Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The public transit zombie is creepy as Hell

Riding the public transit for a contract. Watching people mindlessly line up to reveal their whereabouts is very "1984."

Like most major cities, we have electronic payment systems. So, you can get an ORCA card and conveniently badge it before getting on the bus or train, and then off, and the combo of locations determines the fees billed to you.

Much more convenient than paper cards with magnetic strips, or that totally untraceable cash thing.

So, every time a mob of drones gets off the train, we all automatically queue up to press a plastic card - linked to us - to a little box until we hear the reassuring beep that means our location and time have been logged in the database.  We're all doing out civic duty - paying our fees in appreciation for use of the transit system, making sure we're in compliance with the law; good citizen stuff.

Even more creepy is when the fare enforcement people come thru and require us to show the card, the front of the card, and the hand scanner checks to make sure we are in compliance.  We all just reflexively whip out our cards, and don't even bother to look up as the fare enforcer presses his scanner to our card and moves on.

Failure to have a card means they ask for photo ID. 
Failure to have photo ID - for example the homeless man the other morning - means a second fare enforcement officer shows up to escort you off the train while they assess your identity.

On the one hand, it is very nice and well-organized and helps society run smoothly. We all do our little rituals and get on with our lives. At the end of the day, that's all we really want, isn't it?  Just to get on with our lives.

On the other hand, it's all fucking creepy as Hell.

I grabbed the images off the Web. My apologies for not having proper creator credits for the images.

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