This is all completely true. This is really what it is like inside my mind.
I was exiting the library today, having just finished printing out all the necessary materials for my English class portfolio, when I snuck the typical heavy glance at the security sensors that everyone has to pass through near the main doors. True, they could be metal detectors, but then I think I know better. They are the same things you see in Wal-Mart, Meijer, Kroger, the campus bookstore, and any other place that often deals with small expensive items being taken illegally.
As I’m walking back in the general direction of the dorm, I posed a mental question to myself. What would you have done if the alarm had gone off?
“Well,” I thought back to myself, “I would just keep walking. I didn’t take anything, so I have no reason to stop.”
But think, my self exclaimed, hopefully not out loud, it does happen sometimes. If you just keep walking and don’t even look confused, someone may think you DID take something! What if you were at a store, and a security person came after you, insisting that you must have taken something to set off the alarm?!
“Then I would calmly explain that I took nothing and they had nothing to worry about, then continue on my way.”
But he would insist you go back into the store and let him check through your belongings!
“Gah. You are so persistent. Little punk. Alright. Fine. If that was the case, I would turn to the man and say this. ‘Listen. You seem like a nice enough fellow who I understand is only doing his job.’ I would point at the tower-like sensors and say ‘Do you have the slightest idea how those work? It’s not just magic, you know. Inside is a small copper coil that transmits a radio frequency at 125 KHz. When someone walks by with a stolen item, say, a sixty dollar video game, the small chip inside the box, called an RFID tag, uses an internal coil that picks up and actually powers the chip. Isn’t that amazing!?”
He would stare at you. Like you are a freak.
…because you are a freak.
“Shutup, I’m not done. ‘Now, that little tag modulates the 125KHz signal to send data to those biiiiig sensors-’”
You sound condescending.
“Shutup, I’m not done. ‘And the big sensors get a signal that either says 0 or 1, or in this case ‘stolen’ or ‘not stolen’.”
And he would look at you and think, Wow, this guy knows a lot about our security system.
“Yep! And then I would say, ‘Seriously now, think about it. The fact that I know so much about this generic little security system of yours means that I could easily find a way around it! I could build a device that kills the tag the same way the cashiers deactivate the tags when you checkout with the item, and then just walk out with it! Or, heck, I could just hold the item high over my head as I walk out, then it’s not even near the sensor towers, they only have a range of like 10 inches any way! What I’m saying is, if I wanted to steal something, I would be long gone before you would ever even KNOW ABOUT IT!’ I would have this big smug grin and he would understand my point, and away I would walk.”
Wait indeed. Wasn’t there an XKCD comic like this that you were compared to once?
“Ah, *expletive*. They were right.”