Editorial – Aug 2021: Is ‘average’ to wide or too narrow a definition?

August 1, 2021 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

What is ‘identity’ in the modern world? Having had a problem of proof of identity for something I didn’t really regard as pointy, wax carving tools, bought for shaping model filler, compared to other things I’ve bought with the long river website where I have neither a driving licence – don’t drive, not allowed to, passport – never been out of the country or bus pass – confined spaces are out for agoraphobic reasons. You get left with a problem of proving your age

Proof of identity by photograph or date of birth seems vague. Even though I’ve never applied for any of these three, understanding the process of getting them can be looked up on-line. The principle is the same. You take a non-smiling snap in a photobooth, sign the back and send it with the forms. Presumably they check that you haven’t sent a picture of an ape or something but they don’t actually meet you to verify identity. As long as you look reasonably like the photo when going through passport control or showing your driving licence to the police, you have all the makings of a fake identity. It isn’t as though you have to prep it for anyone else. There is just too much dependency on the photo proving the ID not whether the rest of the information is true not confirming it with any other source. What you essentially have is lip service of going through the motions with photographic proof. I don’t believe it’s enough proof. I doubt if anyone asks for proof of your date of birth unless you’ve ordered pointy objects on-line and even then, not necessarily all of them. For the record, it took a little convincing that all the courier needed to confirm was a birth certificate and the nice person at long river had to pass the message to the courtier people. I’m good at twisting arms when needed to, reminding them that I can’t be the only person in this kind of situation.

Short of having a chip implant, verified and confirmed to a database as I discussed earlier in the year, positive proof of identity is a lot harder to do these days. Everyone assumes because you have some sort of what looks like official proof that it is official. There certainly needs a unified verification check rather than rely on a few bits of paper. I certainly raised an eyebrow higher with the courier with my ancient birth certificate which he commented on was just old. Well, I was lucky they were around when I was born.

Of course, I wouldn’t raise this unless I saw other problems down the line. Like a British government after all these years suddenly thinking photo IDs is needed for the next General Election or maybe the next. I doubt if I would be the only person with no reason to have a photo id. There are people in all walks of life who don’t drive, go abroad or need a bus, let alone age range. This would affect the newly age of electorate as well as the old. More so now as covid would limit those who have passports. The complication of proof and getting such things done would take a big department and still no physical proof that you sent in the correct info. I doubt if it would survive a court appeal on the subject but, as I pointed out in that earlier editorial, you would need something more substantial as a personal id, especially as there is a more pressing need to prove how many inoculations you’ve had.

You would think in a digital age we could rely on more than a few pieces of paper for proof of anything. Then again, seeing Americans on the news afraid to take the covid inoculation because they are afraid their government is trying to plant a micro-bug on them did make me stop again. There really needs to be some serious article out there explaining that a nano-bug that size, should it exist, has no power supply and no means to contact the outside world, so how could any government track you. Even Science Fiction rarely stretches that far.

Expanding this a bit further is the expectation of what the ‘average’ person is supposed to have and that includes those gadgets people have their heads in when outside, the mobile phone. Something else I don’t own. I only had one to keep in contact with my Mum when she was alive and I had to go shopping and lost any money I had in it from lack of use afterwards. From a diabetic point of view, if I’m in a hypo, that’s very low blood sugar and short for hypoglycaemia, the last thing I would want is to chat to anyone when the priority is to eat.

Now there’s an odd contradiction if ever I’ve seen one. If you have a mobile phone, then you’ve already got the means to be tracked on you already. I mean, how else does the company know when you’re using a phone when abroad or anywhere else come to that? Granted there is supposed to be some level of privacy in all of this but it doesn’t mean you can’t be tracked by all manner of apps. It would certainly make any injected nano-bug a bit redundant.

The expectation of ‘average’ is oddly too narrow with too high a dependency on technology than need. Setting criteria of a driving licence, passport or bus pass like that shows people who are selecting based on what they have than considering there are people who don’t have or need everything to match the herd.

As I said about, I should point out that if you do have a problem similar to myself in in the opening paragraph, get in contact and explain what you don’t use and offer proof of identity with proof of age with a birth certificate would be enough. That and looking decidedly adult should be enough. I wandered through all my stuff for something with proof of age and the only significant thing was a prescription list. There simply isn’t enough evidence of age out there for verification matters otherwise and should certainly be included in the long river website’s list of seven alternative verification proofs.

You would think a debit or credit card would be enough but, if you have family, and you give them your pin number, it doesn’t matter to computer technology who is using the card. If there is a need of proof of identity, then there needs to be better ways. Of course, the reason why your debit or credit card doesn’t have your date of birth on it is because it is often one of the things your bank will ask you for proof of identity.

As someone understanding General Semantics, there is also a disbelief in an ‘average’ when it comes to grouping people together because the tighter you make the criteria, the fewer people fit it. A lot of the above things would only apply to people who have a certain amount of affluency to afford or needing to use it. There is no allowance for people beyond such borders who neither don’t use or have a need for it.

I should point out that I’m not someone who thinks you shouldn’t have proof of identity on your person. I’m just more concerned that showing a debit or credit card or other things like bills with your name on isn’t enough.

A lot of the problems stem from owning your personal identity versus people think such proof makes any society totalitarian. A proof of identity that can only belongs to you solves all kinds of things from identity theft to trolling. After all, in the real world, there can only be one of you, can’t there?

Thank you, take care, good night and be glad I haven’t touch on covid-passports.

Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info


A Zen thought: Stupidity can be caused by limited choice.


What Qualities Does A Geek Have: The broader the mind, the depth of perception.


The Reveal: There never was a brontosaurus.


The Alien Reveal: Those well-known tourists, the Predator Hunters are actually mask aware for much of the time. Granted they need to wear their masks for different gas/air requirements and filtering and probably not susceptible to terrestrial covid viruses. Even so, for much of the hunt, they are less likely to contaminate you or you them with covid until the end. Should they beat you, its just your skull they want to decorate their spaceships with and, if you win, well, there’s a fair chance they’ll make you a zero option in a tactical nuclear explosion that would destroy any infection.


The Alien Reveal: Another puzzle is with the original 1983 Visitors/Sirians in ‘V’. For the want of a better word, how do they keep those horns rising up through their foreheads down when they are wearing their human masks. Then again, their extending tongues would also be a bit difficult to keep under control all the time as well, especially when an insect flies past and a quick snack.


Observation: Here’s an odd thing. In the 1990 film, ‘Predator 2’, how could Detective Danny Archuleta be carrying the right kind of torch to go around his head when he went back to penthouse suite?


Computer Observation: Don’t you find it odd that the quickest way to resolve a computer problem is to reboot or, in some cases, just reinstall. Remember that last point if you’ve been having problems with Norton’s password manager. Hardly a technological revolution, just a reset.


Feeling Stressed: Find a solution to any problem, even if it’s only a temporary one, is better than no solution at all.



Category: Culture, Offworld Report

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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