Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Snooping on teens reduces their American individualism

by Gene Healy

Washington Examiner
September 13, 2010

Downtown D.C.'s booming Gallery Place corridor has lately been plagued by disruptive, loitering teens. Two weeks ago, after meeting with District officials, business owners hit on a novel solution: installing the latest in crowd-control technology outside the Chinatown Metro entrance.

Like a reverse dog whistle, the "Mosquito" emits a piercing beep at a frequency only young ears can hear. "Cool stuff," brags a spokesman for the British company selling the device. "Drives kids crazy."

Nobody likes getting jostled by unruly punks, but there's something a tad creepy about "fixing" the problem with a human "bug zapper" -- a machine that harasses guilty and innocent alike.

Kids are getting used to this sort of thing, though. This generation has been poked, prodded, monitored, and controlled more than any other in American history.

When you look at our public schools, which educrats are busily turning into high-tech dystopias, you wonder how the regimented teen is supposed to grow up into an independent, free-thinking citizen.