Monday, January 31, 2011

Technology Sees the Time is at Hand

The daily advancement of technology has transfixed the world, making its peoples and companies scurry in and out of market places in an effort to procure the best for access and identification. Biometrics technologies that verify identity by using body parts are becoming popular especially in this security conscious age. Hence, don’t leave home without your body parts.

There is an old folk song that is called “Sly Mongoose” which I used to sing as a child. I sung this song umpteen times a day. Maybe as many times as the weasel-like creature slips in and out of the bushes, fowl coops, and cane fields. It is said that, in the olden days, the mongoose was brought to Jamaica to rid the island of dangerous snakes. Inasmuch as this was a good endeavor, I would in a heartbeat trade it with the antics of the mongoose which is relayed in a comical manner through songs and stories. The mongoose seems to have its wit and moves intact, making it a difficult task to keep up with its tricks. A mongoose’s move is sporadic. It is capable of stealing a chicken in a jiffy. It is always one step ahead of its prey in the same manner that technology has captured people. Thus, as I see it, technology has now become the modern day mongoose…slippery, wild, bold, sporadic, mind boggling, tricky, revealing, helpful, rewarding, dangerous, and comical with each move.

The idea of equating the mongoose to the world of technology came about while speaking with a friend. She was troubled by the fact that her place of employment will be instituting the scanning of hands for access and payroll. My friend’s and my thoughts bungled as we discussed hand scanning at the workplace. Will it be the scanning of an entire hand? Or, will it be just one finger. If so, will it be the finger that comes to its owner’s defense in times of trouble? Keeping in mind that some devices might be able to detect emotions, it would be rather interesting to see if the scan machine recognizes the hidden tyrant in this finger and takes action against it.
In comparison to the key card which has long since, in most institutions, replaced the employee sign-in-sheet and fill out time card system it would appear as if the hand scan will be a not-so-easy system to tamper with. How on earth will my friend account for one of those days when tardiness was inevitable or deliberate? Will there be a card to go along with the hand scanning? Is there a backup system that can be taken advantage of in a subtle manner? Under the key card regime, the excuses that would account for her tardiness could never be used in the world of hand scanning. It would be rather hysterical, she mentioned, to tell her supervisor that she has misplaced her hand. Or, that she has left her hand in one of her pocketbooks/handbags at home.

It is suffice to say that her remarks reminded me of another one my friends who worked at an institution where all employees had to use the punch clock system, with the results shown on their individual cards. They would punch in on their arrival to work and would again punch out at the end of the work day but human nature is of such that they would also punch in their tardy friends, or set the clock to an earlier time and then quickly change it to the current time after the purpose is achieved. I must admit that I had a good laugh when she told me that sometimes a tardy friend does not show up at work after the kind deed is done. At this point panic sets in and the card with its current and past clocked-in information would be quickly disposed of. This kind of behavior would be a threat to the mongoose, not a joke. The mongoose is all about business, productivity and advancement. Therefore, it would be wise to do something about the disheartening behavior. Luckily, according to my friend, by the time the company decided to introduce another method of account
ing for attendance and access, no one had been caught for doing such a daring favor.

Is the time really at hand for our beloved Hand Scan Technology? What about the people who are equipped with prosthetic hands or, the person who for whatever reasons cannot be recognized by the scanning machine. Whose eyes are watching? After all is said and done, some people’s religious beliefs would question if this technology advancement is a fulfillment of the signs and wonders predicted in the bible. Even more so, were my two friends seeking solace or humor while they relayed and invigorated me to write about the mischief that has been played on technology. By their work, are they too a fulfillment of the biblical signs and wonders? Or, are they are feeding the mind of technology to become as witty and slippery as the moves of a mongoose.

Tah-tah! Meekly wait and murmur not, technology is on the move.

Grace Dunkley-Asphall, Copyright © 2011


  1. Seriously, how would the prosthetic hand apply...interesting.

  2. It funny but true. Can't show up for work without u body parts. Its the age of accountability. The bible teaches that its expected of man that he be a faithful steward. The world just catching on. But more than that the stage is being set for all that's written in revelation to unfold. The global village is no happenstance. Its prophecy. As it was in the beginning so shall it be in the end