Saturday, January 13, 2007

If it exists, bar code it! (anonymous)

Barcodes are those ever familiar bars and numbers printed like a stamp in black and white, given into the consumer´s market in the not so remote year of 1973. Now they are added on virtually everything from bras, to cars, from weapons, to marshmallow, from panties, to burgers, from driver’s licensees, to single tattooed persons. It is commonly understood that its mere presence on an object gives a presumption for its consumption.

Did we say tattooed barcodes on persons? Yes! Read this:

A fascinating development took place recently. On March 2, 1999, patent 5,878,155 was issued to Houston inventor Thomas W. Heeter described as a "Method for verifying human identity during electronic sale transactions".
Heeter's patent "abstract" reads:
A method is presented for facilitating sales transactions by electronic media. A bar code or a design is tattooed on an individual. Before the sales transaction can be consummated, the tattoo is scanned with a scanner. Characteristics about the scanned tattoo are compared to characteristics about other tattoos stored on a computer database in order to verify the identity of the buyer. Once verified, the seller may be authorized to debit the buyer's electronic bank account in order to consummate the transaction. The seller's electronic bank account may be similarly updated.
On Aliens 3, the film, humans where identified with barcodes tattooed on their heads.

There is another film where barcodes are mentioned related with a superstition or at least a wrong interpretation on the meanings of the Mark of the Beast of 666:

What is the mark? Well the mark Brian, is the barcode. The ubitiqous barcode that you'll find on every bog roll, and every packet of johnny's and every poxie-pot pie. And every [expletive-removed] barcode is divided into two parts by three markers and those three markers are always represented by the number six. Six-six-six. Now what does it say? No one shall be able to buy or sell without that mark. And now what they're planning to do in order to eradicate all credit card fraud and in order to precipitate a totally cashless society. What they're planning to do; what they've already tested on the American troops; they're going to subcutaneously laser tattoo that mark onto your right hand or onto your forehead. (Naked, British movie, 1993, directed by Mike Leigh and starring David Thewlis)

Are the barcodes hidding the infamous mark of the beast? Probably not.

A bar code would make a poor candidate for the mark of the beast for the following reasons:

The mark is described specifically in Rev. 14:11 as "the mark of his name". Even the wildest imagination would have a very hard time turning a"barcode" into "the mark of his name".

In the world of "high-level" security and identification, a barcode is not reliable enough. The reason for the "self-check" digit on the barcode is the probability of the scanner misreading the barcode. The next time you go through the grocery line count how many "beeps" or misreads the cashier gets.

Because the human skin stretches, it would be virtually impossible to get the precision needed for a "reliable" barcode. The skin continually stretches with age, weight, wetness, sun exposure, etc.

There is much more reliable and easier to implement technology than barcodes, such as biometric IDs or even biochips.

A barcode does not match the Bible's description of the Mark of the Beast.

A Curiosity:

Porter Lee Corporation has invented a barcode system for the identifying and recording evidence for law enforcement officers. The title of the system is interesting — BEAST — Bar coded Evidence Analysis Statistics and Tracking.

Besides the daily uses for the barcodes – and mainly because of the supposition that a barcode printed on a product transform it into a trustable commodity – artists must/can propose novel and surprising concepts on taking it out of the original context.

The initial experiences show me that the unexpected use of a barcode on an image can add some sort of sarcastic “commentary”, as if the thing shown isn’t anymore a commodity to be bought and sold. Far from, it produces some sort of “repulse” before what is shown. We don’t want to buy it anymore! There isn’t given the possibility for a fair identification and the meanings are subverted. The idea of the consumer´s market is subverted by its natural adherence to an object. We are imposing instead a sort of visual reflection on the purposes of our culture of consume and on the essential superficiality of our culture of vanishing digits.

The quotes above displayed are taken from a very interesting page on barcodes and the Mark of the Beast.


Blogger Rykk said...

Interesting and persuasive commentary.... I agree.

1/13/2007 3:20 PM


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