Thursday, 3 May 2012

PIN your TAN to your skin
(and cover it up!)

Inspired by a personal identification lost to a memory I no longer have control of...

A currency note is not a symbol of trust; it stands for mistrust. Veritably, money may be the single greatest instrument of suspicion known to material Menschheit.

It ain't Joe Wallet, but Johnny Law who doesn't wanna work, and therefore doesn't allow anyone to trust anyone else to. The man with the power to print the $hit is the one you should be wary of. Above all others. He is the prime immover of free human interaction:
...I can only assume that for much of the rest of humanity, the less emotionally crippled portion, the general inclination is to work together, even without the diktat to do so.
That's trust. I'll take this idea a step further: If that ain't ka-change you can believe in, consider that you're precisely the type who must be compelled to contribute, and therefore project your crippling insecurity on-to everyone else.

Trust no-one!
Being a member of a non-profit, the amount of red-tape I have to peel, circum-organize, and re-stick behind me induces finger-blisters, neck-cricks, and mind-throbs. The origin is the bank account: accessible exclusively to a bureaucratically defined member of the board (me), who - upon acknowledgment of authority through the undersigning of paragraphs of text, the bulk & design of which precludes the possibility of this very acknowledgment - receives SIX letters in the snail-mail. Two of them, you are no-doubt familiar with: the cashcard, followed separately and hermetically by the PIN. Likewise come the online login id and corresponding code. Another envelope contains an initial activation hieroglyph. And the final postmark (I shit you not, it arrived snail-est) is a notification that the rest will be forthcoming.

An additional insecurity measure is a top secret number issued for every online transaction (TAN). Where do I get this? I have a choice! I could take a little plastic LED generator from the bank; I reluctantly choose a second option. So it's one less gadget, but one more password to finger in: turning on my mobile phone, which I now use to receive a TAN.

Interaction instead of Transaction
I pondered my latest bank-iculties at my lieblings café: What if my baker didn't want anything for his wares and toil, because he didn't have to pay rent, because the construction of these buildings was done for kicks, and the delivery of daily goods out of the goodness of our hearts? He wouldn't be a baker, you say? He'd just sponge off of others? Without a regulated system of currency, everybody'd take advantage of everybody else? Without centralized dough, we'd wither and starve 'cuz nobody wants to work?

I don't buy it. The parallel histories of money and anthropology do not indicate a direct causality between the technological advance of money and society. That said, the structure is what it is: toiling within it seems easier than breaking free from it.

Whether you believe in a currency-free community or not, a cashless one is coming for your convenience as a customer. Rooted in the same distrust that has you cloak like a kook, it'll be a way to consolidate all the password headaches in your... head. I know people have been saying this for ages, but still.

I foresee a status quotopia where human brains not already hacked are auctioned on the eBay of our Image Nation, Ltd.

Unless you have something else in mind.