Ghosts

2005-02-23

Claire Wolfe is thinking about ditching her truck. Normally not a big deal -- except she's considering it so that won't have to register a vehicle, since (apropos of recent talk about a national ID system) that requires her to maintain a "tie" to "the system" (i.e., being entered in some large government database somewhere). That got me to thinking: what would it be like to live with no government-issued ID of any kind? No Social Security Number, no driver's license, no nothin'. Presumably it would be difficult or impossible to do lots of things that "normal" folks take for granted: buying houses, using credit cards, flying on commercial airplanes, and so on. From the perspective of mainstream America, you'd be a ghost. Probably a fair number of people already live like that, for one reason or another. But one thing's for sure: if I were to do that, I wouldn't hole up in the boonies as Claire seems to do (how do you get to your cabin in the woods without a vehicle?) -- instead I'd head straight for New York City. There can be great freedom in the anonymity of a big city.


Peter Saint-Andre > Journal