Sports RFID Notes

The RFID tag replaces the jersey number as the protocol that communicates with the primary key ID of the database.

Once pre-programmed, this communication process becomes automated.

This removes the human agency involved in translating the jersey number to the database, ostensibly reducing "error" in the process.

Athletes, then, have only the right to registration in the databank to establish the Truth of their participation in the competition.

Chip manufacturer: "Bear in mind: no chip, no time. Only athletes wearing a ChampionChip will be timed."

More: "A typing error in the chip code during the event registration process will result in your chip being timed without a name. These so-called 'orphan chips' cannot be part of the final results."

We also see the RFID tag (or similar electronic tracking device) emerging in some of the other disciplinary institutions that Foucault analyzed, which now face a "crisis of enclosure":

- Deleuze describes the use of electronic collars as a surrogate technology for prison incarceration.

- Japanese schoolkids have been tagged with RFID to prevent abductions.

- Cadavers are tagged with RFID to control the illegal black market trade in body parts.

We see RFID used to guard against entering the enclosure, exiting the enclosure, and substituting for the enclosure itself.

As Virilio notes: "[S]overeignty no longer resides in the territory itself, but in the control of the territory."

And furthermore: "Whoever controls the territory possesses it. Possession of territory is not primarily about laws and contracts, but first and foremost a matter of movement and circulation."


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