Thursday, January 04, 2007

ID Cards and REALITY

Bruce Schneier in his article ID Cards to Stop Bullying decries the use of ID cards.

It's important that schools teach the right lessons, and "we're all living in a surveillance society, and we should just get used to it" is not the right lesson.
Mr. Schneier should spend a prolong period of time in a public school! Bruce should be exposed to the egregious behaviors and attitudes of today's young people. The 'surveillance society' that Bruce refers to has less to do with privacy and more to do with safety. Having two daughters in a urban/rural American High School gives me certain insight into this matter.

At first I thought it outrageous that a full-time law enforcement officer (with his 'drug' dog) would be posted in a high school. Then it became obvious to me that this isn't My High School - of nearly 35 years ago. Today students carry photo IDs for the same security reasons that any company or institution requires them. This is not an invasion of their privacy but an attempt to insure the integrity of their personal experience in a public institution of higher learning.

Mr. Schneier:
Do you drive? Do you have a picture license to operate a motor vehicle?
Do you travel? Do you have a picture license to leave and return to you home country?

While I agree that the indiscriminate use of personal information, including a personal image (picture) is not appropriate I cannot say that offering a negative criticism, " not the right lesson." is productive either. What is the 'right lesson'?

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Year's Resolution: 1400x1050, of course...

I learned long ago not to bother with New Year's Resolutions.

Seems that we insist once a year on holding ourselves to a standard. Why? Because we believe we can change. We believe that we can control our lives as though we were sitting behind the wheel of a car; turn the wheel right, go right; turn the wheel left, go left. The only real hitch-in-the-git-along of the car analogy is the "Do you know where you are driving to?" question. Usually if you are after a gallon of milk the directions are pretty clear.

Seems New Year's Resolutions are a bit more vague than a gallon of milk. Or, they are a bit more complex in their implementation than just a drive to the convenience store. Either way they more accurately reflect the true nature of the human condition. We are frail, compromised, and indecisive. [Oh boy, should I receive ugly comments about this...] If on the other hand were were truly strong, whole and complete, as well as clearly decisive we would have addressed "Resolutions" on a daily on-going basis.

Therein lies the key to this entire matter: it should not be a matter of a "New Year's Resolution" but rather a simple matter of today's resolution. Our endeavors should not be lofty grandiose goals. Rather we should focus on the moment of our lives. We can affect significant change in our lives not by scheduling it for a week from next Tuesday but by making small, minor adjustment right now.

Right now...I am going post the first Pa^ Patois post of 2007...right now.

[Note: 1400x1050 is the most excellent resolution of this 15' R52 IBM ThinkPad.]

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