I went to get a haircut yesterday. The first thing they asked me was:
‘What’s your number?’
‘It’s a secret.’
‘We can’t do anything until we have a phone number.’
So I left. I walked seventy meters to another place.
‘What’s your phone number?’
‘It’s classified. I could tell you, but then my agency would have to hack your system and remove the data. They are none to gentle and may crash your system’
‘No, really. We can’t do anything until we have a number.’
‘How about “five”?’
I’ve reached a point In my life where I don’t have to lie. Ashamed, desperate, greedy, or too eager to impress. I am adult. Still, there is this unhumorous aversion. I really should pull out a bag of dice, roll them, and read off a number.
But I shouldn’t have to. I don’t want a membership card with a secret handshake. I don’t want to be adopted by a cult. I don’t want a job. I don’t want a bloody date. I want to exchange money for goods and services. I quit going to Papa Murphy’s pizza when they wouldn’t sell to me without a phone number. Is this freedom? I won’t use a grocery store membership card which tracks my every purchase. I don’t want my mother informed whenever I buy brownies. Patricia, the big mommy government, or my matriarchal insurance company.
I also don’t want to be tracked. ‘I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed, or numbered! My life is my own! ‘ Even if I did not know what they do with the information, that it is so insistently desired shows the value of massive bulk data. I still remember the days after September 11, 2001 when the grocery stores around New York City presented the FBI with lists of everybody who had purchased Levantine food. I don’t want Progressive Insurance to put a GPS on my car. I just don’t want to be spied upon. Even if they reduce my bill by two per cent.