At the airport in Madrid I went into a taxi. Before the taxi driver had been in an animated discussion with a colleague. He was young, about 25 years old, and told that he has a degree in robotic but that he could not find another job for the time being. As soon as he was driving, he started to tell me his vision of the future. 2035, the alarm clock rings in the morning. You would like to silence it but you don’t dare because your implanted chip would have registered it and would have deducted two points for lack of moral, which in turn would negatively influence your health insurance premium with an increase for the next month.
For 10 minutes you do the prescribed gymnastics and fastidiously look at the watch in order to make sure that you don’t do the exercises any second too short but also not one second too long. Because this would influence your health insurance premium and you currently cannot afford it. The chip is measuring the quality of the exercises and gives you live feedback. In case of insufficient quality, you would have to repeat the exercises and you are not in the mood for this.
For breakfast you only take black coffee even though you know that freshly pressed juice or fruits would bring positive points for reducing the health insurance premium. But you don’t care respectively you will compensate it with a long round of football that evening with your colleagues, for which your chip will collect positive points.
And like this it continues the entire day, you are monitored on every step you do, on each action you take, are graded and in case of harmful behaviour (e.g. a beer) you get negative points, which you can either compensate with positive points (drinking 2.5 litres of water a day) or your health insurance premium increases, which you cannot even afford.
Because of all the talking, my taxi driver missed the motorway exit. He stopped the taximeter and still managed to describe the afternoon. It did not sound encouraging. It was a bleak vision in the sense of “big brother is watching you”.
I think he could even be right that in the future we will be monitored, disciplined and monetarily forced to actions, which otherwise we would not have considered.