed that this was for the visually impaired. But, if there are no visually impaired around, this amounts to:

  1. noise pollution;
  2. a waste of the energy to generate the sound (love the earth, at least sound is much cheaper than light);
  3. a waste of information (I have always wondered, if you put your turn signal on when no one is behind you, does it really blink?).

So here's the politically incorrect part -- or maybe this is just a good idea. How about if all the manufacturers of visually-impaired people's canes and seeing-eye-dog harnesses started implanting an RFID chip in their product that says, "Anonymous blind person approaching". Then the damned traffic signal could shut the fuck up unless its vocal services were actually useful.

This of course raises privacy and security issues. A predator (or government) who enjoyed preying on the visually impaired could build a locator that would find victims. 'Course, the cane and/or dog might have already given them away.

Speaking of the mark of the beast, I have for the last 5-10 years been saying that as soon as I can get my cell phone / PDA / PC implanted behind my left ear, I'm going for it. But, these devices need an absolute physical on/off switch so you can go dark if you need to.

Hmmm, probably can't work. The RAM would probably need at least a trickle of bio-electricity to keep functioning, and that would certainly be traceable. Oh well ... who needs privacy anyway? The MySpace generation sure doesn't worry about it. I think it was the Wired article 2 months ago on Go Naked that said something to the effect that the MySpace generation would never trust anyone who wasn't willing to bare their innermost secrets on their page.

Still driving home from Lynaghs, on S. Broadway, I have in the left lane motorcyclists. 1st 2, serious "Outlaws KY" colors and serious tats, scary motorcycle dudes. A group of motorcycles has been the wolf pack of the automotive world ever since Marlon Brando and "The Wild One".

Next a big guy with good tats and a big biker woman riding behind him.

Next a big guy with no tats or colors and big not-so-biker woman riding behind him.

Next a big woman driving herself.

I thought that was the end of it, I thought, man, how the biker gangs have fallen, that group looked like it was nearing the end of its life cycle. But then, after 3-4 cars, another 4 bikers, basically average joes, average tats, standard tee-shirts. So the "Outlaws KY" will lead the way but now basically ride with anyone? Some kind of sociobiology going on here, I have no idea what.

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