You already carry the Mark of the Beast. Don't believe? You will soon...
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Doomsayers like to predict that we will all be forced to wear the "Mark of the Beast" someday in order to do business, but the fact is that we already carry it with us wherever we go, a mark we have willingly accepted for ourselves. Worse yet, how others are already using this technology is nothing short of chilling.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In the book of Revelations, the Mark of the Beast is a tattoo or some other scar or identifier that permits people to transact business. Without the mark, a person would theoretically starve, unable to transact.
Over the past several decades we have developed ways to track ourselves. From social security to driver's licenses, to checks and credit cards, and now radio-emitting devices, we are tracked everywhere we go. Modern-tracking is mostly accomplished through our cell phones which have become our constant companions in life.
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We spend hours each day interacting with our cellphones. Our phones track everything we do. Cellphones come with built-in GPS ability, barometers, cameras and microphones, and these systems operate in the background, even if you do not activate them yourself. They're always on, always running. Even shutting your phone off leaves these systems running, at least until the battery finally drains, which can take days in a powered-off phone.
And every time you power up these devices, the first thing they do is "phone home" reporting your location and identity.
Our social networks are obsessed with gathering every scrap of data about our personal lives. Our relationships, our moods, and everyday doings are tracked. Consumers are beginning to notice that merely driving or walking to another location changes the ads they see for places that are nearby.
Posts a status update about dogs on Facebook and before long you'll begin to see ads related to dogs. Walk onto a car lot and start seeing ads for cars. No input required.
These applications often take advantage of our vanity and narcissism to compel us to "share" intimate details of our lives, often without thinking about it. We have already become anesthetized to the rapid loss of privacy and our personal information. Even our private activities have become public.
Our personal data is valuable. Advertisers don't like to waste money displaying ads in front of people who are least likely to buy their products. However, they will pay a premium price to reach you if you have demonstrated interest in a particular product.
Around this simple economic reality, software developers have designed clever ways to divest you of your personal information, often keeping you unaware of the intrusion. As a result of this development, statisticians pouring over reams of data have started to recognize patterns.
As it turns out, humans are creatures of habit and the aggregate profiles of our behavior can actually be used to predict our future activities. Law enforcement has recently been introduced to this eerie capability which incidentally has already been developed by the NSA and CIA to predict terrorist movements and activities.
Private software developers have also been working on this for the past few years as well. Being able to predict what you will do next is a gold mine for advertisers and could prove to be a valuable tool for law enforcement, which could find ways to intervene and stop a crime -before you even think to commit one.
If this sounds like something from the Hollywood thriller "Minority Report" then you get the idea. In the near future, our privacy will be sacrificed to sell us everything, and to predict our subsequent behaviors.
Finally, to round-out the mark of the beast, our phones and mobile devices are becoming payment centers as well. The digital wallet has already arrived. It is already possible to buy and sell everything with just a swipe of our phone. Cash and cards are becoming obsolete.
The final step is to make the technology wearable or even to find ways to implant it into our bodies. An RFID chip or a barcode tattoo are all that's needed to complete the marking process.
All of this will be remarkably convenient. You will be able to walk into a grocery store and grab the items you need and walk out without stopping at a register. You will be able to transfer money with a nod or a handshake or some other gesture. You'll be able to share information with the nod of a head, snap a picture with the wink of an eye, and life will be wonderful. You will no longer see advertisements for things that don't interest you. It will truly be a brave new world, and astonishingly it's just a few years away.
The problem, aside from the privacy concerns and other obvious and significant philosophical questions, is that such times were prophesied to coincide with the end times. Not long before the second coming, the Mark of the Beast would be borne by all who wanted to trade.
Our mistake is to assume that The Mark of the Beast is an artifact of the future. It has already arrived. Therefore since it is a sign, we would do well to prepare ourselves for the final hour could come at any time.
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