Why won’t the new technology invented to monitor airborne particles begin to see us too?
Roughly the size of a grain of sand, the “electronic microflier” is not powered by an internal engine. (My microengineering savvy tells me that a microchip engine would require a very sophisticated mechanic—at least the equivalent of a Saab or Mercedes.) To develop the microflier, engineers studied the behavior of seeds dispersed in the air from trees and devised a device that would collapse slowly enough that it could be used to monitor air pollution and any airborne diseases along the way. Which would be great.
or will it happen? Like most scientific breakthroughs, the flying microchip begins to sound like a brilliant idea. For example, unlike drones—which some jerk always monitors over your kid’s birthday party, scaring the hell out of everyone else—the devices will be silent and invisible.
But the problem lies here. If you read the literature carefully, you may find that even flying microchips can be equipped with smaller, smaller sensors and antennas that facilitate wireless communication, and even embedded memory on microdevices. Allows you to store information. This is where things get iffy.
First, conspiracy theorists already believe that microchips are implanted in COVID-19 vaccines or their credit cards or lemon meringue. They are going to be certain that flying microchips are being used by the government to spy on them. They would accuse the government of using flying microchips to carpet-bomb their backyards or down into their chimneys to see who they are engaging with, whether they are paying their taxes, and if their There are no current plans to seize nearby Fort Sumter. And let’s face it: Why wouldn’t the FBI, IRS, and Treasury Department use a useful tool to track down tax cheats and gangsters? How could they protest?
Even the flying non-mad among us can look at the microchips collecting the data with bewilderment. It’s bad enough that our computers and phones track us everywhere. They know where we go, what we buy, even what we are planning to buy. They know how fast we are driving, what stocks we are short on, which coworkers we despise.
Once flying microchips get cheap, things go a long way. Should they fall into the wrong hands – as they inevitably will – they can be used to spy on business meetings, military strategic sessions, and even greenlighting discussions in Hollywood studios. Then our enemies will know whether the aircraft carriers are heading west, whether the Fed is raising interest rates in December and what happens at the end of “Wonder Woman and Batman v The Joker III.”
Flying microchips can easily steal credit card numbers, not to mention passwords, giving criminals access to our bank accounts and 401(k)s. It will no longer be safe to type in a password when you are lounging on the back deck. You will have to do all your financial transactions under your bed or in an airtight room.
Teens check to spy on classmates, steal test answers, and make sure their parents don’t return until after midnight. Unethical football coaches used flying microchips to spy on opponents’ behavior, so they always knew where the blitz was coming from.
And should the sign-stealing Houston Astros ever get their hands on a fleet of Microflyers, they’ll start a dynasty that would tarnish the New York Yankees’ 27 World Series victories.