NOT ANOTHER PASSWORD . . . !!!#%$
It happened again today.
Once more, the breast care doctor with whom I’m writing a book sent me a message I couldn’t open. His one paragraph was buried in password perdition--deep enough to require a second email with permission to create a password so I could open the first one. Somebody out there must think we're worth hacking into . . . like we're ginning up Time Travel potions. Or recruiting for ISIS.
The password plague has spread like the cancer we’re writing about. Once it was kind of casual—you picked something easy, and once every six months you might have to use it. Now the malignancy is everywhere, taking over our lives. To use the bathroom at CVS pharmacy, you have to type in a code. Which is galling . . . that here, and I suppose soon everywhere, you need a password to pee.
My aversion to inane secrecy goes way back—I mean, way, way back. As a teenager I unwittingly became a member of what was called Rainbow Girls, a desperately clandestine organization, whose secrets were so tightly held we were forbidden to share them with anyone under . . . well, under penalty of expulsion. Most of what they talked about was dull—not something I could recall for even a few hours. I remember thinking, These secrets are so boring you’d have to hog tie your victim just to get him to listen.
For my doctor son, the password disease has turned into a scourge—the written version of Ebola. To satisfy the requirements of the hospital, he and his colleagues are forced to change their passwords EVERY MONTH. Of course nobody short of Einstein could keep track, mentally, of twelve password changes in twelve months, so the doctors are forced to maintain written records which begin to look like the Encyclopedia Britannica. Once down on paper, of course, the information is “out there”--subject to misplacement, spying, or outright pilferage, thus defeating the whole purpose.
Our society is reaching some kind of tipping point, where you’ll eventually need a password to speak to your mother. But in one American household, at least, there’s a level of secrecy none of us can quite believe. But trust me, it’s true. In at least one home belonging to Elon Musk, you can’t go from one room to another without providing a scan of your fingerprints. I’ve often wondered—what if you have a bathroom emergency?
I dare not reveal the name, but one of our relatives actually worked there. Another relative, who ought to know, commented, “This is what you’d expect from a drug dealer!”
Treasure Trove of books: Maralys.com