Thursday, January 11, 2007

Science, Science Fiction, Paranoia and Politics

Today I read an AP news report of tiny 'spy coins' that have been discovered on American defence contractors in Canada. Although the article claims rather offhandedly that the CIA has used coins to hide data, it then proceeds to puzzle over this new type of 'spy coin' and its possible purpose and effects. The actual coins that are the subject of the report supposedly are Canadian coins of an undisclosed denomination. The U.S. 'government' claimed that the mysterious 'coins were found planted on U.S. contractors with classified security clearances on at least three separate occasions between October 2005 and January 2006 as the contractors traveled through Canada.'

What does this mean? Let us examine the 'facts' insofar as fact makes its appearance here.

The Canadian Security Intelligence Service claims they know nothing whatsoever about the existence of these 'spy coins'. Experts in the technology declare that the possible uses of coins of this sort would be extremely limited in any event. The distance within which the coin could operate would be very restricted, the metal in the coins would interfere with transmission of any signal and coins are liable to be exchanged unwittingly in the course of natural commerce.

All these considerations aside, what is the effect of a report like this on the general public? Many readers like myself will find it rather amusing, a sort of James Bond fantasy not to be taken too seriously. Others, however, may find the very concept of a 'spy coin' terrifying and further 'proof' of the extraordinary power and cleverness of 'America's enemies'. An article like this generates more paranoia to fuel the 'war on terrorism', an undeclared general war on nebulous enemies that can be targeted according to the government's current whims and can be widened to embrace any number of targets, regardless of their nationality, religion or affiliations.

Thinking of Fleming's recent posts on UFOs, I was prompted to consider that these 'spy coins' may represent an ultimately verifiable scientific technology and yet, does not so much of our response continue to depend on our individual perception? (Actually, who is to believe ANYTHING the media reports? The 'objective observer' is one thing, but the media is quite another and seldom has in its ranks any truly objective observers. For my part, I have come to see that even the 'reasonable man' beloved of the Law is as much as mythical creature as the banshee or the brownie.)


Fleming said...

(Sorry I messed up my first comment and had to deleted it.)

Very entertaining post. thought I knew everything there was to worry about . . . and now, spy coins!

If they are a mystery to the wily Canadians as well as the ever wary Americans, maybe they are actually alien spacecraft which thought they recognized some of their comrades among the Americans' pocket change.

One of my favorite little science fiction stories was of a spaceship from another solar system arriving at last at its long-planned destination -- Earth. The space travelers were communicating with the earthlings as the ship came through the atmosphere, and all waited excitedly for the great moment of landing and meeting.

The spaceship landed on a desk, where it was dwarfed by a small paperclip, so tiny that was never found by the expectant earthlings. Maybe the spy coin travelers are experiencing a similar problem of relative size.

Freyashawk said...

I love your theory! 'Spy coin travelers' adds a new dimension and connects your own web log discourse about UFOs with this new (possibly) sci-fi development.