Teaching as an adjunct can be a lot of fun. It is also challenging. As I have encountered a number of situations, I realize such a blog can be helpful, both to me and to others.

Monday, March 31, 2008

Big Brother

It is fascinating how a service that many people deem as good, important, or even a luxury, can actually give the government more information about you then you may want them to know. A student of mine recently gave a speech arguing that, in a very real sense, 1984 is here.

She explained that a GPS device enables the government to track you and it may become a standard device in most new cars, without the buyer even knowing it is there, as a way for the government to find out about you. Automatic toll pay cards let the government know how fast you are travelling as it can track when you first started on a toll road and when you got off of it. On-star devices also mean people can find out a lot about the individual driving a car.

That is not to say these devices are bad. Many of them can make life easier and may even save lives. It is just that new technology can be viewed in terms of a Satan-Savior dichotomy. For instance, there is now something called air ambulance international. This is more than just a lift flight by helicopter to another location.

This is a service that allows patients to charter a flight to get to another hospital. Whether it is transporting a patient’s room to a new facility or transporting a person overseas back to the United States, Air Ambulance can get you there.

Is this simply something designed to make it easier on patients needing to get from one location to another? Perhaps it is another way of the government obtaining additional information on people? How much paper work gets filled out? Is this a good thing? I would guess, like anything else, it depends on who is using it at any given time.