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"This makes me unbelievably uncomfortable"


Comment culture is a large part of the brilliance of the net because it allows counter narratives which were previously suppressed to be given a chance. Many people despise it because of the fact it confuses the message intended by an article's writer, for me it's a great step forward precisely because of that.

Arguments and disagreement remind us there is not one central "truth" available to us and all we can access is our personal perspective. So, if you hear about something but receive multiple points of view relating to it, you're left with a need to think for yourself.

When I first landed on it there was not one positive comment on this odd piece placed on EDF's website:
THE ELECTRONIC TATTOO: A NEW FORM OF MEDICINE
[...]
Name of inventor: Nanshu Lu
Organization: University of Texas at Austin
Year: 2013
Country: USA
Prize/Award: MIT “Innovator” (category: Innovators Under 35) / Netexplo Award (UNESCO headquarters)
[...] Affixed to a patient’s skin, it allows vital data and healthcare information to be monitored remotely, transmitting it directly to the doctor responsible. It is packed with sensors and could prove a flexible, practical and non-invasive solution for post-operation monitoring. The solution offers major potential, and could also be used in areas beyond healthcare, such as measuring sports performance or managing objects remotely. Stuck to someone’s neck, it could analyze the vibrations of their vocal cords and transmit simple orders (left, right, start, stop, etc.) to an object or a video console. Society is only just getting to grips with the Internet of things, and it seems we are already looking to the Internet of the body. Perhaps time to look at the tattoo in an entirely new light.
Pretty standard stuff, I wonder where the inventor got his ideas from? Orwell? Pretty much any dystopian sci-fi fiction? David Icke's website? Infowars? It's not a new idea. What I like is how the comments at the bottom are pointed this out:
"YES, THE NAZIS USED TATTOOS, TOO. DESPICABLE IDEA."
"big brother at work ,funny when i was at school we discussed this as science fiction, looks like being barcoded at birth will be science fact soon ! everything will be logged and tagged to our barcode ! part of the machine"
The term "conspiracy theorist" is not flattering. This is ironic given that it seems to have come into prominence in the wake of the JFK assassination. At the time the establishment divided people into two competing points of view. The official story was provided by The Warren Commission which declared Oswald acted alone, anyone who disagreed with this "lone gunman" theory thought the assassination had been planned by more than one person was therefore a "conspiracy theorist".

My first experience of the genre, which I'm trying to call "counter narratives" instead of "conspiracy theory", was JFK and I'm pleased history is not being kind to the official explanation. That Oswald was shot dead before he could talk suggested to many he wasn't acting alone but nowadays, as more information comes out, few hold to the "lone gunman" theory. After looking into it I think there must have been more people involved and so I guess that makes me a "conspiracy theorist" on this one. I'm not concerned about the company that put me in nowadays though, even US Secretary of State John Kerry begs to differ with the official line. Maybe some people still believe he was just a random with a gun, that's their choice, the difficulty in the past used to be knowing most people simply had not heard the opposing points of view and likely never would.

We now live in an age where comment culture and "counter narratives" are significantly harder to suppress and so people must now decide which version of events makes the most sense to them, as opposed to only encountering one authoritative news report. Long may that continue!

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