Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Biometric ID systems to end poverty

John Podesta, president of the Centre for American Progress and Casey Dunning, a senior policy analyst for the Sustainable Security and Peacebuilding Initiative at American Progress write in yesterday's Guardian that we can end poverty but the methods may surprise you. (Thanks to Ian Brown for the link via the excellent FIPR alerts list)

If I understand Mr Posesta and Ms Dunning correctly, India's biometric ID scheme proves that:

Social safety nets + biometric technology = no more poor people


Why could we not see it before? 

The answer is magic technology. 

But wait a minute, wasn't magic technology the solution to:

Organised crime
Drug dealers
Child abusers
Border control
Benefit fraud
Democratic elections
Miracle cures for everything...

And as for India's biometric ID scheme, Mr Podesta's and Ms Dunning's implied claim regarding its seamless precision targeted cure of Indian poverty is unlikely to be able to withstand any evidence based scrutiny.

Mr Posdesta currently serves on the United Nations High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda. He is former White House chief of staff to President Bill Clinton.

I think it's time to give up the superficiality, the unbalanced 'balance', the rhetoric, the absurdities, the sensationalism, the straw men, the cynical emotiveness, the appeals to supposed authority, the sarcasm, innuendo, denegration, the manipulation of prejudices & fears, the false and selective statistics, the poisonous demonising of the poor, disabled & otherwise disadvantaged, the reality distortion lens of conventional news media and politics and spend the very little time I get away from battling bureaucrats these days on something more positively nourishing for the little grey cells.